A sustainable food system in its simplest form is a network connecting food production, processing, distribution, food access, preparation, consumption and food waste recovery.
In a city where approximately three million meals are eaten every day, the food system plays a large role here in Calgary.
The food system assessment and action plan
The Calgary Eats! Food System Assessment and Action Plan was completed in 2012 in response to a growing demand from citizens who wanted to increase awareness of the value of a sustainable food system.
The objectives of the Calgary Eats! Food System Assessment and Action Plan were to:
- Outline a vision for a sustainable food system in Calgary and its surrounding regions;
- Develop a comprehensive baseline and framework of Calgary’s current food system to include an understanding of issues, opportunities, and practices from other jurisdictions;
- Provide gap analysis between the current state of our food system and our overarching vision; and
- Create a community action plan identifying implementable and locally appropriate recommendations to address Calgary's food system issues.
The development of this plan was a collaborative effort that engaged stakeholders from across Calgary’s food industry. The result was the Calgary Eats! Food System Assessment and Action Plan, and its vision, principles and City-led actions were adopted as Calgary’s food system by City Council in 2012.
The Vision: To create a sustainable and resilient food system for the Calgary region so that every Calgarian has access to local, healthy and environmentally friendly food.
The Action Plan identified the intervention points that connect to each element of the food system in order for actions to take place. These actions relate to regulation, legislation, planning & land use, and transportation & logistics, and generally focus on the municipal government leading with support from stakeholders.
The City-led Action Plan priorities are led by the Office of Sustainability and include:
- Removing regulatory barriers and creating more opportunities to build a sustainable and resilient food system through planning and land use;
- Supporting and promoting growing local food through community gardens and urban agriculture initiatives;
- Supporting increased access to healthy food for all Calgarians;
- Preventing food waste through education programs;
- Community food programs; and
- Food system and the environment.
Building relationships between local farmers, processors, residents, community leaders, and other food system representatives is key in facilitating resolution of food system issues and our success. If you have questions or input please contact:
Kristi Peters Snider