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Evidence-based Food systems policy development project

We all know things are changing – the weather is weird any time of the year; spring freshets are not happening the way they used to and are having an impact on water levels and flooding; increased heat and wildfire smoke is affecting livestock, tree fruit and crops. What does all this mean for our region’s food systems and how might local government planning processes and documents be adapted to accommodate the changes so that our food systems can continue to be viable and thrive?

The Evidence-based policy development project proposes to answer these questions over an 18 month, phased project. In collaboration with the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre, the Rural Development Institute, and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the Council will lead an analysis of geospatial data about our region to identify what factors support and which ones hinder viable, vibrant food systems. The outcomes of this research will be used to create an evidence-base for future policy development on matters like set-backs from changing waterways, for better understanding where land suitable for agriculture is also most affordable to assist new farmers getting onto the land, or to flag which farming communities are most at risk from wildfire or flooding.

The project will also include the creation and delivery of educational programming to help students and adults in the region to demystify public policy and encourage effective public participation in creating policy that will foster food security in our region. The goal of the project is to take policy development out of the realm of either ad hoc or current hot button issues and create a clear evidence base for change that will best serve the communities and land base of the Central Kootenay for the long-term.

This project is made possible with funding from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. The Evidence-based Policy Development Project is made possible with funding from the Columbia Basin Trust. The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council also acknowledges the support of the the following RDCK Directors: Garry Jackman, Aimee Watson, Ramona Faust, Tom Newell, Hans Cunningham, Walter Popoff, and Paul Peterson.

Regional Farm & Food Directory – at a location near you!

The print version of the annual Central Kootenay Farm & Food Directory can be found throughout the Central Kootenay beginning in May of each year – look for it at farmers markets, in your local library, locally owned food stores and restaurants, and tourist information centres.

The web-based version of the Directory is available year round. It works on all sizes of devices so you can take it with you on your phone when you are out and about, or browse through it more thoroughly on a larger screen at home.  Explore the abundance of good food and amazing entrepreneurs to be found in the Central Kootenay!

If you run a farm or food processing business in the Central Kootenay, you can list your business for free in the Directory of Farms and Food in the Central Kootenay. A Guide has been created to help navigate creating an account and entering your information. To enter your business in the Directory, go here and look for the Register link in the top right hand corner. If you are returning to update your entry, click on the Log In link.

We want to hear from residents of Central Kootenay! What are you working on? And what do you want the Food Policy Council to work on? Help us determine the work ahead by taking this survey.

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