On April 25th, our colleague, Jacques, attended the 33rd edition of the CRAAQ’s ‘Les Perspectives agroalimentaires’ (Food & Ag Outlook) conference in Drummondville, Québec.
As a clear sign of the shifting awareness of the industry, the organizers offset all GHG emission generated from the full-day activities, including attendees traveling.
We learned from Mathieu Arseneault (National Bank of Canada – Deputy Chief Economist) that Canada is well positioned economically and demographically to face the current and future challenges the world is facing. But we still of course have to be cognizant of the pitfalls of household leverage and upcoming mortgage payment shocks.
Roland Fumasi (North American Regional Head RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness at Rabobank) made a strong impression in illustrating the trend in protein and fresh produce demand that will come from the global middle class growing from 4 billion people in 2020 to 5 billion in 2030. Canada is well equipped in terms of natural resources to be part of the solution.
But our main challenge is labor. Tightness is not only present domestically but also in Mexico, our traditional partner for seasonal activities. Therefore, technology is the unavoidable tool required to improve yields and streamline the full lifecycle from farms to our kitchens.
Finally, our partners at FAIRR, Maxime Boucher and Sofia Condes, made it clear that agriculture is both a culprit and a victim of environmental pressure around the world. Beef production is the focal point as it dwarfs all other produce in terms of GHG emissions, water consumption and land use. They also highlighted that, although big food companies are progressing in many ESG aspects, they need to improve behavior and disclosure around biodiversity.
All in all, we are pleased to see that our own positioning is aligned with these findings. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you want to know more about our vision for portfolios that can impact agriculture and food.