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Food Resiliency & TransitionKW


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An exploration of what is food resiliency, and how the Transition Town movement contributes towards it. Examines what is happening in Waterloo Region and beyond both nationally and internationally, with a special emphasis on the efforts of TransitionKW,

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Food Resiliency & TransitionKW

  1. 1. Tr ansition Towns &Food ResiliencyAlisa McClurgSeptember 14, 2012
  2. 2. Outline  What is the “Transition Town” movement  Local, resilient food (e.g. within TT context)  Promising eg’s of change (TTs & beyond!)  Resistance/obstacles to change ------  Role of planning in relation to food
  3. 3. What is the TransitionTown movement? Promotes local community resiliency
  4. 4. How do TransitionTowns promoteresiliency? Seek to address:1. climate change2. peak oil, and (now)3. economic uncertainty
  5. 5. Where are itsmembers? Started in Totnes, U.K. (2005) Over 900 initiatives in 34 countries Europe, North America, Australia etc.
  6. 6. How are TT’s changinghow we relate to food?  Local food production  Emphasis on “permaculture”  Farming according to principles of ecology  “permanent” + “agriculture”  Not waiting for government!
  7. 7. What is happeningspecifically? Community gardens/yard sharing Markets / Cafés / “Crop Swaps” Urban fruit tree harvesting Potlucks / “slow food” dinners Reducing food waste events Farm work opportunities
  8. 8. What are someexamples in NorthAmerica?  L.A.  harvest-sharing, plant fruit trees  Peterborough  Slow Food and Culture Festival, wild food foraging  Guelph  Sharing Backyards, backyardbokboks
  9. 9. What is happening withTransitionKW?  Started in Fall 2009  ~100 members  Awareness raising about:  Climate change + peak oil = ? Food security  Local economy  Pollination  KW Urban Harvester...
  10. 10. Struggles andSuccesses - + Where do we fit/ “Resiliency” = flexible what is our focus? adaptation How do we stay in Deals with touch? complexities How do we organize Less structure = broad ourselves? appeal Low overhead
  11. 11. Economy Community Equity Resilience Sustainability Livability EnvironmentAdapted from Hancock, T. , Labonte, R., Edwards, R., (1999). Indicators that Count!-Measuring Population Health at the Community Level
  12. 12. Economy Community •Improved nutrition•Economic diversity •Food options•Self reliance Equity •Food access•Decreased oil •Social tiesdependency •Working conditions•Dollars at home •food = necessity Resilience Sustainability Livability •Decreased fossil fuel use •Greater control over inputs (fertilizers, pesticides etc.) •Protection of seed stock and farmland Environment Adapted from Hancock, T. , Labonte, R., Edwards, R., (1999). Indicators that Count!-Measuring Population Health at the Community Level
  13. 13. Examples of local foodinitiatives  Foodland Ontario  Ontario Farmland Trust
  14. 14. Regional local foodinitiatives  FoodLink  Farmers’ Markets  Food Buying Club  Community gardens (40+)  Local food groups (Food Systems Round Table)  Favourable land use planning (i.e. community gardens)
  15. 15. Obvious threats toresilient local foodsystems  Poor planning (i.e. food “deserts”, sprawl)  “Chicken-and-the-egg” -> consumer behaviour & supportive retailers  Attracting new farmers  Challenges of small-scale production
  16. 16. Less obvious threats toresilient local foodsystems  Productivity obsession (post WWII)  GMO foods & “terminator” seeds  Dumping of subsidized food  Waste treatment (i.e. human sludge)  Trade policies (i.e. CETA)
  17. 17. Moving towardsresilient food systems?  Farm-to-table (Farm to fork) movement  La Campesina (1993)  Terra Madre (2004) - Produce food in sustainable way
  18. 18. Moving towardsresilient food systemstoday?  Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change (2012)  Sought to enhance local capacity:  farmer and community-based organizations,  reinvigorating local markets, and  provide growing space for local families
  19. 19. Canadian local foodinitiatives  Towards a National Food Strategy (2011)  Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (2011)- “75 by 25” (up from 68%)  The People’s Food Policy Project (2011) – Localize the system  Local Food Plus - Brings farmers and consumers together regionally
  20. 20. Provincial andmunicipal initiatives  Shall be “consistent with” (PPS 2005)  Region of Waterloo – Promotes access to healthy food, community gardens  City of Waterloo – Community gardens, <=mid-sized food stores
  21. 21. Other indicators  Growing number of community gardens, farmers markets in NA  Declaration for Healthy Food and Agriculture -  National Student Food Charter (NSFC) -
  22. 22. Planning initiatives  City Beautiful Movement (early 1900s)  APA Food Systems Steering Committee (2006)  OPPI Healthy Communities and Planning for Food Symposium (2010)
  23. 23. How planners can promoteresilient food systems?  Legislation and policy  Favourable zoning or by-law changes  Land regulation policies  Programs & grants  Public outreach  Partnerships with other organizations
  24. 24. ...illogical and absurd demands [are placed onyou] from the planning department when youwant to put up a poly tunnel or a shed in yourmarket garden. Its as if the authorities aregoing out of their way to make it as difficult aspossible for small scale food production. Food in Transition: Growing, gathering and sharing,” Ann Owen, June 2012
  25. 25. Role of Planners inFood: Citizenship is a two-way street, not just about government doing things for the people” (p. 95) The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food, Wayne Roberts
  26. 26. Role of Planners inFood cont. The community doesnt need or want more experts telling them what to do. We want partners and we want help to develop and implement our dream. Transition is assisting our community in analyzing the confluence of inter-related challenges that we develop a common vision and take more action to achieve it. Fred Brown, TT Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “Transitioning a Low-income, Inner-city, Marginalized Community,” March 2013