L2T has a history of working collaboratively and connecting across sectors, supporting our local small and medium-scale farmers to access new market opportunities and building capacity for regional program development that encompasses local food procurement and land access. We are looking for creative mechanisms and partnerships to increase the amount of local food procured (directly from farmers) through a variety of markets, because keeping our local family farmers in business is key to ensuring local food security.
Our work currently falls under two clear (but very connected) project streams: Local Food Procurement through Value Chain Development and Community Food Security.
Developing a local food value chain (i.e. farm to table) means creating opportunities to develop our local food economy (e.g. finding ways to connect local small to medium scale producers to local markets of all sizes).
A key project in this stream includes a partnership with UBCO where we have connected the university to a local farmer aggregator, who is pooling products from several farms in order to meet the volume requirements to supply the university’s needs. Building on this work, we are now finding ways to aggregate produce for bulk purchasing by social service agencies, including food banks.
This stream explores opportunities to increase Community Food Security in holistic and specific ways; with one focus to increase the amount of local food that social service agencies can offer through program delivery, in a way that is mutually beneficial to the organization, community members and farmers.
As a Regional Community Food Hub Steward, this means that we are working directly with the Good Food Box, Okanagan Indian Band, and the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre to increase their access to local food.
Per the BCCDC’s definition, food security means that everyone has equitable access to food that is affordable, culturally preferable, nutritious and safe; everyone has the agency to participate in, and influence food systems; and that food systems are resilient, ecologically sustainable, socially just, and honour Indigenous food sovereignty.