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Building opportunities for B.C. food with post-secondary partners

Building opportunities for B.C. food with post-secondary partners

February 9, 2021 at 9:54 am  BC, News, Politics

Post-secondary institutions in British Columbia are working to bring more local food to their campuses.

This supports sustainable food systems, creates more opportunities for B.C. food producers and processors and enhances B.C.’s food security and regional economies.

“Partnering on Feed BC with post-secondary institutions will support the livelihoods of farmers, fishers and processors throughout B.C. and connect staff and students to the local foods they want on campus,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “The pandemic has shown all of us we need to be more food secure and support our provincial food system, and I’m excited to know that our post-secondary partners are working hard to increase B.C. foods now and when students return to classes.”

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training are collaborating with nine post-secondary institutions to grow awareness, support and opportunities to increase B.C.-grown and processed foods on campuses throughout the province. Now more than ever, institutions are committed to serving local food to support their communities and enhance B.C.’s food system.

Feed BC’s post-secondary partners are committed to working across departments to track and source more B.C. food, build innovative local food initiatives and promote local food education and awareness on campus and beyond.

“Feed BC is an exciting, real-world opportunity for B.C.’s post-secondary institutions to be leaders in promoting local food and food system sustainability,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “By emphasizing B.C. foods on campus, public post-secondary institutions are supporting campus sustainability goals and their students’ interests in local food options while also supporting farmers, fishers, food processors and communities throughout the province.”

Feed BC is launching partnerships with nine post-secondary institutions throughout B.C., with each committed to working within their institutions and with their food service operators and caterers to grow B.C. food purchases toward at least 30% of their total food expenditures:

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Camosun College
  • Selkirk College
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • Vancouver Community College

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) offers a made-in-house, locally sourced menu ranging from bread made in Delta, cranberries from Richmond, dairy from Fraser Valley farms and local beef. Located in some of the world’s most fertile farmland, UFV is working hard within the university and broader community to foster local food culture and build more opportunities for B.C. food and agriculture in the region and beyond. 

“UFV is located in the beautiful Fraser Valley, where there is a strong food culture emerging in what we call the breadbasket of B.C.,” said Craig Toews, vice-president external, UFV. “As part of this movement, UFV is committed to providing opportunities to growers and producers to supply our institution’s cafeteria, catering and vending with locally sourced products. Our students and staff expect a safe supply chain and healthy options. We feel that by working with our local producers, we will be successful in meeting these priorities.”

For Simon Fraser University (SFU), sourcing food locally is a key commitment to helping local food and agriculture businesses thrive. SFU tracks and sources, aiming for a minimum of 30% B.C. foods, including eggs, poultry, seasonal root vegetables, corn and blueberries.

“SFU’s commitment to local food reflects deep understanding of the key role we can and should play in supporting local businesses and sustainable food systems,” said Mark McLaughlin, chief commercial services officer, SFU. “Serving our staff, students and visitors food grown and processed in B.C. responds to their desire and connects us to our communities, businesses and local food systems. We are excited to be partners and champions of Feed BC in the post-secondary sector.”

In Victoria, Camosun College is supplied by several local farms and food producers, such as Michell’s Farms. Michell’s plays a key role in the local food system, supplying their locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables to Islands West Produce who then distributes to Camosun for staff and students to enjoy.

“As a sixth-generation family-owned and operated farm, we know how important fresh, local food is to our community, and we are happy to have our produce served in post-secondary institutions,” said Terry Michell, Michell’s Farm Market. “By bringing increased awareness to the local agricultural industry and connecting post-secondary institutions to B.C. products produced and processed by partners like Island’s West Produce, Feed BC is supporting local farms and businesses, job retention and the protection of farmland.”

Feed BC is a key priority for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and supports the Province’s commitment to increase the use of B.C.-grown and processed foods in hospitals, schools and other government facilities.

Quick Facts:

  • There are 25 public post-secondary institutions including universities, colleges and institutes located throughout B.C., with over 430,000 students.
  • Food service purchases for all post-secondary institutions in B.C. is estimated at $40.9 million annually.
  • Post-secondary institutions offer a variety of food services to meet the needs of a diverse student base, including full meal programs at select institutions for students residing on campus.
  • Feed BC offers tools, resources and individualized supports to encourage, inspire and support the shift to more B.C. food in post-secondary institutions.

Learn More:

Read the local food activities of all nine Feed BC post-secondary partners:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/growbc-feedbc-buybc/feed-bc-and-the-bc-food-hub-network/institutional-partnerships/feed-bc-in-post-secondary-institutions

Visit the Feed BC website: http://www.gov.bc.ca/feedbc

More information about Feed BC in post-secondary institutions:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/growbc-feedbc-buybc/feed-bc-and-the-bc-food-hub-network/institutional-partnerships/feed-bc-in-post-secondary-institutions#localfoodstories

Feed BC in the news: https://news.gov.bc.ca/23169

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