In Conversation: Bringing to Light Economic Outcomes of Food Policy
The Institute for the Advanced Study of Food and Agricultural Policy recently released a special issue of FAREShare, entirely devoted to the topic of Canada’s Food Policy. We asked Dr. Alan Ker about what he hoped policy makers would take away from this issue.
Why did you and your colleagues decide to devote an entire issue of FAREShare to the topic of Canada’s food policy?
In May 2012, The Institute for the Advanced Study of Food and Agricultural Policy housed in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph hosted a conference in Ottawa on national food policy initiatives, which was when initial discussions of a national food policy began. As the development of a national food policy has recently gained renewed momentum under the current federal government, we have produced this FAREShare issue to capture updates on the presentations and discussions from that conference.
What messages do you hope policy-makers will take away from this special issue?
Economics, like other disciplines, have much to add to the policy debate. More often than not, economic outcomes, either intended or unintended, determine a policy’s success or failure. Academics play a vital role in policy development as they can provide unbiased and apolitical input that is oftentimes absent.
There exists a variety of policy options to achieve any given goal. Oftentimes, policies carry a variety of unintended and unwanted consequences. Our goal is to influence policy formation by bringing to light the potential economic outcomes of proposed options in regards to Canada’s food policy discussion.