Farmland in Delta, BC. Credit: Picture BC, Flickr.
Last week, the Sustainable Food Systems Working Group (SFSWG) and REFBC hosted the first in a series of three webinars exploring potential solutions to boost the production and consumption of local food in British Columbia.
Identifying priority actions for local and sustainable food systems, featured two speakers: Rebeca Salpeter, Policy Analyst at the BC Ministry of Agriculture, and Brent Mansfield, Director of the BC Sustainable Food Systems Network. David Hendrickson, REFBC Grants Manager, was moderator.
Rebecca Salpeter provided an overview of the Province’s Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan, which sets the goal to increase BC agrifood and seafood sector revenues to $15 billion per year by 2020. The plan outlines 20 actions to increase production, drive competitiveness and build markets, within BC and internationally.
Brent Mansfield discussed how the Ministry’s plan and the SFSWG’s Finding Common Ground Forum in November 2015 both recognize the importance of partnerships and cross-sector collaboration. Adapting BC’s food systems will require input and support from leaders from all components of the food industry, including non-governmental organizations, academics, funders and various levels of government.
These actions can potentially dovetail nicely into coordinated approach from government, civil society and industry. The Finding Common Ground Summit hosted by the SFSWG will take place in Vancouver on May 4, 5 2016.
The areas of focus will include:
- Increasing production through protecting and increasing access to agricultural land
- Training and support for new entrants
- Building domestic markets through institutional procurement and local value chains
We apologize for the poor sound quality for many participants during the webinar. We are selecting a new webinar service delivery provider to ensure a high quality experience for future webinar presentations. Copies of the presentations are available for download at the links below.
Our next webinar on April 21 from 12:00 to 1:00pm is with Erica Campbell from the Vermont Farm to Plate initiative. Erica will speak about how Vermont has brought together farmers, food producers, educators, non-profits, funders and government officials to implement collective actions for local food systems.
We expect this event to reach capacity! Register now on Eventbrite.