The Good Food Network is a large umbrella network that brings together many individuals and organizations seeking positive food system change. It is meant to be open and inclusive, with members ranging from food- and farm-related organizations and businesses to government, health promoting agencies, academia, and other practitioners who are connecting to work towards a healthy and sustainable regional food system. Interested in finding out more about what's going on around local food in the region? Register your organization or become an individual member.
This network focuses on the wide range of school-based initiatives that link students to food growing activities and healthier food in schools. The group is made up of parents, teachers, students, and school board officials who are interested in moving forward a wide range of programs in schools from lunch programs, to school gardens, to farm intern experiences. To learn more, join the network or attend our next meeting send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the years there have been various incarnations of a regional food policy body, bringing together experts to promote a food and agriculture friendly policy environment in the Capital Region District (CRD). Recently, the CRD has pulled together an ad hoc Food Strategy Working Group to advise on the development of the Regional Food Strategy within the Regional Sustainability Planning Process. The region is now moving towards a more formalized Food and Agriculture Advisory that operates under the CRD. Contact Jeff Weightman for more information.
There are a number of farm organizations in the region including the Southern Vancouver Island Direct Farm Marketers Association, the Island Organic Producers Association, and 4H. Farmer2Farmer is another initiative, coordinated by CRFAIR, that brings farmers of all stripes together – local people, local issues, and local solutions! Farmer2Farmer is overseen by an advisory that includes representatives from many different farm and farm-related organizations. It provides networking and learning opportunities for farmers and food producers in the region through an annual conference, farm tours, and trade shows. In addition, there is a Farmer2Farmer communications network list and mentor pool available through the Farmer2Farmer website.
There are many agencies that fund food systems, health, and agriculture initiatives in the region. In an effort to better understand the issues, increase efficiency, decrease duplication, and support more strategic and coordinated investment in the region many of these funders have come together to develop a food funder network. For more information contact Carol Hall at the Victoria Foundation.
Our region's Food Literacy Working group was initiated by community nutritionists, community food organizations, the CRFAIR Food Literacy Coordinator, and a group of supportive funders who banded together with academics and researchers to complete a series of studies targeting increased understanding of the current state of food literacy in the region. For more information, contact us.
The Food Share Network is an innovative umbrella that enhances food security in the Capital Region through collaboration and cooperation among food banks, community centres, donors and other participating organizations. The network is emerging as a response to the challenges of coordination in meeting the needs of people accessing food banks and meal services. To learn more read the Food Share Action Plan
The Flavour Trails Advisory is made up of local governments, food, agriculture, and tourism industry representatives, communications experts, and local food enthusiasts. The group has been successful in fulfilling its goal of promoting local farms and the scope of work continues to expand as the Flavour Trails has grown from a standalone weekend of activities in North Saanich to a season of linked regional events. Check out the Flavour Trails website to learn more.
We are blessed to have an active community of chefs in our region who do outstanding work to support local farmers and grow the local food scene. The Island Chefs Collaborative (ICC) is a group of like-minded chefs and food and beverage professionals with a common interest in regional food security, the preservation of farmland and the development of local food systems. Check out their fundraising events, where participants get to eat delicious food and help fund local farms with every ticket purchased. To learn more: www.iccbc.ca
CRFAIR is one of the Island Health Food Security Hubs working to support information sharing, networking, collaboration, and policy development around healthy food systems in the region. There are over five hubs on Vancouver Island that are connected to and supported by Island Health. We are working with the Island Food Security Hubs across Vancouver Island to develop an Island Food Charter. To find out more: www.viha.ca/mho/food/food_security/VIHA+Food+Security+Hubs.htm