Assessing the Role of Competitiveness in Shaping Policy Choices: A Canadian Perspective
This chapter reviews the Canadian government’s initiative to foster improved competitiveness in the economy in general and the agri-food sector in particular and discusses the forces giving rise to this initiative. An attempt is made to illustrate the contribution of competitiveness in shaping policy choices. Improving competitiveness brings a new and perhaps more applied perspective to the debate on agri-food policy change. Development of the social and economic environment in which Canada’s agri-food sector can best realize its competitive capability, internationally, will require substantive shifts in attitudes and approaches. Public research and technology transfer efforts in Canada focus on environmental sustainability, food safety, food and non-food product diversification, improved production practices and methods, and application of new technologies. The structure and performance of the agri-food sector in Canada reflect policies, institutions, and attitudes that have evolved over many years.