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Alberta producers and processors have been innovative, flexible and dedicated in maintaining food safety and security during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agility and resilience demonstrated by the sector to quickly adapt to COVID-19 has been exceptional, and as a result, our food supply chain has remained safe and secure.
Agriculture is a key economic driver for post-COVID-19 recovery and growth in Alberta, contributing $9.2 billion in GDP and employing nearly 70,000 Albertans. Agriculture has always been a major economic contributor, but the past few years of record-setting highs in food and beverage manufacturing have really put the spotlight on the enormous potential for Alberta’s food industry.
Our province has a well-earned reputation for safe, high quality agricultural products, supported by our robust regulatory and food safety systems. Alberta’s government works to make sure international markets remain open to Alberta agricultural and food products. Alberta is committed to research, innovation and ongoing evaluation of best-practices for modern farming.
Science-based approaches to safer use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides support production of the yields that are required to feed the world. I commend the fertilizer and agrochemical industry, specifically, for their continued work to make their products more effective, efficient and environmentally sustainable.
With the right tools in place, like quality fertilizers, conservation cropping and one of the strongest food and agriculture regulatory systems in the world, agriculture and food processing in our province has great potential for growth and investment attraction.
This week, the United Nations is bringing global stakeholders together at the 2021 Food Systems Summit to explore best options and innovative solutions for sustainable global food systems. The Summit is open to everyone to participate, including small farmers, research scientists, Indigenous leaders, corporate executives, youth organizers, environmental activists and the general public.
Get involved at the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021. I encourage Albertans to participate and highlight the strong aspects of our safe, sustainable food system.
Devin Dreeshen served as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from April 30, 2019 to November 5, 2021.