Guest Blog: The Campbell River Food Map Is Connecting Communities

The City of Campbell River’s interactive Food Map promotes the growing, sale, production and consumption of local food products.

About the author: Richard Buchan is currently working for the City of Campbell River’s Sustainability Department as their ‘Food Map and Green Initiatives Coordinator’. He is also an active member of the City’s Corporate Green team and successfully coordinated the development and launch of the City’s Food Map. In addition to his work in Campbell River, Richard has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.

Campbell River and Island Food logoThe City of Campbell River’s Food Map was launched in April 2014 and features hundreds of local products from a wide selection of restaurants, farms and retailers. The Food Map is an interactive online local food directory that helps to showcase the unique flavour of Campbell River and promote the growing, sale, production and consumption of local food products.

The map contains an interactive inventory of local products, which allows users to search for items based on location, seasonal availability, organic certification, pesticide use and more. This inventory can be updated by the retailers listed on the map to help ensure that the information remains current.

The map also contains an inventory of public and private lands that are potentially available for growing food. Both lands available for community projects, such as community gardens, urban orchards and food forests, as well as lands for small-scale food production, such as urban farms and food plots, can be listed in the database. The City has also developed a short video, Harvest Campbell River, which showcases the Food Map and the importance of growing more locally.

Campbell River Food Map screenshotThe Food Map was developed by the City in partnership with the local Chamber of Commerce, and made possible by a grant from the Real Estate Foundation of BC. Background information on this project can be found on the City of Campbell River’s website under Food & Agriculture. Updates on this project and other City initiatives will be posted on the Sustainable Campbell River Facebook page.

The Food Map helps to meet the goals and objectives in the City’s Agriculture Now plan. The Plan identifies local growers, as well as the development of an urban agriculture land inventory and a marketing strategy to promote local agriculture through a ‘"Made in Campbell River" identity. These opportunities will support the long-term community vision of nurturing a local food system in which all residents have access to local, healthy food options and diverse food industry jobs. As part of this 50-year vision, the City has established food capacity targets that aim to increase production to meet 10% of local consumption by 2031 and 50% by 2060. For more information on the Food Map contact: sustainability@campbellriver.ca

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Sustainable Food Systems is one of the Real Estate Foundation's grant program focus areas. Many of our food systems grants are local-scale projects that offer education and tools to help communities develop policies, plans and practices in support of more sustainable food systems. In 2013 we awarded a $12,900 grant to the City of Campbell River to support the development of the Food Map.