Local Food Paradox
What is keeping organic supply in BC from rising to meet strong demand?
The local food paradox is strong demand but weak supply. This costs BC $2 billion a year in vegetable and fruit imports. (1) Most of this food could be grown in BC on urban farms throughout the Province. ( 2) Right now 70% of this comes from California and 17% from Mexico. (3)
Almost 70 out of 100 consumers in BC buy some organic weekly.
Only 3 out of 100 farmers in BC are certified organic. IMPORTS rush in to fill the supply gap. What can be done? Consumers need to help the young urban farmers overcome the four barriers to scaling up. Consumers can help themselves by helping the young farmers.
Young urban farmers are the fastest growing farm sector in BC but these comments apply to all food producers. How can we help increase the supply of organic vegetables and fruits to meet BC demand?
Governments and corporations are not focused on building food security for the benefit of small farmers, consumers and their communities. Is this where people in households and community partners can help make a difference?
Helping means overcoming the four barriers to scaling up, identified by research. Labour – Capital – Legal – Infrastructure are the four barriers and consumers can help with each one.
None of this is easy to understand or fast to do. There is a gap between what consumers need to know and the knowledge that exists in studies and reports.
Our company is dedicated to closing this knowledge gap. BC food security cannot increase until consumers understand the benefits of helping the young farmers.
Vegetable prices increased 19% in 2019. How much time do we have to solve the local food paradox?
1. 2020 BC Food Security Task Force report to Premier Horgan, pg. 22
2. 2013 Surrey’s Under-utilized ALR Land, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
(KPU), Dr. Mullininx et al.
3. 2016 Agriculture’s Connection to Health, Provincial Health Services
Authority (PHSA) Dr. Ostry research pg. 32