Get to know the Food Values Dialogue series
On March 9, the first dialogue in the Local Food Values series took place, focusing on Sustainability Values.
This dialogue series - a hybrid event virtual/in-person event held in the Institute for Community-Engaged Research (ICER) meeting room, is part of a course instructed by Dr. Mary Stockdale: GEOG 221: Food systems: system thinking, as well as open to the campus community and wider public. The event was hosted by ICER, UBCO Food Services, and Land to Table (L2T).
The aim is to explore the values of local food, specifically sustainability and justice, and how to connect and incorporate these values into UBCO Food Services and the process of food procurement.
In the 75-minute session for Dialogue #1, participants learned about the UBC Okanagan - Land to Table Local Food Procurement Project, listened to 3 expert panelists working on sustainable agriculture and land management, and had the opportunity to ask panelists questions and engage in dialogue about sustainable agriculture in the Okanagan.
Eva-Lena Lang, the Executive Director of Organic BC, presented on Organic BC and their role creating standards to protect the organic label, and shared ideas to expand this sector in the future. Lia McKinnon, a biologist with the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society spoke about their important work with farmers in creating wildlife habitat stewards who work to protect and promote biodiversity in the Okanagan. Finally, Andrea McDonald spoke about her role as a Program Lead at Salmon Safe BC, a voluntary program for farmers that uses a holistic ecosystem/watershed approach to manage land in sustainable ways.
As a group, we discussed what support is available for small- and medium-scale and/or organic farmers who want to become sustainable and better stewards of the lands and waterways. Questions that emerged included what is reasonable to ask of small- and medium-scale farmers in terms of certification (such as organic or salmon safe certifications)? And what is the role of UBCO in this, especially when we are aware of the struggles (financial, time, labor, etc.) these farmers face when trying to compete against the cheapness and convenience of the global food system?
If you missed the first dialogue session, don’t fret, there are still two more sessions on Thursday, March 16th, and 23rd, at 2:00-3:15 pm. The next dialogue is focused on Justice in our local food system - what does justice look like for farmers and farm workers?. Click this link to learn more about the dialogue series and to register. The format is hybrid, so you can join either in-person in the ICER meeting room (ARTS 368) or on Zoom! If you have any questions or concerns email email@example.com. We hope to see you at our next two dialogues!
The Local Food Values Dialogue events are part of a course instructed by Dr. Mary Stockdale: GEOG 221: Food systems: system thinking, as well as open to the campus community and wider public. A big thank you to the Dialogue Series co-hosts: UBCO Institute for Community-Engaged Research (ICER), UBCO Food Services, and the Land to Table (L2T) regional food system network.