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Have Your Say on Food Policy October 5, 2010

Posted by gfsa in Countdown to P2S, Food Thoughts.
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The People’s Food Policy Project is a pan-Canadian network of citizens and organizations that is creating Canada’s first food sovereignty policy.

The heart of food sovereignty is reclaiming decision-making power in the food system. This means that people have a say in how their food is produced and where it comes from. Food sovereignty seeks to rebuild the relationship between people and the land, and between those who grow and harvest food and those who eat it. 

Back in 2007, a number of citizens deeply concerned with and involved in shaping our food systems, decided that Canada needed a big shift in how it deals with food.  After decades of farming crisis after crisis, rising obesity and hunger, and the continuing degradation of the environment through food production, it has become clear that the government needs our help in solving these complex problems. The People’s Food Policy Project was conceived as a way for us all be involved in shaping Canadian food policy – a way for us to pool our knowledge, experience and desire for a food system that fits with our values.  Since we started in 2009, we’ve had conversations with over 1000 Canadians about the food system they want.  These conversations have been summarized in the 10 Discussion Papers (that will eventually become the People’s Food Policy) that you can find on our website.  In the coming months and years, we hope to continue these very important conversations to deepen and further develop the People’s Food Policy. 

The People’s Food Policy grows from a vision of a society in which nobody goes hungry and everyone has a strong connection to the sources of their food; where food sources and food providers are honoured; and where people shape the policies that govern the food system through an inclusive, democratic process.
So, we are asking people to consider the food systems you want by:
· having conversations and thinking together,
· imagining what a food system based on your values would look like,
· sharing stories of struggle with the existing food systems and
· sharing stories of hope about the food system you want.

We are creating a citizen-based food sovereignty policy for Canada that we hope to put into practice in the future.  Part of this involves talking with as many Canadians as we can, and together thinking about what a food policy might look like that reflects our values.  Through this project, we are weaving together a united vision and basis for action amongst the many local, regional, provincial food groups across the country.  We hope that this will inspire other groups to think about food policy (if they aren’t already!) in their own work.

How You Can Contribute?
Be a Food Champion – Host a Kitchen Table Talk! Conversations are catalysts of new ideas, actions and relationships.  To ensure that the People’s Food Policy truly reflects a broad spectrum of opinions, we need citizens like you to contribute your opinions, values and efforts.  Below, we have provided three suggested Kitchen Table Talk processes to help guide your discussions and generate discussion.  Please choose one that suits your personal or organizational interests.

1. The People’s Food Policy: What does the food system you want look like?  During these Kitchen Table Talks, we will imagine the food system we want and talk about whether the People’s Food Policy reflects your hopes.  A general pamphlet containing eight appetizing questions have been prepared to get you going.
2. Assessing a Piece of the People’s Food Policy Pie: The goal of this conversation is to understand, critique, diversify and deepen the People’s Food Policy.  Choose one policy, OR one section of a discussion paper, OR an entire discussion paper and have a conversation about it.  Then let us know what you would change, add or remove.
3. A Food Story Circle: We all have stories to share about food.  The goal of this conversation is to document food stories of struggle, hope or revelation.  Around the table, share what isn’t working in our food system and the innovative ways that people have overcome the limitations of our food system.  Share the moments of change in our own lives when we realized that something had to change.  These stories will be used to support our policy proposals, to give a grounded rationale for why the policies we propose are needed.

To view the 10 draft Discussion papers, see dates for Kitchen Tables  in your region and for more information go to the PFPP web site at www.peoplesfood[policy.ca or contact two of the Alberta PFPP Animators: Susan Roberts (780-987-2002) or Angie Dedrick at info@foodsecurityalberta.ca

For more information and participation and facilitation guidance for the  PFPP Kitchen Tables see: http://www.peoplesfoodpolicy.ca/getinvolvedorganisation or http://www.peoplesfoodpolicy.ca/getinvolvedcitizen

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