Local Food in Saskatchewan - Barriers and Opportunities
Fletcher, Amber J.
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Saskatchewan agriculture is heavily focused on export, which has led to a relatively underdeveloped local food system compared to other parts of Canada. Key reasons for the province’s strong export orientation include export-oriented policies dating back to the establishment of commercial agriculture in the late 1800s and continuing today (Fowke 1957; Government of Saskatchewan 2017), in addition to geographic and climatic factors such as Saskatchewan’s high land-to-population ratio, dispersed rural population, semi-arid climate, and long, cold winters. Contemporary agriculture in Saskatchewan is highly industrialized and centred on large-scale production of grain and oilseed crops, cattle, and other livestock. In the unique context of Saskatchewan, farmers wishing to sell their products in local markets face specific challenges that may not exist in other Canadian regions, such as southern Ontario or British Columbia (e.g., Newman et al. 2015; Telfer 2008; Statistics Canada 2017b).