City of Vancouver signs global Urban Food Policy Pact at world expo

From a City of Vancouver news release on October 16, 2015, we learned that Vancouver had that day signed a global Urban Food Policy Pact. Details are below.

In celebration of World Food Day, the City of Vancouver joined over 40 cities across the globe today in signing an Urban Food Policy Pact to address food security and sustainable development.

Founded by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Day is celebrated annually to help increase awareness of world hunger and poverty. This year, in recognition of the 70th anniversary of World Food Day and key legacy of the World Expo in Milan, a pact was created by the City of Milan, in partnership with cities around the world to engage mayors and policymakers in the coordination of urban food policies across the globe. The Pact will commit cities to develop sustainable food systems that are inclusive, ensure access to healthy and affordable food, and strengthen urban agriculture practices.

“Vancouver is pleased to join a global movement that supports food security, ensuring access to safe, nutritious, affordable food for all,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “As a city we’re committed to supporting and promoting sustainable food systems through our Vancouver Food Strategy, as healthy food systems are central to the health and well-being of our communities.”

In 2013, City Council adopted the Vancouver Food Strategy as part of the Greenest City initiative to become a global leader in urban food systems by 2020. Developing sustainable food systems is also part of the Healthy City Strategy. For more than a decade, the City of Vancouver has been working in partnership with the Vancouver Food Policy Council and numerous community organizations to support a just and sustainable food system.

The goals outlined in the Vancouver Food Strategy express how we want our food systems to take shape in the future, including supporting food friendly neighbourhoods, empowering residents to take action, improving access to healthy food, and making food a centrepiece of the green economy.

Some of the direct outcomes of the Vancouver Food Strategy include increased community garden plots, expansion of famers markets, and urban agriculture projects such as beehives and backyard chickens. For further information on the Vancouver Food Strategy, visit vancouver.ca/foodpolicy.

To bring further awareness to food security, the Sustenance Festival, a city-wide festival with local food-inspired workshops, exhibitions, talks, walks, dances and more is being hosted by the City of Vancouver with the Vancouver Park Board. Events took place in community centres and public spaces throughout Vancouver October 13 to 25, 2015. This is an annual festival. For more details please visit sustenancefestival.ca

Further information on the Urban Food Policy Pact can be found at: www.foodpolicymilano.org/en/urban-food-policy-pact-2.

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