EDMONTON — With Canadians still reeling from the biggest recall of meat in history, hundreds of people and organizations from across the country who are working on food issues are preparing to converge upon Edmonton for the 7th National Assembly of Food Secure Canada (FSC). Powering up! Food for the Future, will be held at NAIT (the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) from November 1-4, 2012 and is being organized in collaboration with the provincial network, Growing Food Security in Alberta (GFSA).
This biennial event will bring together close to 400 activists, academics, farmers, community workers, youth, Indigenous and Northern peoples to share, learn, and strengthen their commitment to Food Secure Canada’s core goals: zero hunger, healthy and safe food, ecological agriculture. Food Secure Canada’s broad and diverse movement has worked for many years to define a clear policy agenda that is summarized in Resetting the Table: A People’s Food Policy for Canada. Many of the issues that have come to light in the XL meat recall – food safety, health, environment, labour, animal well-bring, access to information and the inherent problems of such large-scale production– are addressed in the People’s Food Policy. The people gathering in Edmonton know not only what is wrong with the food system as it is, they also have a wealth of knowledge and experience on how to fix it. Many of them are already doing so in their own communities!
Powering Up! Food for the Future includes four plenary sessions, over 40 workshops and several network meetings. The Assembly is an opportunity to showcase the innovation occurring within Alberta, and share successes, and lessons learned from across Canada. Plenary topics include a critical look at the elitism of the “local food” movement; a discussion between activists and federal MPs about the obstacles to food policy change; the sustainability problems of cheap, convenient, fast food and energy; and the future directions of food activism. Northern food security issues will be specially profiled this year throughout the program.
This event will be both inspiring and thought-provoking, taking a hard look at the work needed to improve Canada’s food system for producers, consumers, and the next generation. Amongst other topics, participants will discuss: Northern food insecurity; hunger and the right to food in Canada; seeds and resilience; health and sustainability; meat and industrial agriculture; food policy councils; GM crops; migrant workers’ rights; children and gardening; financing the next generation of farmers; new funding models; permaculture and aquaponics; challenges for the coop movement and much more.
Registration is now open to the public and full program information is available at www.foodsecurecanada.org.
Two events are open to the Edmonton public without registration for the entire event:
(1) The Taste and Sounds of Alberta is a feast and farmers’ market featuring the best of Alberta food and drink and will include a program of music, arts and crafts. It takes place at NAIT’s Common Market Area on Saturday, November 3 from 6:30-9:30 pm. Tickets are $30 and are available at www.foodsecurecanada.org.
(2) A public evening of panel discussion on Energy, Resilience and the Future of Food will feature some leading thinkers on the links between the climate and the food crises. Hosted by Jim Hole, the panel will include Pat Mooney, Mike Lewis, Eriel Deranger and Augusta Henriques. This event takes place on Friday, November 2 at 7:00 pm at the Expo Centre and a voluntary contribution is suggested.
See the list of sponsors.
For more information:
Diana Bronson, Executive Director, Food Secure Canada:
Susan Roberts, Coordinator, Growing Food Security in Alberta