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TORONTO, July 30, 2018 – Restaurants Canada, the largest association representing Canadian businesses in the foodservice sector, is calling on everyone across the country and beyond to join in this year’s celebration of Food Day Canada on Saturday, Aug. 4.

“With all the uncertainty surrounding international trade relations, this harvest season is an especially important time for all of us to come together in support of Canadian food,” said Shanna Munro, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada. “We are extremely proud of our partnership with Food Day Canada. The work they are doing to promote Canadian terroir is not only putting Canada on menus here at home and around the world, but is also putting our country on the map as a destination for culinary tourism.”

Started 15 years ago by Anita Stewart, an educator and writer who has been advocating on behalf of Canadian cuisine for decades, Food Day Canada / Journée des terroirs is a mid-summer day of action that gives Canadians a platform to share their distinct and diverse culinary culture with each other and the world.

“It began as the World’s Longest Barbeque in the summer of 2003, as an act of solidarity with cattle farmers across the country who were suffering under a worldwide ban on Canadian beef exports,” said Stewart. “Our actions here at home helped put Canadian beef back on plates around the world: The first person to light up a grill was in Japan, then the event followed the sun until it ended in Victoria, British Columbia. From the embers of that success, Food Day Canada was born.”

Canada is the world’s fifth largest exporter of agriculture products, which means Canadian farming communities largely depend on foreign markets for their livelihood. Food Day Canada challenges Canadians to help increase appetites for Canadian cuisine around the world by celebrating their local heroes and the unique food they produce.

Joining in is easy. Here are some ways the team behind Food Day Canada has made it simple to shop like a Canadian, cook like a Canadian and eat like a Canadian:

As inspiration for foodservice professionals interested in participating, Restaurants Canada is profiling Canadian chefs who are taking part in Food Day Canada at http://www.menumag.ca/.

After the annual event comes to a close on Aug. 4, Restaurants Canada will continue to work with Anita Stewart and the team behind Food Day Canada to educate foodservice operators about ways to keep Canadian ingredients on their menus all year round.

Quick facts

  • According to Statistics Canada, approximately one fifth of spending ($3.8 billion) by international travellers in Canada is on food and beverages.
  • Canada's food service industry generates $85 billion in annual sales and employs more than 1.2 million Canadians.
  • Canada's restaurants provide more first jobs than any other industry: 22 percent of Canadians get their career start in a restaurant or food service business.
  • In 2016, Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector employed 2.3 million people, representing 12.5% of Canadian employment.

SOURCE: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada