Local Food Council to Support Growth in Sector6 months ago -
Applications are now open for Alberta’s first ever Local Food Council. The aim of the council will be to provide recommendations on provincial policies, programs, pilot projects or initiatives to support the continued growth and sustainability of Alberta’s local food sector.
Recruiting a Local Food Council is the first step in implementing the Supporting Alberta’s Local Food Sector Act that was passed on May 30.
“Our government is stepping up to show support for this industry and the people who put food on our table,” said Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. “The Supporting Alberta’s Local Food Sector Act and our new Local Food Council will give a voice to this growing industry by helping it find new markets, create new jobs and further diversify the provincial economy.”
The council will have broad representation from Alberta’s local food sector across the province, including small producers and processors and those with specialized and academic knowledge, and would report to the minister within one year.
“Urban farming is one way to reconnect people with their food and how it’s grown,” said Dennis Scanland, Calgary urban farmer, Dirt Boys, president of YYC Growers and Distributors, co-founder of SunnyCider. “Local food is about accessibility and being invested in the land, your food and your community. We need to start conversations about local food production, break down some of the perceived barriers for people to get involved and engage citizens.”
Members will be selected from a public recruitment process, which is now open on the Alberta public agency board opportunities website. Stakeholders with an interest or knowledge of the local food sector are encouraged to apply. Applications close July 12.
The legislation requires the council to examine:
- Potential barriers and challenges for local food producers and local food processors, including specific challenges faced by small producers and processors.
- Local food aggregation and distribution.
- Risk-management tools for local food producers and processors.
- Increasing access to local food.
- Consumer awareness of local food.
- Certification opportunities for local food producers and local food processors.
Source: Government of Alberta