About the VFPC

The Vancouver Food Policy Council (VFPC) is an official civic agency of the City of Vancouver.  Find out more by browsing the sections below.

The Vancouver Food Policy Council (VFPC) is a civic agency that 

  • Supports the development of just and sustainable food systems in alignment with the Vancouver Food Charter, UNDRIP Strategy, and Equity Frameworks;
  • Advises Council and staff on policies and plans affecting the food system (including the Vancouver Food Strategy and others) as they are developed, implemented, and updated;
  • Works collaboratively with counterparts from other civic agencies to identify opportunities for joint action on issues of mutual interest;
  • Works co-operatively with external agencies and groups whose activities affect constituent communities; and
  • Engages in outreach to disseminate information and encourage participation from constituent communities.

This includes advising on the implementation of the Vancouver Food Strategy, and the development and implementation of food policy in other City Plans, Strategies, bylaws, and programs.

We are comprised of city-appointed, passionate people from various sectors of the food system (find out more about us here!). We function as a bridge between citizens and civic officials, coming together to work on food policy initiatives that benefit all Vancouverites. The VFPC meets regularly at City Hall to discuss and make recommendations to affect changes to current food policy, hear presentations by community groups engaged in food issues, and support new policy development related to the food system.

For more details on our mandate and scope, please review our current Terms of Reference.

The VFPC has a maximum of 21 voting members. Members participate on the VFPC as individuals rather than representing an affiliated organization, business, etc.

Like all Civic Agencies, VFPC members are appointed by City Council. Appointments are made in accordance with the Diversity on Advisory Bodies Policy (which requires that advisory bodies be comprised of a membership of at least 50% people from equity-seeking groups and 50% people who self-identify as women) and the composition criteria related to food systems expertise and lived experience. This criteria was originally proposed by a VFPC working group who considered the topic in depth during the 2016-2017 VFPC term. At the October 2018 meeting, the VFPC passed a motion recommending to City Council that this criteria be formally adopted. In February 2023, City Council adopted an updated VFPC Terms of Reference (see p.47 of this report) that formalized this membership composition criteria.

The current membership composition criteria are as follows:

  1. 21 members of the public (quorum is a majority of appointed members)
  2. The composition of members should demonstrate a balance of the following areas of expertise (including professional, volunteer, education, research, and/or lived experience):
    • Production;
    • Processing and Distribution
    • Retail;
    • Food Security, including Financial Accessibility and Availability;
    • Food Waste;
    • Indigenous Food Sovereignty;
    • Resilience;
    • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  3. The composition of members shall include a minimum of 12 members who self-identify with the following lived experiences (at least two members within each category). If these criteria are not able to be met, vacancies will be held until recruitment achieves this composition:
    • Indigenous Peoples
    • 2SLGBTQ+
    • Persons of Colour/Racialized Communities
    • Persons with Disabilities
    • Older Persons and Elders (age 65+)
    • Young Adults (age 19 – 25 at time of appointment)
  4. The following will be appointed from and by the membership to a term of 1 or 2 years:
    • 1 Chair
    • Optional: 1 Vice-Chair
    • Optional: 1 designated note-taker
  5. The following non-voting members will also be appointed (non-voting members do not count for quorum):
    • 1 or 2 Council liaisons (appointed by Mayor)
    • 1 or 2 City staff liaisons (appointed by City Manager)
    • Optionally, up to 3 from the following: 1 Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioner liaison and/or staff liaison; 1 Vancouver School Board Trustee liaison; 1 Vancouver Public Library staff liaison; 1  Vancouver Police Department staff liaison (appointed by Council)

Visit the City of Vancouver's Vancouver Food Policy Council page to see the current members and staff liaisons.

Much of the VFPC’s work is completed by Working Groups (WGs), which are sub-committees that tackle specific food-policy projects that are within the scope of our Terms of Reference.

Some of our WGs are ad-hoc (they form for a limited time to address a specific, time-sensitive issue) and others are more long-standing. WGs can include some or all of the members of the VFPC, in addition to members of the public. They meet monthly, or as-needed, outside of our regular council meetings. WGs do not make any independent decisions or take action, rather, they report out to the full VFPC at regular monthly meetings where any action oriented decisions are made by the whole council.

Working Group membership is open to the public. If you are interested in getting involved with one of the WGs, contact us to find out if new members are currently being accepted, what commitment is required, and when the next meeting is.

2023-2024 Working Groups will be identified once the new term gets underway.