People interested in learning more about sustainable food systems in Northwest B.C. have an opportunity to hear from experts from across the province.
The Northwest BC Food Action Network is hosting a solutions-oriented summit called ‘Food, Glorious, Food’ in Terrace from April 5-6. The event offers a line-up of speakers and sponsors with diverse professional backgrounds and perspectives, who will highlight and explain the importance of food security in local communities.
Subjects include the role of small-scale farming, nutrition links to chronic illnesses, the impacts of resource development, and food waste recovery, among others. The forum will also include workshops, networking events, and inspirational talks.
While there can be challenges to successful farming in the north and across BC, at the same time farming seems to be gaining in popularity.
BC Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham noted BC farm gate sales, where farmers sell their produce directly to the consumer, are up by more than four per cent year-to-year and valued at around $3 billion. Food processing sectors with direct connection to farmers have created more than 30,000 jobs in BC and nearly $10 billion in annual sales, according to NWBC Food Action Network press release.
“The potential to grow this sector is Northwest BC is undeniable, and local economic development officers will give a keynote presentation on the most viable opportunities for our region to grow the local food supply chain,” the release reads.
Local growers in Terrace met for a farmers’ meet and greet for the first time earlier this month, with more than 40 people attending. Home gardeners and growers, and people interested in full-scale off-grid farming joined the conversation about the importance of promoting local food production.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that farming isn’t necessarily about having five or 10 aces, slaving away. You can produce a lot of food on a small scale, you don’t have to be producing a lot to sell it at the farmer’s market,” said Vicky Serafini, host and co-owner of Thimbleberry Farm.
The summit will be held at the Terrace Sportsplex, and costs $100 for a full day pass, or $25 for the half-day. Registration and program details are available online at www.nwfoodsecure.org.