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Now is the time to push our potential federal representatives to commit to a National Food Strategy, using the recent launch of The People’s Food Policy Project (PFPP)
Over the last 2 years the PFPP has been gathering feedback from Canadians about the type of food system they would like to see now and for future generations. It was a coast-to-coast effort that gathered input from people from all walks of life, with more than 3,500 people participating.
From this work they have developed 10 discussion papers and Resetting the Table: A People’s Food Policy for Canada. Find out more at the PFPP website.
The Green, NDP and Liberal parties all have food policies in their platforms. (See Globe & Mail article: Something to chew on: A party-by-party breakdown of food policy). We need a comprehensive plan to address some of the most pressing health, hunger, climate and agricultural-related issues facing the country. Leaders are needed in Ottawa that are committed to this!
And, of course we believe agriculture renewal and new farmers are a critical part of our future food system. According to the PFPP:
“A key priority is to ensure that farmers are able to earn a decent living, and to enable the entry of new farmers into farming.
- Policy success should be measured by net farm income rather than by export volume.
- Governments must set net income targets, craft strategies to attain those targets, and report on success.
Farm policies should:
- Focus on supporting small farms (where young farmers and new farmers often start out);
- Provide farmer training programs in rural and urban communities along with measures such as partial student loan forgiveness for those going into farming;
- Work with new immigrants who have farming and food production experience to help them find a place on the land
- And implement a retirement savings plan for farmers.”
FarmStart has begun to work with the People’s Food Policy Project to facilitate a discussion with partners across Canada around the need for young farmers, new farmers and more farmers. We have developed an informal Policy Brief.
Join the National New Farmers Initiative discussion group on the PFPP website.
Or contact us at FarmStart if you want to be involved here in Ontario.