Health and nutrition

Based on research and scientific evidence, health professionals recommend a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables. In order to ensure readily available, healthy and fresh produce of the highest quality, the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) works with industry and government departments on issues affecting plant health and food safety.

CHC’s position

  • CHC, along with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), encourage the federal and provincial/territorial governments to establish policy statements supporting the goal of increasing the fruit and vegetable consumption of Canadians by 20%. This is equivalent to one additional serving a day for all Canadians, increasing consumption for many to the base amount recommended by the current Canada’s Food Guide.
  • CHC further recommends that the government improve accessibility to quality fruits and vegetables for all Canadians and especially rural, remote, First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities;
  • CHC urges the government to establish a national healthy food school program as part of the National Food Policy.
  • CHC furthermore urges government to increase the current recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables in the upcoming revised version of Canada’s Food Guide.

Current advocacy activities

  • CHC continues to monitor the development of Canada’s Food Policy and Healthy Eating Strategy and other Health Canada initiatives as they pertain to fruit and vegetable producers.

Previous advocacy activities

  • In November 2017, CHC and CPMA lobbied the federal government during meetings with Members of Parliament and Senators. The meetings were held as part of the two organizations’ annual Fall Harvest event.
  • In September 2017, CHC submitted comments on behalf of members on A Food Policy for Canada – a complex consultation involving multiple government departments and many stakeholders across Canada.
  • In September 2017, CHC appeared as a witness before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food regarding its study of a Food Policy for Canada.
  • In August 2017, CHC submitted comments, on behalf of members, on Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy, which includes restrictions on marketing of unhealthy food to children, and changes to Canada’s Food Guide.
  • In April 2017, CHC submitted comments in response to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations Act and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is now reviewing the submissions. The regulations will likely be published in the Canada Gazette in Winter/Spring 2018.

More information

The Industry Standards and Food Safety Committee advises CHC on matters such as grade standards, plant health, pest risk assessment needs, food safety, and traceability.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Babcock, Policy Research and Development Manager at

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