NFU Local 316 presentation, Kingston, August 27: Food supply

Categories: News
Published on: August 30, 2019

NFU Local 316 / Newsletter / 29 August 2019

In the midst of great political, economic, environmental and weather uncertainties, every community must build its self-reliance in food production. Maintaining and ensuring food supply is literally a public safety issue.

As such, the City of Kingston needs to take an active role in supporting businesses in the local food system (farmers, processors, distributors, food retailers, restaurateurs and others) through regulations, funding and public education programs. We define climate-friendly food as food produced with agro-ecological practices such as raising grass-fed/pasture-fed livestock, organic crop production, perennial crops and other measures that build soil carbon.

Priorities include:

  1. developing resilience and self-reliance in climate-friendly food production by increasing the supply of and demand for climate-friendly food, through institutions and other public and private organizations mandating local food procurement;
  2. developing the local farming economy (supply and demand) through measures that raise awareness of climate-friendly food sources;
  3. building soil carbon on mixed (livestock and crops) family farms, combined with strengthening of hedgerows and reforestation of marginal land (probably the best and simplest strategy for sequestering carbon on farms within the city);
  4. increasing local and regional abattoir capacity, to maintain and expand the local livestock production; and,
  5. implementing practices that maintain and increase biodiversity, such as agroforestry, widening hedgerows and increasing set-backs from water sources.

These actions and priorities are informed by the National Farmers Union–Ontario’s Climate Action Project. Over the past eight months, the National Farmers Union–Ontario has been convening groups of farmers all over Ontario to talk about how climate change is affecting farms, what farmers can do to fight climate change, and what societal support is needed for farmer action.

You can find more about that project at: nfuontario.ca/climate