Sooke Region Food CHI Society continues to work to create more awareness about the myriad issues around food on local, provincial, national and global levels. Here you will find information about current issues as well as ideas to help you take action on the issues and help build a movement for change.
Capital Regional District (CRD) Regional Food & Agriculture Strategy
This summary was prepared using numerous excerpts from the Regional Food and Agriculture Strategy (RFAS) and attempts to reflect its direction and objectives. It has not been endorsed by the CRD and the author accepts responsibility for errors or omissions which inadvertently arise with it.
The CRD has adopted the RFAS as part of the Regional Growth Strategy to assist and guide supportive mechanisms for food and agriculture within its 13 constituent municipalities and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. Its intent is to help connect food, culture, people and the land and to create opportunities for partnerships to address barriers to increasing food production. It acknowledges food and agriculture are interconnected elements in planning for the future in these affected areas and recognizes the central importance of food and agriculture to everyone.
Food and agriculture are acknowledged as being part of a food ‘system’ in the RFAS. It considers all aspects of that system: planting, irrigation, harvesting, processing, distributing, preparing and marketing, consumption, food waste management and soil nutrient management.
Concerns with climate change and changes in energy costs, accessibility to water and thus agricultural production are factors which affect the Regional food system. In order to maximize effective measures to benefit and enhance the Regional food system Actions taken by the CRD to support, benefit and enhance the Regional food system through various services such as water management and drainage, providing Region-wide water service and for organic matter collection and recycling, among others
Although not applicable to First Nations lands, the RFAS acknowledges and respects First Nations’ interests in and concerns for access to healthy and safe food sources. First Nations recognize how traditional foods foster a strong connection between the land and the people throughout all aspects of food culture from cultivation through to consumption and regard the health and quality of food as inseparable from the environment in which it is located. Traditional foods are a central part of Aboriginal communities’ culture and ceremony. First Nations have Douglas Treaty rights “to hunt and fish as formerly” over much of the region and have important traditional knowledge to share.
Regional food and agriculture is fundamental to long-term sustainability, resilience and health and a supportive system from production to waste recovery is necessary for a successful regional food system. The RFAS also recognizes current influences on food production such as the availability of cheap global food, the economically tenuous situation families that farm and produce food are often in, the current provincial agricultural policy framework unable to give preference to food production over other forms of agriculture, limited capacity to undertake regional approaches benefiting food and agriculture and predicted changes in climate, energy costs, water availability and agricultural production, among others.
Although not a solution to all CRD agricultural woes, the RFAS provides a mechanism whereby local food production and its significance connects food, culture, people and the land and to address barriers to increasing food production.
Gerard V. LeBlanc, Board Member
Sooke Region Food CHI