Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Calgary Food Policy Council Meeting

Read more! Thank you to everyone who attended the Calgary Food Policy Council Meeting last night.

A very diverse group discussed issues related to the local food system. There was considerable discussion about strategy.

The next meeting is scheduled for 17Nov08. Rob Avis will chair the next meeting. Send agenda submissions to him directly: rob.avis {at} gmail {dot}com

Everyone is welcome!

To subscribe to COMFOOD: http://www.foodsecurity.org/list.html
This list is nothing short of brilliant. over 2000 subscribers.

Link to the Toronto Food Policy Council:

"The TFPC operates as a sub-committee of the Toronto Board of Health. Our members include City Councillors, and volunteer representatives from consumer, business, farm, labour, multicultural, anti-hunger advocacy, faith, and community development groups."

TFPC: "It's the power of ideas, inspired individuals and empowered communities that gives us influence."

The Calgary Food Policy Council url's:

Info on the role of Food Policy Council's and links to related information.

The Calgary Food Policy Council blog

Paul Hughes
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Calgary Food Policy Council

Read more! Calgary Food Policy Council

Welcome to the Calgary Food Policy Council blog.

Poll: Meeting on October 27 or 28 @ 5pm or 7pm @ The Art Gallery of Calgary... go to CFPC site to vote: http://calgaryfoodpolicy.blogspot.com/

Calgary Food Policy Council on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23936079065

Calgary Food Charter on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38897269812

CFPC Agenda (as of 13Oct08)
1. Welcome from Director
2. CFPC Objectives: Open Discussion
3. Urban Farming in Calgary
4. Chickens
5. Health Authority
6. Calgary Board of Education
7. Delegation to the City of Calgary
8. Committees
9. Governance
10. New Business
11. Adjourn

Agenda submissions invited. Email to paul@earthsofft.com

There will be many positions available for those so motivated...
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Winston Churchill

Hope to see lots of you out to the meeting. Bring your ideas.

~Towards a just and sustainable food system for Calgary~

CFPC advises on food system matters. CFPC mandate is to work with community groups to help solve the hunger problem, work with food companies to foster more nutritious products and services, and work with farmers to develop environmentally and socially sustainable growing systems.

What is a Food Policy Council?

Food Policy Councils (FPCs) are comprised of individuals from all aspects of a local food system. They are often officially sanctioned through a government action such as a City Council motion or they can ALSO be a grassroots effort. A Food Policy Council is an innovative collaboration between citizens and government officials. The goal is to provide a forum for advocacy and policy development that works towards the creation of a food system that is ecologically sustainable, economically viable and socially just. The primary goal of many Food Policy Councils is to examine the operation of a local food system and provide ideas and policy recommendations for how it can be improved.

Why create a Food Policy Council?

There are many reasons why local officials may want to create a FPC. The most significant may be to broaden the discussion of issues beyond agricultural production to enter into a more comprehensive examination of a food system. Due to multi-stakeholder nature of a Food Policy Council, a wide range of ideas and expertise can contribute to the creation of food policy.

The creation of a FPC can provide an opportunity for a focused examination of how local government actions shape the food system. It can also create a forum in which people involved in all different parts of the food system and government can meet to learn more about what each does—and to consider how their individual actions impact other parts of the food system.

What can a Food Policy Council do that is not already being done in government?

Food Policy Councils can bring a wide range of interests and voices together which do not typically work directly with each other

Food Policy Councils can examine issues which often go unexamined; such as the effectiveness of food assistance programs and the causes of hunger in a society

Food Policy Councils can enter into a more comprehensive approach to analyzing food system issues. Since members come from all sectors of the food system, they are able to recognize the interrelation between different parts of the food system and the need for coordination and integration of actions if policy goals are to be achieved. For example, if a key objective is to increase markets for locally produced food, a FPC can play a role to consider how decisions at all levels of a food system—not just farmers or governmental officials—but also food buyers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers must also be considered in the equation.

They might:

* Help bring grocery stores or food cooperatives into areas that have none
* Work on farm to school programs to bring farm fresh food from local farmers into schools
* Get laws passed to allow residents to keep chickens for food
* Work to get farmers' markets to accept alternative forms of payment
* Change government purchasing rules so they give preference to local farmers over out of province food suppliers
* Work to preserve farmland from development into subdivisions
* Link up land owners with wannabe-farmers who can farm their land
* Reconnect with sustainable practices of First Nation's Peoples
* Survey food prices in different stores so people can compare prices without driving around
* Remove junk food from schools
* Prevent the city from selling ads for junk on the side of city busses
* Improve access to school breakfast

Calgary Food Policy Council defines our purpose as:

* Develop, coordinate, and implement a food system policy.
* Connect economic development, food security efforts, preservation and enhancement of agriculture, and environmental concerns.
* Ensure universal access to healthy and affordable food for all citizens.
* Support development and expansion of locally produced food.
* Review proposed legislation affecting the food system.
* Make recommendations to the government leadership.
* Employ research and information gathering, policy analysis, and public education methods.
* Serve as a public forum for a discussion of key food system issues.