Greenhouse Canada

IFPA talks food affordability, packaging policy with Prime Minister

November 21, 2023  By Greenhouse Canada

Nov. 21, 2023 – With increasing consumption of fresh produce as its top priority, on November 15, International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) CEO Cathy Burns and VP of Innovation Vonnie Estes attended a roundtable meeting focused on U.S. and Canadian consumer food affordability with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The meeting was hosted by Michael Janis and the San Francisco Market.   

“To drive consumption of fruits and vegetables, we must continue to create preference for produce and increase access, which includes ensuring affordability,” said Burns, in a news release.

“However, as IFPA members expect us to advocate on issues impacting their businesses, we also used our time to ensure that Canadian policymakers don’t also make food less affordable, less safe, and less accessible which will be an outcome of legislation that seeks to eliminate produce packaging options in Canada,” she added.


Burns referred to the planned rule from the ECCC to eliminate plastic packaging in produce sold in Canada by 95 per cent by 2028.

While IFPA recognizes the efforts of the ECCC to reduce the environmental impact of single use packaging, Burns highlighted the important role that plastic packaging plays in ensuring shelf-life of the certain fresh and fresh categories, affordability and convenience; while PLU stickers allow to eliminate packaging altogether while supporting accurate pricing and consumer choice.  Burns stressed the need to exempt plastic packaging for fresh and fresh cut products, as well as functional PLU stickers from planned packaging bans in Canada. 

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