16 May 2013

Vancouver food strategy emphasises sustainability, social justice

A new food strategy designed to create a just and sustainable food system is being implemented in the City of Vancouver (Canada). The strategy aims to make nutritious, locally produced food easily accessible to all members of the community, and to revaluate the way in which food is grown and distributed. It is expected that the strategy will positively contribute to the city’s social, environmental, economic, and health goals.

Amongst other initiatives, the strategy encourages the use of urban streetscapes for food production, promoting a shift from ornamental to edible plant life. The strategy also aims to involve communities in the food system to a greater degree. Current food distribution channels are to be reassessed, with an emphasis on local markets as an alternative to large scale supermarkets. A reduction in food waste is also foreseen as part of the strategy, as is an increase in the beneficial reuse of discarded food.

The city will achieve its aims through legal changes, updating land regulation policies, organising grant programmes, and through partnering with relevant community organisations. Vancouver has also adopted a corporate procurement policy that embeds sustainability and ethical considerations into the procurement process. To be considered, suppliers must meet the city's minimum requirements related to ethical, social, and environmental standards as set out in the Vancouver Supplier Code of Conduct.

For more information, click here.