Agri-food is big business in Ontario, accounting for $34 billion of the province’s GDP. In terms of employment, core food industry occupations account for over eight percent of all jobs in the province. While there has been a policy push to support a good food/local food agenda as a way to invest and strengthen local economies, missing from the discussion has been concern for the quality of work in the food sector — where a high proportion of jobs are of low quality.
This inquiry looks at what can be done to make food jobs good jobs, recognizing the inherent challenges presented by the industrialization of food. Metcalf Innovation Fellow Tom Zizys provides context and sets up the inquiry in his post below.
Five leaders and activists who focus on the food movement, issues of social justice, and workforce development have responded to Tom’s post. Their responses provide a wide range of perspectives on strategies for improving the quality of both food and food jobs, while also answering the need for food to be accessible and affordable.