Resetting the Table – A People’s Food Policy for Canada

Food Secure Canada

Year: 2011

It took 3500 people almost three years to come up with Resetting the Table – A People’s Food Policy for Canada. This grassroots response to the crises in our food systems – millions hungry, millions obese, declining numbers of farmers and fishers – offers a menu of workable policies that can put us on the right path.

Across Canada, people are increasingly taking actions that are transforming our food system from the ground up. They are connecting directly with food producers, they are revitalizing indigenous food systems, and they are establishing food policy councils.

But these actions need to be translated into policy.

The People’s Food Policy’s core concern is the concept of food sovereignty. This is an internationally-recognized approach where food is acknowledged as the primary foundation on which healthy lives, communities, economies, and eco-systems rests. Key elements in food sovereignty include:

  • Ensuring that food is eaten as close as possible to where it is produced (domestic/regional purchasing policies for institutions and large food retailers, community-supported agriculture, local farmers markets, etc.).
  • Supporting food providers in a widespread shift to ecological production in both urban and rural settings (organic agriculture, community-managed fisheries, indigenous food systems, etc.), including policies for the entry of new farmers into agriculture.
  • Enacting a strong federal poverty elimination and prevention program, with measurable targets and timelines, to ensure Canadians can better afford healthy food.
  • Creating a nationally-funded Children and Food strategy (including school meal programs, school gardens, and food literacy programs) to ensure that all children at all times have access to the food required for healthy lives.
  • Ensuring that the public, especially the most marginalized, are actively involved in decisions that affect the food system.

Table of Contents:

Executive Summary
Why Canada Needs a Food Policy
The Wider Context
Changing Courses
Introducing the People’s Food Policy
Food Sovereignty
The People’s Food Policy Platform

Indigenous Food Sovereignty
Food Sovereignty in Rural and Remote Communities
Access to Food in Urban Communities
Agriculture, Infrastructure and Livelihoods
A Sustainable Fishery and Reasonable Livelihood for Fishers
Environment and Agriculture
Science and Technology for Food and Agriculture
Food Trade and International Aid
Healthy and Safe Food for All
Food Democracy and Governance