Economic development


The problems of the import - export economy

Rural community challenges

"Canada’s rural regions (officially defined as being areas with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants and apopulation density below 400 people per square kilometer (1,041 per square mile), and in which 6.3 million Canadians live, making up 18.9 percent of

the national population) (Statistics Canada, 2012a) are undergoing dramatic changes, including low rates of business creation; boom-bust natural resource cycles; out-migration; loss of agricultural land; fewer and more capital-intensive farms; the decline of domestic food production; growing concentration and consolidation in supply, processing, and food retail distribution networks; depressed farm product prices induced by global commodity pricing and trade issues; consumer demand for the cheapest food regardless of its origin or cost or conditions of production; chronic under- and unemployment nationally;"Cameron, G., & Hanavan, L. (2014).

Re-imagining rural cooperation in Atlantic Canada. Journal of Agriculture, Food Syst
ems, and Community Development, 4(3), 29–45.
Regional economic development theory
The demise of local food system infrastructure

Small scale abattoirs have been disappearing resulting in capacity limitations.  SK, for example, has no federally inspected plant since 2010 and there are only a dozen plants for the entire province under provincial inspection programs (Briere, K. 2021. Producers call for processor incentives.  WP July1, p. 46).

Part of this is loss of food processing from cities.

"Regina is surrounded by crops and livestock. We might expect that much of that
food would flow toward the city, however, that is not the case. ... Even if a cow or
pig or bushel of wheat is raised a dozen kilometres from downtown, in order to get
to a Regina table, those agricultural products are usually trucked away from the
city.... A key reason is that food processing plants, once numerous in and around
Regina, have been shut down, with production concentrated in a few very large
plants, mostly in other provinces [or cities].... These ... plant closures have re-
patterned food flows and severed Regina from its surrounding foodshed...."

Darrin Qualman et al., “Environmental Scan: Conventional and Indigenous Food Systems and Gaps in the Regina Area, SK. Regina Community Food Systems Steering Committee, 2013

Redundant trade and coercive and convenient economic relations
The failings of current ED approaches (Michael Shuman)

The beneficiaries and the marginalized in the dominant approach

Farmers and fishers as price takers
The challenges of SME food and fish processors and meeting local needs

Hansen Sterne, R., & van Duren, E. (2019). Supply management and the business activities of Ontario meat processors. Canadian Food Studies / La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur L’alimentation, 6(2), 26–50.

Retail concentration and difficulties for independent retailers
Chain restaurants
Remote, northern and indigenous communities

Legislative, regulatory and programmatic measures that support the import-export economy

The fragmentation of the milk economy
Food safety for export
Whole foods and localization
The dominant innovation approach: superclusters, grant programs and the R&D agenda
Increasing the focus on diversity: SMEs and a wide range of socio-cultural actors in all the sectors (inputs, farming, processing, retail, food service)


Local currencies and market bucks

Culinary tourism


Subsidizing restaurant transition
SME grants and investments for marginalized peoples and communities

Stephens, P., Knezevic, I., & Best, L. (2019). Community financing for sustainable food systems. Canadian Food Studies / La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur L’alimentation, 6(3), 60-87.


Financing the transition