Food Policy 101

So just what is food policy?

The fact that all levels of government are involved in food systems often results in a maze of requirements for any individual farm or food processing business. The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council provides education to area residents and local government on food policy. We also support food business owners based in the Central Kootenay in navigating the policy landscape within which their business must operate.

Policy is made up of the values and goals the body in question wants to see guide activities. They guide our activities whether or not we are explicitly aware of them. Each of us draws on our personal food policy every time we eat or procure food. The diagram captures some of the values, in the form of questions, that may guide people’s food choices. The answers to these questions and others form the personal food policy of an individual.

Governments also operate from the basis of values and goals that determine their policy. For local government, one of the goals they wish to achieve is to manage activities so that neighbours can peacefully co-exist. Zoning and business licences are some of the tools they have to achieve that. The provincial government’s connection to food policy has a lot to do with describing and monitoring appropriate procedures and standards that encourage activities that, for instance, will protect the environment, ensure livestock are humanely treated. The federal government’s food policy, like other levels of government, is embedded in many different departments and covers matters like
ensuring that labels on food accurately reflect what is in the product. The diagram below captures some of the policy questions each level of government is tasked with answering. View the printable PDF.

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