Values – What We Stand For
Our values are inspired by the Seven Pillars of Food Sovereignty, developed by the International Forum for Food Sovereignty and members of the Indigenous Circle during the People’s Food Policy process.
A resilient food system: healthy land and water
The food system in Kamloops and area is resilient and adaptive in the face of potential climate and economic upsets, and functions in a way that promotes biodiversity and soil health. Food grown through agriculture or collected through traditional harvesting methods protects land, water, animals and humans now and in future generations. Pesticide/herbicide use is reduced and eventually eliminated, and no contaminants or toxic materials are applied to the land. The scale of food production and harvesting does not overly tax the land. There is an integrated waste management system. The cost of food properly reflects the true value of inputs like human labour and water, while recognizing the environmental impacts of growing and transporting food. The KFPC and its network works regionally, provincially and beyond as required to promote conditions needed for a resilient food system, advocating for policy change, incubating programs, working with farmers and building partnerships.
Alleviation of poverty: equitable access to healthy, culturally appropriate food
The food system in Kamloops and area is inclusive of all voices and meets the diversity of needs found in our community. All people living in Kamloops have access to healthy, culturally appropriate food. Many people are growing their own food, and a variety of fresh, healthy and local food is available to buy or trade. Where gaps exist in household level food security, including amongst individuals experiencing homelessness, there are enough regular meals provided throughout Kamloops to address that need. This is supported through collective urban farms and reducing food waste by gleaning from places where it is abundant. Members of the food system are advocates and facilitators of change, addressing barriers to food accessibility (i.e., living wage, costs for housing, transportation, dependence on processed food and agribusiness, dependence on other regions/countries).
Local economic vitality: support for regional food providers
The food system prioritizes solidarity and sovereignty over competition and profit, and ensures a good livelihood for producers with safe and equitable labour conditions for all. For example, business models like worker-owned cooperatives are favoured over profit-driven corporations. Food and agriculture sectors are key economic drivers in Kamloops and region. There is good demand for food grown in the region from residents, chefs and institutions. Food producers, processors and distributors have the capacity to scale their operations to meet increasing demand and incubator farms and shared kitchens reduce barriers for new entrants. The necessary infrastructure (dry and cold storage, commercial kitchens, abattoirs) is in place to support the food system along the value chain, and there are multiple venues where local food can be purchased year-round. Regulations support safe, healthy food but do not create unnecessary barriers for local food providers to enter the food system or innovate with their products.
Our network: celebrating people as gifts and the cultivation of connections
The Kamloops Food Policy Council acts as a hub and a leader, inspiring people throughout the region to work together toward a common vision. The council is inclusive, with few or no barriers to participation, and proactively reaches out to under-represented groups, listening to their needs when setting priorities. Members of the network, and the food system more generally, are aware of one another and work to collaborate with each other, reduce redundancies and address gaps. The network is a way to connect with food, fun and friendship, as well as being a venue for making effective changes in the community.
Indigenous food sovereignty: decolonizing relations and the restoration of ecological food systems
Food is recognized as a sacred gift that cannot be commodified. Food is produced in a sustainable, balanced way that reflects and respects the interconnectedness of food, people, and nature. Traditional practices and cultural harvesting strategies are a living reality, with widespread participation and guaranteed access to culturally-adapted foods. Access to traditional land is ensured, by returning it or creating Indigenous protected areas that do not restrict traditional land uses. Policies are put in place that ensure the integrity and health of Indigenous food systems for future generations. These policies are developed using a cross cultural approach that emphasizes Indigenous self-determination, respects Indigenous legal orders and works with natural systems/laws. Non-indigenous members work to minimize their impacts on unceded lands, educate themselves about colonization and its impacts, and seek points of complementarity with an Indigenous-led decolonization movement.
Food literacy: intergenerational knowledge transfer and sharing best practices and research
People in Kamloops and area have appreciation, knowledge and skills for growing, preserving, and cooking food. Community members feel encouraged to choose healthy foods that are culturally, regionally and seasonally appropriate. Regular sharing of knowledge and practices takes place between and within different generations and different members of society (gardeners, farmers, researchers, organizations, etc.). Area schools, including post-secondary institutions, are involved in research and education around food. Common spaces such as community gardens and tool libraries are supported so that community members have places to spend time, share and learn from each other.
Food Commons: the revitalization of local food assets and the sharing economy
People in Kamloops are regularly growing, cooking and eating together and sharing the food they have grown or prepared. Kamloops has many venues and processes in place to support the sharing economy (common gardens, shared kitchens, a platform for bartering, etc.). This encourages more local food, more variety and more equal distribution of resources while reducing food waste. These activities promote a feeling of abundance and remind us to care for our community and for each other. An interconnected and caring community helps meet people’s needs and complements programming to address household food insecurity. People recognize the importance of sharing as an alternative to the current economic system and are empowered to advocate for a more inclusive and respectful system.