This is my third year as lead organizer for a food security forum in Northwest BC. Through the many conversations I get to have with sponsors, speakers, caterers, delegates, and members of the planning team, I see some trends emerging.
1. With each year, this conversation gets easier. We have progressed from using emerency preparedness as a hook to highlighting economic development opportunities that can mean more sustainable jobs in our region.
2. More action on food security is taking place each year, some of this is due to corporate responsibility, and some of it is due to the undeniable links between nutrition and chronic illnesses. However, little of the action is economically motivated. We hope this can change.
3. Cross-pollinating between disciplines and sectors is increasingly common and increasingly imperative. For example, this year a multi-day LNG conference is happening just a few days ahead of the food security forum, and at our event, a keynote presentation is called "Win, Lose, or Draw: The impacts of resource development on our food system." In my pre-interviews with panelists for this session, all seem optimistic that there are economic opportunities to be had if better coordination and communication can happen between producers and consumers, even if the consumers are temporary.
4. What I can speak to at the event with confidence is increasing exponentially each year. In 2019, I can be on the panel for New Farmers and speak to my experiences, I can moderate the sessions on Food Waste Recovery and Resource Impacts, and I can demonstrate exercises and recipes as a certified PreserveSafe and Food Skills for Familiers facilitator. So as this coaltion and campaign for food security matures, so does my understanding of the issues at play and my skill set to offer solutions. It's a direction I am proud to be moving in.
Want to come to the event? Hurry up - it starts Friday April 5 at 9:00 am. Learn more here.