The Regional Food & Agriculture Strategy (RFAS) details regional food and agriculture objectives, issues and opportunities to guide action and foster leadership in developing a resilient food and agriculture system. The RFAS identifies the CRD's role in food and agriculture along with recommendations, associated actions, and resourcing requirements. The RFAS is intended to be a living document, to be regularly monitored, reviewed and updated.
Because food and agriculture are part of a food system, the Strategy considers all aspects of that system, including planting, irrigation, harvesting, processing, distributing, preparing, marketing and consumption. Food waste management and soil nutrient management are also part of the cycle.
The 2018 Regional Growth Strategy targets increasing land in food production by 5,000 hectares by 2038. These two strategies are intended to work in tandem to guide future decisions.
Foodlands Access Program and Land Contributions
At their April 10, 2019 meeting, the CRD Board decided to ask municipalities if there is a desire for a foodlands trust and to assess potential municipal lands that could be made available. The Regional Foodlands Access Program Feasibility Study contains recommendations to help address farmland access and increase local food production across the region.
A key short-term recommendation of the study is to establish a foodlands trust in partnership with a not-for-profit organization using existing publically owned lands historically used for agricultural purposes. This helps secure the future of regional agricultural production by providing an opportunity for new and younger farmers to enter the industry and learn from established farmers.
Food and Agriculture Task Force
The application deadline for membership membership in the Regional Food and Agriculture Task Force has now passed. Successful candidates will be announced at the CRD Board once the terms of reference are reviewed.
The new members of the Regional Food and Agriculture Task Force are being selected for the next two-year term, the Task Force aims to implement the Regional Food and Agriculture Strategy recommendations, guide action and foster leadership in developing the food and agriculture sector in a manner that is collaborative, strategic, systemic and economically viable. The task force will report to the Planning and Protective Services Committee.