Thank you to everyone who participated in our first annual Central Kootenay Farm & Food Directory. Take the online version in your pocket on your smart phone:

The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council is here to serve the region

The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council builds a just, sustainable and prosperous food system in our region by identifying challenges and opportunities and by advocating for effective policy.

The primary functions of the Food Policy Council are:
1.    To serve as a forum for discussing food issues and opportunities;
2.    To foster co-ordination between sectors implicated in food systems;
3.    To evaluate and influence policy,
4.    To discern food systems priorities and;
5.    To launch or support programs and services that address local needs and 
that are not in competition with existing or pending food sector or civil society initiatives.

We are a link between the work in food systems and our local governments.
 We seek to connect and co-ordinate initiatives across the region, reduce redundancy and enhance the impact of human and financial resources invested in food systems and communities in the RDCK.
 Sometimes the Food Policy Council leads but more often we are a catalyst and support for initiatives driven by others. As part of a broader community, we work to foster vibrant and just food systems across the Central Kootenay, where our focus is on ameliorating the policy environment for food production and access in the region.

A policy is the framework within which decisions are made. In a home setting, people decide to eat meat or not, for example, based on their personal food policy. In Local Government, various policies support or hinder thriving food systems and well- nourished people. The Council promotes healthy food system policies.

We are currently implementing two projects:

  1. Regional food guide: coordinate the sub-regional groups who have created food guides in the past and collaborate with a regional publisher to determine a business and distribution model that can be maintained and updated yearly;
  2. A food systems audit for the purpose of determining our current level of self-sufficiency and contribution to the local economy so that we can then set concrete goals and promote policy to achieve those goals.

Other project concepts we may pursue funding for, in partnership with other Central Kootenay organizations, as appropriate, include:

  1. Build community interest in and capacity for policy development: we know that the level of community engagement is low in policy review events such as Official Community Plans. By having the public engage more fully in the development and refinement of land use planning, we can ameliorate the food system of the Central Kootenay;
  2. Create a “domestic navigator program”: commodity producers of food stuffs can have difficulty knowing the requirements and opportunities to direct their product to local markets as opposed to distant bulk options. The Council is exploring, with key area partners, a project that would lower barriers to accessing local markets and help augment local food economies, supply and communal food security in the Central Kootenay.

We want to hear your comments on these project and welcome other suggestions for our work. Please complete this survey.