We are thrilled to announce the release of the Kamloops Urban Foodlands Report! This report explores current urban foodlands practices and policies in Kamloops and aligns them with community visions and outcomes.

This report aims to understand what outcomes people in Kamloops hope to see from urban foodlands (not limited to growing food for sale), what policies could support those outcomes, and what barriers exist in reaching them.

The Kamloops Urban Foodlands Report is part of a larger provincial project that explored urban foodlands in Kamloops, Victoria, and Vancouver. This project aligns efforts across the three municipalities and uses the information gathered from each community to help coordinate urban foodlands policy advocacy across BC.

Read the Kamloops Urban Foodlands report here

Project Background

In 2020, the Public Health Association of BC, Kamloops Food Policy Council, Vancouver Urban Farming Society, and the Food Eco District in Victoria conducted case studies throughout their respective urban municipalities to explore current urban foodlands practices and policies and to align them with community visions and outcomes. A report was created to align efforts across municipalities to help inform the coordinated development of urban foodlands policies and practices across BC.

Read the other reports here:

This project was made possible thanks to our community partners ,Master
Gardeners, Permaculture Kamloops, Transition Kamloops, urban farmers, food social service
agencies, and Indigenous organizations. We’d also like to thank the Public Health Association of BC for coordinating the project and the Real Estate Foundation of BC for supporting this project. 

 

Our June Network meeting took place on 2nd of this month. Many familiar faces joined the meeting along with some new people. Bonnie Klohn our food policy lead and Emily Pletsch were the host of this meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss about the current situations or threats in the food system. We also paid condolences to the 215 victims of Kamloops residential schools. It is very devastating to know about small children who lost their lives. We asked the question, how are you reflecting on this news in terms of dismantling systemic racism today?
We were then sent to breakout rooms to discuss the two questions which were the base of this meeting. 1) What is something that you are pleased with in terms of where the food system is going? and 2) What is something that you are seeing that is more of a risk? Everyone had different views about these questions, but many noted that due to pandemic many people started growing their own organic veggie and fruits. This is a good example of people getting into growing their own organic food and having healthy home-grown veggies, which is beneficial for the food system of our communities.
We also observed that last year as the pandemic started there was an increase in growing food locally, but this year we saw that there are more plots in the community gardens which are empty, the reason behind this is that it needs more time, efforts, and hard work. As we can see that things are getting back to normal, there has been a slight decrease in the interest of growing organic veggie.
Another interesting view shared by members, included thinking about growing and supplying food locally as compared to regionally.
The meeting was concluded with the updates, from the staff members of KFPC on the facilitation of the Changing the Face of Poverty Meetings, the Gleaning Abundance Program, Butler Urban Farm, the Food Hub, as well as a food curriculum adult education roundtable held by the KFPC recently. We were also introduced to our new team member Manjinder Kaur Saini who recently started working at KFPC as administrative lead introduces herself to the network members. She also spoke about Farmer’s protest going on in India. Welcome Manjinder, and thank you to everyone who attended the meeting.

At our February meeting,  we were guided by Dr. Kyra Garson in looking at the stages of intercultural capacity and intercultural development, and at our April meeting, we added onto that by looking at layers of racial advantage. We were thinking about attitudes, knowledge, and skills and the many ways the intercultural capacity might be seen as a foundation or piece to think more broadly about other equity issues.

Equity is described as a state of freedom from discrimination and bias as well as a commitment to action for the process of a fair distribution of opportunities and experiences. Is about allowing each person to have what they need. It is access to fairness and justice essentially. We have to Identify what and where the issues are and then think about how we address them making commitments to distribute those access to opportunities and participation more fairly.

When we think about equity we also need to think about inequity. Inequity is the unfair distribution of material and nonmaterial access but also, it’s about how outcomes and experiences are different because of inequity. These outcomes are predictable by all these socially constructed realities like race, economic status, gender identity, etc. During this session, we focused on the race piece, but all these factors can intersect.

We must develop Equity literacy rather than just intercultural capacity. Both are related but Equity literacy is really thinking about making a commitment and this is both as individuals but also as an organization. For all institutions is to really think about and understand how inequity operates and how we in our sphere of influence can become a threat to inequity.

How do we both identify and eliminate the inequities and then begin to cultivate equity? Making a commitment to identify where that inequity is operating, how it is operating, and then begin to launch some form of campaign against it.

These different conceptualizations come from the Equity Literacy Institute. They have these four layers of racism:

Socio-historical racism- The way we are socialized to make meaning of race—ascription of inferiority, for example—is so deeply embedded in people’s psyches and normalized that it’s implicitly considered by many people to be the truth.

Institutional racism – The cumulative impact of racist policies, practices, institutional cultures, and ideologies within a particular institution or organization. The impact targets or harms People of Color while advantaging white people.

Cultural Racism – Constant societal messaging supporting white supremacy by sources that control the means of perception, such as broadcast media and school textbooks, feeding a sense of white exceptionality.

Structural racism – The full network and implications of patterns of racial advantage and disadvantage built into all systems and structures in society. These include, but are not limited to, the education, criminal justice, legal, judicial, and employment systems.

We went to breakout rooms to reflect on these four layers. How does all this work in food systems? What are the differences between them? Who might be advantaged? Who might be disadvantaged by these different layers of racism that are operating in our society or community and the organization?

We pasted the jamb boards to give you a picture of the discussion.

To wrap up the discussion, Dr. Garson mentioned equity literacy emphasizes to start thinking of all the “isms” that affect equity. For the purpose of this workshop, we were thinking about racism but we could also think about sexism, ageism, ableism, all sorts of “isms”. There is a need to shift this, recognizing and calling out that these “isms” are right there, ongoing cumulative impacts of institutional, cultural and structural justice.

At the second part of the meeting, we had a meaningful presentation by Stone Healy. The topic addressed was about the relevance of permission asking in traditional territories. How to practice the 4 R’s. (Respect, Relevance, Relationship, Reciprocity) and how these relate to the work of the KFPC on the Secwepemc territory.

To introduce us to the topic they talked about their experience on the Kamloops Pride Board and Pride Parade organizing. This led the discussion to reflect on who and how to ask permission when any activity is carried out in the traditional territories.

These were the questions discussed:

● If you were going to start a project on the land and wanted to practice using the four R’s, who would you ask?
● If you were going to ask someone for permission to start a project that would alter the and, how would you ask?
● Making a sacrifice- what is a situation in your life right now where you have power, what did you have to sacrifice to be collaborative with other people?

MEET OUR FOOD HUB PARTNERS: OPEN DOOR GROUP GARDENGATE 

A chat with Rob Wright

We had a brief chat with Rob Wright, a Program Coordinator at Gardengate and a Kamloops Food Policy Council Board Director. Gardengate is a program operated by the Open Door Group created as a space for “healing and recovery for individuals living with mental health conditions and addictions.” 

 

The Gardengate Facility

Gardengate is currently building a new training centre and commercial kitchen facility to replace a 21 year old, 700ft space that hosts their groundbreaking program.  Planning and fundraising for the facility has been in the works for the past 10 years. There have been some delays due to the COVID 19 pandemic but the facility is close to completion. Following all installations, certifications and inspections, the commercial kitchen and training centre will be open to the public. 

“Growing food, growing futures. People always associate the Gardengate program with a garden but we always emphasize that for us, it is always people before product. Gardengate is a program first and the garden is a medium and vehicle to drive people there.” – Rob Wright

 

 

The Intention 

The intention of creating the facility was to open the door to a community asset and expand on community capacity. This facility expansion will provide employment and food sovereignty within our community. The training centre and commercial kitchen will be a place to cook and eat but most importantly, it will provide the opportunity for current Gardengate clients, food entrepreneurs and the community to learn, grow and develop. 

 

The Partnership 

The Kamloops Food Policy Council is partnering with Gardengate by investing in necessary equipment and upgrades needed to build the facility to offer clients, food entrepreneurs and the community the opportunity to co-locate. KFPC and Gardengate will be sharing revenue from renting kitchen space, processing equipment and storage space. 

 

 

The Opportunities for Gardengate

Partnering with the KFPC provides social interaction and activation for current Gardengate clients. It provides the opportunity for those enrolled in the Gardengate program to learn and observe from food entrepreneurs. Part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gardengate is that any person or food entrepreneur that makes use of the facility will get sensitized on the Gardengate program. There may be the opportunity for clients in the Gardengate program to receive a form of paid employment through the food entrepreneurs. It is a good place for clients to have normal working relationships in a learning environment.

 

 

Network Meeting Summary

February 10, 2021

The February Network Meeting was part two of a four part series on race and the food system. The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Kyra Garson, Interculturalization Coordinator at the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at TRU. It was co-facilitated by Bonnie Klohn, KFPC Food Policy Lead, Deborah Ogundimu, KFPC Administration and Communications Lead, Emily Pletsch, KFPC Board Director and Stone Healey, TRU Social Work Practicum Student. 

What is Culture?

Culture forms our identity. For some, culture is particularly salient and for others, they draw from a blended model. In general, it affects how we function in the world and perceive things. When we think about culture and food, we often think about the food we eat. Culture as it relates to food, goes beyond consumption. Culture is a shared and often unspoken understanding within a group of people that creates meaning and a sense of belonging. Culture is learnt through direct instruction from families, socialization (schools, society at large) and observation.

Norms and Values 

Culture dictates communications, emotions, systems, social roles, authority and universal terms like birth, death and faith. These universal terms are dealt with differently due to cultural norms. If we understand our norms, values and orientation in relation to others, we can be effective when working across those changing differences. 

Culture is Dynamic 

It changes over time and generations. We move in and out of culture. We may move between our work and home culture but we have a shared understanding of what is accepted or a norm within a society 

What is Normativity?

The act of a society reinforcing standards and often that is the standards of the dominant group. It sets expectations on behavior. In an increasingly multicultural environment, this presents a challenge due to the multiple norms in operation. In the society, the dominant group tends to dictate the norms. In a settler colonial society, the settler colonial heritage is the norm. 

The Mindsets

When different norms are acting simultaneously, how do we react? We co-facilitated five breakout rooms to explore five mindsets in relation to other cultures. Our members provided a name for the different mindsets and listed advantages and disadvantages of each mindset. 

“The Bubble Mindset” People with the Bubble Mindset are said to be comfortable with the familiar and unconcerned with culture. People in this mindset maintain a distance from those who are different and wonder why people make a huge deal about culture. 

“The Archie Bunker Mindset” The Archie Bunker Mindset has a strong commitment to their worldview and distrusts cultural behaviour or ideas that differ from theirs. People in this mindset do not seek out the company of people from other cultures because they object to one or more of their unpleasant traits. 

“The Convert Mindset” People with the Convert Mindset have experienced other cultures that have made them notice imperfections in theirs. People with this mindset are known to be champions of other cultures and are alienated from their own culture. 

“The Rose Coloured Glass Mindset” People with this mindset know that people from other cultures are like them under the surface. They are fairly knowledgeable about cultural differences, customs and behaviors and behave in tolerant ways towards others. 

“The One Love Mindset” The One Love Mindset acknowledges and respects cultural differences. People with this mindset may not like everything about other cultures but they see how valuable those differences are to society. 

Next Network Meeting: April 7th 2021 

Join us as we continue our conversation on Race and the Food System!

 

MEET OUR FOOD HUB PARTNERS: LOCAL PULSE 

A chat with Kent Fawcett

 

We had a brief chat with Kent Fawcett, the Creator of Local Pulse. Kent runs Local Pulse as a sole proprietorship and credits his fiancé, Nic Zdunich as the mastermind behind the marketing efforts including the website, packaging and the famous Local Pulse mascots. Local Pulse was created to inspire the Kamloops community to make big changes in our world through little choices that begin with plant-based foods like Pulses. 

 Local Pulse is the anchor business for our HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points) ready processing facility for dehydration and packaging. We are partnering with Local Pulse to develop community based and social enterprise uses of the commercial scale dehydrator.

 

 

About Local Pulse 

Kent has always been passionate about helping people through his work as a researcher. He also has a personal connection to food as someone who had an eating disorder for over 10 years. Local Pulse was created as an amalgamation of those interests and experiences. He noticed that our actions and consumption has created adverse effects to our health and the planet. As a solution, he created a food business to inspire people to eat healthy and plant-based choices. Kent created Local Pulse to teach people the impact of consumption such as the human rights issues and questionable farming practices attached to sourcing food internationally, the detrimental effects of not consuming seasonally and the damaging effects of animal agriculture. A focus on food could solve a lot of problems. Local pulse is all about thinking big but doing small things to get a lot of people engaged.

“Rather than telling people that ‘you need to be vegan’, ‘eat plant-based choices’, ‘change your life’ or ‘you’re doing this wrong’ I simply say ‘here is some hummus, it tastes good.’ It gradually gets people on board to make plant-based choices to help themselves and the planet. Every choice creates an impact!” – Kent Fawcett

 

 

Why Pulses? 

Kent realized that pulses are highly nutritious plant-based sources of protein that he could eat without any guilt. Pulses can be grown in Canada and have the lowest water footprint of any protein source. Currently, locally grown pulses are not available in grocery stores to purchase. Pulses grown in Canada are exported to India and other countries. To fill domestic demand, the same pulses are imported from countries like Turkey. Through Local Pulse, the local economy can be revitalized. Pea protein is getting a huge boom and a lot of the growth is coming from Canada. As plant-based diets are becoming more popular, this presents a good business opportunity as pulses are the most sustainable protein sources. 

Pilot Project and Feasibility Study for a Regional Food Processing and Innovation Hub 

Local pulse was one of the 5 businesses that enrolled in market validation training and coaching during the Pilot Project. The training program made use of a model obtained from Kamloops Innovation Centre (KIC), applied to tech start-ups to mentor food businesses and entrepreneurs. For Kent and most food entrepreneurs, there is a huge amount of passion and personal interest in running a food business however, there is a lot of uncertainty as they are approaching the growth stage of their business. KIC assisted in focusing on the back end to ensure Local Pulse is sustainable in the long term. 

 

 

 Impact of the Food Hub to Local Pulse

The Food Hub helps to mitigate and ease the fear and risk associated with scaling a business. Kent got the opportunity to collaborate with a strategic advisor to create a business plan. He discovered that to scale, he will have to invest in a facility, equipment and employees that will potentially cost upwards of half a million dollars. The Food Hub acts as an intermediary to prepare him for the growth stage of his business. Through the Food Hub, he can simply rent a space, test the equipment and focus on value adding activities to push his business forward. When he started his food business, he realized that a facility of this caliber was lacking in the community. There are so many talented people and entrepreneurs that are part of the Kamloops scene. Through the Food Hub, food businesses will have access to a great resource he didn’t have while starting his business.

 

We will like to introduce Kent Fawcett, who will be taking on the role of Food Hub Coordinator. Kent has been a valued member of the KFPC network for the last few years, as the owner and creator of Local Pulse, a plant-based food processing business that was the second place finalist for Emerging Business of the Year at the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards last year.

Kent launched his career as a food entrepreneur because he sees food as a conduit to affect other people and our planet positively. Kent is skilled at product development and testing, winning the Bronze Award in Outstanding Product Development at the From the Ground Up trade show in 2020. He is excited by the opportunity to work with prospective food entrepreneurs to turn their dream products into a “made in Kamloops” reality. Prior to founding Local Pulse, Kent received his BSc in Biochemistry from UBC and worked as a Research Technologist at STEMCELL Technologies.

We’re excited about the expertise he brings to the table in terms of project management, developing food safety systems, business development and collaborative team management.

We are celebrating a recent announcement from the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries! Kamloops Food Policy Council in partnership with the City of Kamloops was awarded $750,000 to provide shared infrastructure, processing equipment, mentorship and support for small to medium sized food entrepreneurs in Kamloops. 

The Food Hub project grew out of a pilot project and feasibility study completed in Fall 2019, led by the Kamloops Food Policy Council, supported through the Province of British Columbia and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. Feedback from 91 food businesses suggested that many of the key challenges they faced could be addressed by the support and infrastructure available through a Food Hub. 

Our aim is to create a transformative effect on our local food economy through enterprise development, food processing, distribution, aggregation and food recovery. We anticipate that an investment in shared infrastructure for food processing will create a positive feedback loop between food processing and producing in our region. 

Food Hub facilities will be created through key partnerships in three locations in Kamloops, and one mobile food processing unit, that is being implemented with Community Futures Central Interior First Nations’ Kweseltken Project. The Kweseltken Project seeks to support Indigenous food security and food related economic development that contributes to cultural livelihood.  

The Food Hub will empower food entrepreneurs to test their businesses at every stage through a subsidized mentorship program delivered in collaboration with Kamloops Innovation Center. To assist with scaling up, the Food Hub Coordinator will connect food entrepreneurs with local and larger distributors. 

There is a lot of enthusiasm from the public, local food businesses and Food Hub partners. “The Food Hub helps to mitigate and ease the fear and risk associated with scaling a business.” – Kent Fawcett, Local Pulse. A highly equipped commercial kitchen rental facility will enable food entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses without making huge capital investments.

Opendoor Group Gardengate is currently building a new training centre and commercial kitchen facility to replace a 21 year old, 700ft space that hosts their widely known program. The Kamloops Food Policy Council is partnering with Gardengate by investing in necessary equipment and upgrades for the facility. The Gardengate facility will be the first commercial facility available for rental to the public.

“Partnering with the Food Hub provides social interaction and activation for current Gardengate clients. It provides the opportunity for those enrolled in the Gardengate program to learn and observe from food entrepreneurs.” – Rob Wright, Open Door Group, Gardengate. Through our partnerships, we hope to inspire the Kamloops community to establish local food businesses. 

This accomplishment is thanks to the momentum of the Food Hub Working group and our numerous partners including representatives from the City of Kamloops, Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations, Open Door Group Gardengate, Kamloops Innovation, Local Pulse, Thompson Rivers University Culinary Arts and Kamloops Food Bank. 

For inquiries, further details and updates about the Food Hub, please visit kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com/food-hub-project/

Media Contact

Kent Fawcett

Food Hub Coordinator

(778)-870-9867

foodhub@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com

The Kamloops Food Policy Council is looking to hire a Full-Time Food Hub Coordinator who will be responsible for supporting food processing in the Kamloops region, by facilitating a food hub for the region. The long-term vision for the food hub is to foster a thriving regional agriculture and food sector that is a significant contributor to the local economy in our region. The coordinator will work closely with local entrepreneurs to connect them with the support they need to create, grow, and scale local food businesses. The coordinator will work to grow and sustain a dynamic food hub as a catalyst for building a strong local food system in our region, and build the community, connections and partnerships needed to support this vision.

If you have strong Project Management, Communications and Leadership skills, read the complete job description below and apply!

Applications will be accepted until Monday, January 25, 2021.

Food Hub Coordinator Job Posting Jan 2021