Local Food Production
June 7, 2011
One of the key factors in maintaining a healthy Metro Vancouver is to ensure we can produce the food we need here in the region. High fuel costs drive up the cost of food that must be shipped here from around the world. In addition, climate change is affecting the quality and quantity of crops in many areas making certain food items very expense if they can even be found in some markets.
We are fortunate to have excellent farm land and farmers right here in our backyards. In addition to being able to farm a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs, we also have a number of local producers such as bakers, wineries, cheese makers, as well as beef, pork and chicken/egg farmers.
Commercial food production is extremely important and we should all be supporting local growers and producers but there is a growing movement in Metro Vancouver towards urban farming — this type of food production takes place in backyards, community gardens and even on unused public green space.
At Vancity, we feel so strongly about local food production that we have made it one of our focus areas. We invest in members that produce, process, distribute and promote local and organic food and that reach local consumers by selling or serving this food. Not only do we want these members to have successful businesses, but we want to support a food system based on local and organic foods that contribute to:
– a sustainable and healthier environment by protecting the diversity of both plants and animals, sustaining agricultural lands, reducing our carbon footprint and avoiding damage to our natural resources
– improving our individual health through increasing access to better quality, safer and more nutritious food for all residents
– building a stronger and more resilient local economy that is less reliant on foreign markets for our food