October 10, 2023

Introducing CANZA: Leading the Charge Toward a Sustainable Future for Canada’s Food Sector

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New alliance launched to decarbonize Canada’s agri-food system

Toronto, Ont. – Today marks the launch of a groundbreaking national alliance led by industry experts and stakeholders committed to achieving a net-zero food system. The Canadian Alliance for Net-Zero Agri-food (CANZA) was established to help Canada feed a growing population while reducing emissions, becoming more sustainable, and creating new economic opportunities for Canada. 

CANZA will develop innovative technologies, champion bold and transformative policy measures, and foster a circular, net-zero value chain to remove 150 megatonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Canada’s agri-food sector by 2050.

Canada is committed to meeting its net-zero targets while enhancing sustainable agricultural productivity to ensure food security amid a growing global population. However, if today’s trajectory continues unchanged, emissions from the agri-food sector could reach 196 million tonnes by 2050 — nineteen percent of Canada's total emissions. CANZA’s first two initiatives will work closely with farmers to advance climate-smart agriculture and grow a national biodigester network to reduce emissions. The alliance will also catalyze new investments and scale projects that advance the technologies, infrastructure, policy and financial mechanisms needed to help farmers implement net-zero solutions successfully.

“The world's food systems stand at a pivotal moment, with sustainability and decarbonization taking center stage. In this crucial juncture, Canada is a prime candidate to become the global beacon of sustainable agriculture,” said David Hughes, CEO, The Natural Step Canada. “Through CANZA, the Canadian agri-food industry is poised to lead the way by decarbonizing its value chain, adopting climate-smart farming practices, and increasing the resilience of our agri-food system. It will transform what may seem like a challenge into a remarkable economic opportunity.”

RBC, Loblaw, Maple Leaf Foods, Nutrien, McCain Foods, and BCG Centre for Canada’s Future partnered with The Natural Step Canada, the Smart Prosperity Institute, and the University of Guelph's Arrell Food Institute to launch CANZA. The alliance recognizes the importance of harnessing industry-wide leadership and collaborative partnerships between farmers, governments, and stakeholders across the agri-food ecosystem. CANZA’s launch invites others to join in the effort and help create a prosperous, environmentally responsible future for the Canadian agri-food value chain.

For more information about CANZA and its initiatives, please visit www.canza.ca.

Media Contact
Mac Radburn
Manager, Communications & Outreach
Smart Prosperity Institute

Quotes from CANZA’s Founding Partners 

“Farmers have been embracing climate-smart agricultural practices for decades, but now it’s time for the country to get fully behind them. That means supporting coordinated initiatives that help the agri-food sector reduce emissions and finding more ways to reward farmers for what they preserve, not just what they produce. Our bank is proud to support CANZA and its focused mission to shift from strategy to action on our net-zero transition.”
Dave McKay, President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

“We know that positive change in complex systems is possible, and that the private sector can be a powerful force to support that change. CANZA’s launch demonstrates our belief that together, we can create a net-zero agriculture sector and pave the way for a more sustainable future.”
Galen Weston, President and Chairman, Loblaw Companies Ltd.

"Sustainability is not just a commitment for Maple Leaf Foods, it's our compass, our vision, and our legacy. As the first carbon-neutral major food company in the world, we're not just setting a standard, we're setting an example of what's possible when dedication meets innovation. We’re proud to partner with these incredible organizations to launch CANZA. We recognize the challenges Canada’s agri-food system faces to achieve the bold net-zero food system goal and believe that with the support of an alliance like CANZA, great things are possible together.”
Michael H. McCain, Executive Chair, Maple Leaf Foods

“Feeding, fueling, and clothing the world’s growing population safely and sustainably is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Farmers need innovative and collaborative approaches and policies to support them in leading the next era of sustainable agriculture. At Nutrien, that duty is the heartbeat of our organization. We are proud to serve as a convener, in Canada and around the globe, partnering across the food system to take real action for farmers and our planet.”
Ken Seitz, CEO, Nutrien 

“Environmental stewardship and sustainability are ingrained in our DNA at McCain Foods,” says Max Koeune, President and CEO at McCain Foods. “With regenerative farming practices and more efficient food processing operations, we can transform our agri-food system and build resiliency both throughout the supply chain and on Canadian farms. We’re thrilled to continue our journey towards planet-friendly food alongside like-minded industry organizations to launch CANZA.”

“Canada has an enormous opportunity to boost food production for the world’s growing population while also leading the way towards net zero and a more sustainable agriculture system. BCG’s Centre for Canada’s Future is delighted to work with our public and private partners on this national moonshot.”
Kilian Berz, BCG Managing Director and Chair, BCG Centre for Canada’s Future