Blueberry farm in Mission. (Photo: Picture BC)
The Real Estate Foundation of BC and Vancouver Foundation have released the results of a public opinion study on attitudes toward agriculture and food in BC. The online poll of 1,704 British Columbia residents was conducted in July 2014.
- 95% of respondents say the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) should be preserved for green space and growing food.
- 76% either agree or strongly agree that the ALR is important, not only for protecting farms, but also for protecting valleys and green space needed for wildlife habitat and recreational enjoyment.
- 80% are concerned about dependence on other countries for our food security.
- 73% say the ALR is a cornerstone of food security and the BC economy.
- When asked what priority uses for land in British Columbia were, respondents identified "natural freshwater systems" (83%), closely followed by "farming and growing food" (81%).
The two foundations commissioned the study to inform discussion and decisions on the future of the ALR, a provincial land-use zone that protects farmland and land with potential to be farmed. Both foundations have a province-wide mandate and support projects that promote strong, resilient communities and natural environments.
The Real Estate Foundation is a grantmaker that helps advance sustainable land use in BC. Sustainable Food Systems is one of our three priority granting areas. Our particular interest in this area is land use initiatives that improve food security and the health of local and regional food systems.