Water & Business in Canada Part VI: Food and Water Security, A Timely Topic For Canada

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Water & Business in Canada Part VI: Food and Water Security, A Timely Topic For Canada

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"The World is Thirsty Because We Are Hungry" #H2O consumption vs. food manufacturing http://bit.ly/HntGLq @justmeans
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 7:00pm



World Water Day and Canada Water Week were widely celebrated this year. In Toronto a diverse panel of experts gathered for a candid discussion about water issues related to agriculture, as well as food and beverage manufacturing. Canada, having been blessed with bountiful water resources, is increasingly seen as a strategic location to feed a growing planet. This is a large nation, where land, potash and freshwaters meet to create the perfect conditions to grow food: but not all is well.

"The World is Thirsty Because We Are Hungry" is the tagline from this year's international World Water Day. To discuss how that relates to Canadian issues, a panel organized by the Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA) gathered in Toronto. Representatives from Steam Whistle Brewing, Nestlé Waters Canada, WWF-Canada, The Bloom Centre for Sustainability and the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy shared their insights on the subject. For an evening, water use in food production took a front seat; the dialogue raised concerns related to pricing, infrastructure, education, technology and policy.


What are the issues the Canadian food and beverage industry should pay attention to? 

The biggest "looming disaster" is the current condition of municipal infrastructure. While companies such as Steam Whistle and Nestlé use spring waters as product ingredient, municipal infrastructure is relied upon for water and wastewater delivery and disposal in the product manufacturing processes. As water costs increase to fix municipal infrastructure, small to medium sized businesses suffer financial losses. Since most food and beverage manufacturers are small enterprises, the effects of price increases are felt all the more.

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Meirav Even-Har is a Justmeans staff blogger. She reports on Canadian CSR issues. Meirav is an independent sustainability consultant and writer working in Toronto, Canada.

CATEGORY: Environment