Strategies (beyond food charters) for developing meaningful food policy: Experiences from Waterloo Region


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Speaker: Steffanie Scott
Session: Beyond Food Charters: Approaches to Developing Meaningful Food Policy

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Strategies (beyond food charters) for developing meaningful food policy: Experiences from Waterloo Region

  1. 1. Strategies  (beyond  food  charters)  for   developing  meaningful  food  policy:     Experiences  from  Waterloo  Region   Steffanie Scott, Ellen Desjardins, Krista Long Bring Food Home conference Windsor w Nov 2013
  2. 2. Food  Systems  Thinking:     “…to  shift  system  dynamics  to  promote  a  wide  range       of  improvements…”    (MacRae  &  Donahue,  2013,  Municipal  food  policy  entrepreneurs:  a  preliminary  analysis  of  how   Canadian  cities  and  regional  districts  are  involved  in  food  system  change) Key  characteris,c:     Citizen engagement & participation in policy making 1.  Collabora)on:  “a  full  range  of  actors  to  design  interven2ons  and   leverage  resources…”   2.  Adap)ve  governance:  “linking  actors  to  broader  levels  of   government  to  tackle  complex  issues…”  
  3. 3. Outline 1.  Collabora)on !  2007:  Roundtable  established 2.  Adap)ve  governance  -­‐  Municipal  policies  in  Waterloo  Region  that   support  a  healthier  food  system:   !  2009:  Regional  Official  Plan  (2010,11  –  Waterloo  &  Cambridge  plans) !  2013:  Food  Charter 3.  Ac)ons  on  food  policy !  Gap  analysis,  unearthing  suppor)ve  and  unsuppor)ve  policies !  Planning  for  policy  changes  at  municipal  level 4.  Conclusion    &  discussion:  The  on-­‐going  importance  of  “food   systems  thinking”  to  ensure  progress
  4. 4. 1.  Food  Systems  Thinking  in  Waterloo  Region   citizen  engagement  &  participation  in  policy  making   •  collaboration •  adaptive governance
  5. 5. Food  system  stakeholders  in  Waterloo  Region   (focus  groups  in  2006) CSAs emergency food distribution urban agriculture Elmira produce auction farmers and farm orgs feeders/ producers small and large scale farmers markets & neighbourhood markets (smaller) processors small and large scale advocates,  academics,  media,   marketing  boards,   brokers,  promoters     (e.g.  Foodlink)   institutional purchasers distributors retailers small and large scale small and large scale Planners  (zoning,   bylaws,  regulation) advocacy groups, food programs eaters/ consumers Public  Health  (community  capacity   building,  inspection,   education) Desjardins  &  ScoO  2007
  6. 6. Waterloo  Region  Food  System  Roundtable:  2007
  7. 7. 2.  Food  Systems  Thinking  in  Waterloo  Region   citizen  engagement  &  participation  in  policy  making   •  collaboration •  adaptive governance o  Regional official plan o  Food charter
  8. 8.  (a)  Waterloo  Regional  Official  Plan  (ROP) Unprecedented food-related policies
  9. 9. ROP  policies  supporting  a  healthy  food  system: White  =  urban   Brown  line  =  Countryside  line  (still  contested)         Yellow  =  rural Green  =  Protected  Countryside
  10. 10.    
  11. 11. Food-­‐‑related  land  use  planning:  rural
  12. 12. Food-­‐‑related  land  use  planning:  urban Jon’s produce and bakery
  13. 13. (b)  Waterloo  Region  Food  Charter  2013 Because  we  believe  in  fair,  environmentally  sustainable,  livable,   and  economically  profitable  rural  and  urban  communi,es:   …we  support  connec,ng  people  to  our  local  food  system     …we  support    community  economic  development     …we  support  access  to  healthy  food     …we  support  ecological  health     …we  support  integrated  food  policies  at  all  levels  of   government
  14. 14. Waterloo  Region  Food  Charter  2013 -­‐  Officially  endorsed  by  Waterloo  Regional  Council  in  April  2013   Poli,cians  supported  the  Charter  (adap2ve  governance)  because   of  links  with  key  community  stakeholders  (collabora2on):     a.  The  Food  System  Roundtable  had  consulted  extensively  with  the   community,  incorpora,ng  feedback  and  input  into  the  draP  Charter   b.  The  Charter  emphasized  an  enhanced  local  food  economy   c.  The  Waterloo  Federa,on  of  Agriculture  (WFA)  indicated  their  support   d.  A  local  poli,cian  (council  chair)  consequently    championed  the  Charter   at  the  municipal  government  level  
  15. 15. 3  .  Food  Systems  Thinking  in  Waterloo  Region Ac)ons  on  food  policy            First  step:     !  Policy  gap  analysis:  unearthing  suppor)ve  and  unsuppor)ve   policies    Next  steps: Improving  the   municipal   policy  base Building  more   community   engagement   around  the  food   charter
  16. 16. Waterloo  Region:    3  cities    4  rural  townships
  17. 17.    (a)  “Suppor,ng  Advocacy  on  Municipal  Official  Plans”     Report  #1  by  Krista  Long,  Waterloo  Region  2012   See Gap Analysis: Regional + 7 Municipal Official Plan Policies •  Access  to  affordable  healthy  food     &  local  food  infrastructure   •  Urban  agriculture   •  Several  other  health-­‐related  areas  -­‐  e.g.,  walkability    
  18. 18. Gap Analysis of ROP + 7 Municipal Official Plan Policies 1.  Access to affordable healthy food & local food infrastructure Action  areas ROP  (Regional   Official  Plan) City  &  Township   municipalities  (7)   Ensure  affordable  and  nutri,ous   food  for  all  residents    (food  retail)   Strong    support   2  strong   3  weak   Land  use  designa,ons  for  small-­‐ scale  food  processing  facili)es  and   distribu,on  centres  for  locally   produced  food       none   none   Support  small-­‐scale  food-­‐based   home  industries    (food  processing)     none   none  
  19. 19. Gap Analysis of ROP + 3 Municipal Official Plan Policies 2. Urban agriculture Action  areas ROP  (Regional   Official  Plan) Cities  (3)   Permit  community  gardens  in  all   land  use  designa,ons   Strong    support   Waterloo,  Cambridge   strong,     Kitchener  weak   Iden)fy  lands  close  to  residen,al   and  community  use  areas  for   community  gardens     none   None   Provide  infrastructure  support   for  community  gardens     Strong   City  of  Waterloo  only     Include  urban  agriculture  in  city’s   managed  open  space  strategy   Strong   Waterloo  &  Kitchener     strong,  Cambridge  weak   Permit  urban  beekeeping,  hens   None   Cambridge  (weak)  
  20. 20. (b)  “Planning  Food  Friendly  Municipalities”   Report  #2  by  Krista  Long,  Waterloo  Region  2012 See Focus on 2 strategies that have potential for effective change: Temporary   Farmers   Markets Community   Gardens Food   Friendly   Cities “Friendly” for both eaters and retailers
  21. 21. Types of Municipal Policies and Supports Land  Use   Policies Zoning  By-­‐‑laws Community   Gardens Community   Garden  Policy,   Action  Plans,   Strategies Food   Friendly   Cities Temporary   Farmers   Markets Licensing Incentives Business   Supports
  22. 22.   e.g.,  Temporary  Farmers  Markets The Directive: Regional Official Plan (Land Use Policies) •  The  region  directs  area  municipali4es  to  ensure  development   facilitates  residents’  access  to  locally  grown  and  other  healthy   foods  in  neighbourhoods.  [2.D.1  (g)]   •  The  region  directs  area  municipali4es  to  permit  temporary   farmers’  markets,  in  exis,ng  and  newly  planned   neighbourhoods  [3.F.2]  
  23. 23.   Temporary  Farmers  Markets The Reality: By-laws variations by municipality •  Kitchener  permits  markets  in  Commercial,  Downtown,  Commercial   Residen,al,  Industrial  and  Ins,tu,onal  zones   •  Waterloo  permits  markets  in  General  Business,  Neighbourhood  Commercial   and  Commercial  Zones   •  Cambridge  permits  markets  (“food  stands”)  in  most  commercial  zones     •  Wilmot  permits  markets  (“food  stands”)  in  all  commercial  zones   •  North  Dumfries  does  not  permit  temporary  markets  at  all  
  24. 24. Variation  in  Municipal  Code  (Licensing)   for  temporary  markets Municipality Licence Fee Kitchener Farm  Vendor  License $148 Temporary  Retail  Market  License $496  (3  days) Waterloo Outdoor  Vending  License $250  +  business   license  ($300) Cambridge Outdoor  Vendor  Permit $60  +  business   license  ($60) Woolwich Business  Licensing  By-­‐‑law N/A Wellesley N/A Wilmot N/A North  Dumfries Vendor  By-­‐‑law No  fee
  25. 25. Next  steps:     Advocating  for  Food  Friendly  Municipalities •  Stronger,  more  consistent  supports  for   temporary  farmers’  markets "  "  "  "  PermiYed  in  all  land  use  zones Promoted  as  a  Local  Economic  Development  ini)a)ve Supported  as  an  accessory  use  with  convenience  stores Licensing  fees  standardized  and  simplified  across  the  Region •  Stronger,  more  consistent  supports  for   community  gardens   "  PermiYed  in  all  land  use  zones,  with  resource  support "  Pro-­‐ac)vely  encouraged  by  iden)fying  lands  where  gardens   could  be  developed "  Normalized  as  public  spaces  for  health,  inclusion  and  learning
  26. 26. Next  steps Create  a  Regional  Food  Strategy  that  illustrates  feasible  steps  to   opera,onalize  the  Food  Charter,  in  collabora,on  with  all   relevant  stakeholders   •  e.g.,  Develop  guidelines  for  markets  and  other  small  local   food  retailers  and  processors  to  create  businesses  that  are   profitable  and  accepted  in  the  community,  and  contribute  to   healthy,  walkable  food  access  in  all  neighbourhoods   •  e.g.,  Develop  a  toolkit  for  naviga)ng  the  licensing   bureaucracies  to  facilitate  successful  small-­‐scale  food   entrepreneurs  
  27. 27. What  we  see: The  proximal  food   environment What  we  don’t  see: Food-­‐‑related  municipal  by-­‐‑laws,  licensing  rules, land  use  policies,  institutional  policies
  28. 28. What  we  see: Protected  superstores,  food  deserts,   fast  food  outlets,  packaged  food   of  unknown  origin,  lack  of   entrepreneurial  opportunities t  be   Mus  as  the     sed xpo ation  of e d n   foun nt  urba e curr ood   f nt   nme ro envi What  we  don’t  see: Food-­‐‑related  municipal  by-­‐‑laws,  licensing  rules, land  use  and  institutional  policies #    Municipal  governance  driven  by  corporate  interests  #
  29. 29. What  we  should  see: Widely  accessible  small  to  mid-­‐‑size food  retail,  direct-­‐‑marketing  venues,   focus  on  local  seasonal  food.   What  we  can  collectively  develop: Food-­‐‑related  municipal  by-­‐‑laws,  licensing  rules, land  use  and  institutional  policies  that  nourish a  healthy  food  environment #  Municipal  governance  influenced  by  citizen  engagement  #
  30. 30. Conclusion:   Enacting  food  systems  transformation  requires: Citizen engagement and participation in policy making through: 1.  Collaboration ...different  sectors  working  and  planning  together     2.  Adaptive governance …ac)ve,  on-­‐going  advocacy  at  the  municipal  government  level   using  data,  success  stories  and  awareness  building