Table Matters Network: North Shore Food Charter and Food Policy Council
In recent months and years, municipal councils have seen an increasing number of delegations and had requests from a range of community groups around food ranging from community gardens, to bees, to urban farms to municipal green waste. CNV Council has committed to developing a Food Security and Urban Agriculture Strategy – we would like to support this process and assist the city in meeting this commitment.
NS Table Matters is a network of people interested in urban agriculture, food security and sustainable food systems on the North Shore. We support the adoption of a North Shore Food Charter and the creation of a North Shore Food Policy Advisory Council to support the development of effective and comprehensive food policy on the North Shore.
The Table Matters Network brings together people from the community, local businesses, local government, community organizations, schools and are contributing to growing a sustainable food system on the North Shore. We hope to broaden the discussion around food from a focus simply on urban agriculture to include all aspects of the food system (i.e. procurement, waste, transportation, local processing, access).
Food Policy Council
A Food Policy Council is made up of stakeholders from across the food system that can provide policy recommendations, feedback and take action in the community. It is an effective way for north shore municipal staff to get the support and input on policies under development, and in other jurisdictions has proven to be a very productive group of volunteers and a great opportunity for civic engagement. Creating a food policy council or advisory body is an effective, low cost way to ensure that North Shore municipalities are moving forward effectively in this new policy area.
Currently, there are 25 municipalities across the country that have created advisory bodies around food to help municipalities move forward in this emerging area. (see attached paper by Wendy Mendes for additional information on Food Policy Councils)
A Food Charter is a high level policy tool that combines a vision statement, principals and broad action goals that guides future policy work. Having a shared statement across North Shore Municipalities will provide a strong framework to support the innovative work already happening in this sector. (see City of Vancouver Food Charter, attached)
Both establishing a North Shore Food Policy Council and developing a North Shore Food Charter would also support the work happening around the Metro Vancouver Food Policy Document while at the same time helping the municipality to achieve commitments that have already been made.