Fri, 26 October 2007
Host Jon Steinman recently travelled to Vancouver Island to document two new and innovative projects being undertaken there. Both are looking to ensure the sustainability of local farming on an Island that sees 90% of its food being imported from the mainland.
On this broadcast, we listen in on segments from a presentation by British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture's Brent Warner. Brent was invited to speak at an event hosted by FoodLink Nanaimo.
How does the design of local food systems impact human health. As the economic health of local farmers also ensures the health of the population, today's broadcast is laying out some of the key concerns for British Columbians leading up to the year 2017. A document that has begun to reshape the province's focus on agriculture and food, is also one that has not received much media attention. According to a Treasury Board analysis, by 2017, the increasing pressure placed on the healthcare system will see the budget of the province of British Columbia needing to be solely devoted to funding of health care and education at a minimal rate… nothing else! This scenario is not much different across the country. While many groups argue that the predictions are false and ignore actual past trends, this study has nevertheless acted as a wake up call to all provinces and presents a strong argument among others, that real change needs to begin taking place within Canada's food system.
Brent Warner - Industry Specialist, Agritourism/Direct Marketing, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture & Lands (Victoria, BC) - Brent is a horticulturalist who has worked with the Ministry since 1980. Brent is the Secretary of the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association. He authored "Marketing on the Edge" - a guide for farmers/producers to assist in diversification and marketing of their products directly to the public.