Thursday, January 12, 2012

Calgary Food Policy Council ideas finally implemented by New Food Committee

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The Calgary Food Policy Council has been a collective effort since its inception in the fall of 2008. Some 300 people have taken part in an event, meeting, garden or other initiative over the past 3+ years.

After 3 years of lobbying city hall, meetings with almost every alderman, notices of motion and numerous meetings with city employees in an effort to create awareness about the importance of a Land Inventory & Food Assessment (LIFA), a food assessment was finally launched today.

The Calgary Food Policy Council worked hard over the years to encourage the city to respond to, and accept, its imagineCalgary food targets and to embrace a global movement towards local, sustainable, urban food systems. It now seems those early pioneering efforts are finally paying off.

Make no mistake, almost every single item and innovation within the present City of Calgary food agenda was originally introduced by the Calgary Food Policy Council. The Calgary Food Policy Council hosted the 2009 Calgary Food Summit, the 1st ever gathering of Calgarians around the issue of Food Policy, an event instrumental in planting the seeds of the current food assessment process.

Calgary Food Policy Council founder, Paul Hughes, also met with Aldermen, urging council to adopt a city wide food policy for all Calgarians. This resulted in the 1st ever Notice of Motion on Food Policy in Calgary's history, back in December, 2009.

It was also Paul Hughes and the Calgary Food Policy Council which introduced the 1st ever motion to create a Land Inventory Food Assessment group, in February 2011, for the benefit of all Calgarians. That motion created the present day Calgary Food Committee and 1st ever Food Assessment.

The roots of a Calgary Food Policy were planted not just by the pioneers who were challenged by their access to food 150 years ago, but by the present day members of the Calgary Food Policy Council, who committed 100's of volunteer hours towards creating a superior understanding of the importance of a resilient, sustainable, local and vibrant food system that should, and hopefully will, benefit each and every Calgarian. Certainly, credit where credit is due is in order for all the hard work of the Calgary Food Policy Council.

We wish Carolyn Bowen, Evelyn Wooley and the Calgary Food Committee all the best with the future of local food in Calgary. As we all know, this is only the tip of the iceberg lettuce...