In the last 50 years, Canada's food system has come to be all about efficiency, quantity, and economy - not health, employment, environment, and self-reliance. The response of our communities to this threat, while admirable, is wholly unequal to its magnitude.
As a special food system issue of the Centre for Community Enterprise's (CCE's) quarterly Making Waves, Canada's community economic development publication invites readers to identify the real issues, the real opportunities, the real difficulties - and to start building a real food system.
The edition is titled Growing Hope, and will act as a resource to stimulate discussion on the National Practitioners Dialogue - a web board "discussion" designed to gather input from now until March 2007. This discussion will be melded into a draft agri-food policy document to be distributed for comment to web-board participants, Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) members and members of allied community networks across Canada. From this feedback, a polished draft will be debated at the CCEDNet conference in April 2007 in St. John's Newfoundland with other national stakeholders in attendance. The final version will be promoted by CCEDNet and partner organizations in the national dialogue process to take place in Canada in 2007 running up to new Agricultural Policy Framework legislation expected in 2008.
This project represents the future of sustainable agriculture and food policy in Canada.
Frank Moreland and Sandra Mark - Edible Strategies Enterprises Ltd. (ESEL) (Fanny Bay, BC) - ESEL is a consultancy specializing in the application of community economic development to issues of local food sustainability. Both Frank and Sandra appeared as guests on the inaugural broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner in January, 2006.
Herb Barbolet - Associate, Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) (Vancouver, BC) - The CSCD is a teaching and research unit of Simon Fraser University, established in 1989. The Centre uses the resources and talents of the University to teach and encourage accountable and sustainable community development. As Associate since 2003, Herb has co-authored food assessment studies for provincial health authorities and a guide to food assessments for the provincial health services authority. Herb farmed organically for ten years and was co-founder of FarmFolk/CityFolk, a nonprofit that works to create local, sustainable food systems. He appears frequently on radio, in print, and on television. He remains an active food consultant.
Colleen Ross - Women's President, National Farmers' Union (NFU) (Iroquois, Ontario) - Members of the NFU believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada. Colleen farms near Iroquois, Ontario.
Michael Heasman - Founder/Editor, Food for Good (Winnipeg, Manitoba) - Michael Heasman is a researcher and communicator on food policy specializing in food and health, social responsibility, and corporate activity. He is the founder and editor of Food for Good, a business newsletter that tracks and promotes a critical understanding of corporate citizenship and sustainable food business. In addition to Food Wars, he is co-author of The Functional Foods Revolution: Healthy People, Healthy Profits? and Consumption in the Age of Affluence: the World of Food.