Local Food Action Plan goes to the Park Board on July 8

Another exciting milestone for food policy is upon on us. As many of you may already know, on July 8 at 7pm the Local Food Action Plan developed by the Local Food Assets Task Force will going to the Park Board for consideration.

It would be great to have as many people out as possible, both speaking and simply in attendance, to show support. The report and draft plan will be available on the Park Board’s website by Tuesday, July 2 at noon.

(from the Park Board’s recent Strategic Plan)

 

July 10 VFPC meeting on Indigenous Food Sovereignty

On this very proud day for our city when Mayor Gregor Robertson proclaimed June 21st, 2013 to June 20th, 2014 as the “Year of Reconciliation” we would like to invite you to a potluck dinner, presentation and discussion on Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Vancouver and the bioregion hosted by the Vancouver Food Policy Council and the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (http://www.indigenousfoodsystems.org/about). Click here for a pdf of the poster and agenda with more details.

Happy Meatless Monday Vancouver!

The Vancouver Food Policy Council is excited to let you know that the City of Vancouver has proclaimed Monday June 10th, 2013 as Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday comes to Vancouver

Meatless Monday comes to Vancouver

While livestock can be good for environments and meat can be good for health, she said, too much is bad for the planet and public health.

We’re grateful to see the City, and our liaison Councillor Heather Deal, willing to get behind this initiative. Vancouver is the first Canadian city to take this step.

How can you get involved?

This proclamation is a chance to celebrate and educate! Whether you are a solo citizen wanting to host a potluck or a community organization with a goal to educate about a plant based diet, we want to hear what you’ve got planned!

Dinner ideas aplenty are coming in!

Here are a couple ideas:

If you’d like to cook at home tonight http://www.bcliving.ca/food/recipes-meatless-monday

Or, if dining out if how you’d like to celebrate  http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2013/06/06/5-ways-to-celebrate-meatless-monday-in-vancouver/

Or, if you’d like to curl up with a book, Mark Bittman’s new book VB6 is an interesting take on how to reduce meat consumption http://markbittman.com/book/vb6/

Municipal Food Policy: New Report Released

 

Over 64 municipal and regional governments across Canada are using a food systems approach to improve health, generate economic development, address environmental sustainability, and engage communities.

The report “Municipal Food Policy Entrepreneurs: A preliminary analysis of how Canadian cities and regional districts are involved in food systems change,” is the first scan of municipal and regional food policy development in Canada. It reveals that a growing number of communities right across the country have launched food charters, food strategies and action plans, and created food policy councils.

“We were surprised by the number of municipal governments involved in food policy work,” states Lauren Baker, food policy coordinator with the Toronto Food Policy Council at Toronto Public Health. “Municipalities are finding creative ways to improve people’s lives through the way they manage a broad array of food priorities.”

While municipal and regional governments have limited jurisdictional authority over the food system, many are springing into action on the food front. They are bringing together diverse sectors to stimulate the local food economy and generate more jobs, but also to address significant food issues such as agricultural land loss, climate change, food poverty, food affordability, and public health problems associated with inadequate or poor quality diets.

“The activity of food policy councils is clearly visible in almost every major city in Canada”, states Vancouver Food Policy Council member Joanne Bays. “Gardens and urban farms are sprouting in backyards, boulevards, rooftops and parking lots. Farmers markets, food vending carts, and food hubs are bustling businesses. And increasingly foods from nearby farms and oceans are found on the retail shelf and on our plates in restaurants, schools and hospitals.”

The research shows that Canada’s municipal food initiatives have varied governance structures. Some are formally linked to municipal departments; others have less formal structures and funding mechanisms, and some are largely volunteer-driven. The rate of growth of this food policy work has increased exponentially since 2005 and the most significant nodes of food policy activity exist in the provinces of British Columbia, and Ontario.

Given the increasing number and diversity of food policy initiatives, and the potential economic, environmental, social and cultural impact of these initiatives, the report recommends that the time is ripe to take a more systematic approach to documenting and evaluating their role and success. Further, it recommends the establishment of a national network to share best practices across municipalities, and to further efforts to clarify how governments at various jurisdictional levels can best support these efforts.

”With some 80% of Canadians living in urban communities, we need to understand how cities are creating change through food initiatives,” notes David McInnes at the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute. “Clearly municipalities are embracing food as a catalyst – to spur economic activity across supply chains, to improve the health of its residents and to respond to sustainability objectives, among other priorities.”

The report was prepared by researchers at York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, Rod MacRae and Kendal Donahue, and involved a diverse array of food policy organizations and advisors from across the country.

The information collected through this research will be available on this webpage shortly. If we missed your Canadian municipal food policy initiative, please send it to us and we’ll include it as part of this resource.