Food security -
growing and supporting a resilient community
Food security means that ALL members of our community have access to enough nutritious, safe, ecologically sustainable and culturally appropriate food at all times.
Local food production enriches our local economy by helping our neighbours support themselves and keeping the money circulating here. A dollar spent on local food generates twice as much income in our economy as a dollar spent on food that's trucked, ferried or flown in.
Local food production also promotes food security. Our food supply is safer when more of it is grown locally. It's less vulnerable to the rising cost of oil, extreme weather, or crop failures in other parts of the world. North Cowichan has leased for a nominal fee, land to Cowichan Green Community, where they have set up and operating seed farm. CGC has recently started a new program, getting foods that would otherwise go to the wastestream into the hands of local people who need it. And Council through its Climate Action and Energy Plan reserve fund just gave $ 20,000 to CGC towards an agricultural loan library, which is designed to help emerging farmers grow local food affordably. CVRD recently donated through its Ec Dev department a similar amount to partner with Young Agrarians and the Province on a land matching pilot, designed to match emerging farmers with landowners who are unable to farm their land, but would like to see it in production.
I support the Cowichan Food Charter and encourage people to buy local food when they can, and try their hand at growing some of their own.
- Explore making municipally-owned ALR land available on affordable long-term leases to people who want to produce food.
- Work for regulations that allow people to process what they grow here, creating value-added products.
- Support homeowner's efforts to grow some of their own food.
- Review zoning for more local food production.
- Zone for community gardens, so that people without land can have a hand in growing.
- Support fair water policies for agricultural use.