The Quebec government announced the new Food Sovereignty Policy on Thursday, May 16. It was created around four pillars:
- the identity of Quebec foods
- the dynamic use of land
- the rise in the economy, and
- sustainable development
“I wish that together, we will work so that at least 50% of the products consumed by Quebecers are local products,” claimed Pauline Marois, premier of Quebec supported by Francois Gendron, minister of MAPAQ’s “..creating undeniable benefits for the entirety of Quebec at once as consumers and citizens.”
In addition to this policy, the Quebec government also announced a series of actions to preserve agricultural zones. Starting in June, the government intends to file two projects in order to modify the law on the acquisition of agricultural land by non-residents and the law on the protection of land and agricultural activities. These projects will aim to protect against the eventual increase in price of land that could attract offers about obtaining agricultural land from foreigners. The government hopes to extend the application for agricultural land’s development plans to the whole MRC in order to favour optimal use and sustain the territory.
Another announcement is further development of grants for financial help with succession. This is the first phase that can increase up to 20% and will allow for a better response to needs and expectations of young farmers to generate a better connection with regional resources. Start-up grants will be increased to $10,000, $15,000 and $25,000 and the required sales for a farm to qualify for a start-up grant has been decreased to $30,000. This initiative represents an annual supplementary investment of $3.8 million from the Financement Agricole du Québec.
Finally, the strategy confirmed implementation of a ‘buy local’ strategy for all public establishments that will begin in December of this year.