A food charter is a statement of values and principles that guide decision-making and orient council policy towards food security. A growing number of communities across BC and Canada – from small municipalities like Saanich, Salmon Arm, and Kaslo, to major cities like Vancouver and Toronto – are officially adopting their own food charters to support the development of sustainable and socially just local food systems.
The Cowichan Food Charter (the Charter), was developed in 2007 by the Cowichan Food Security Plan’s (PDF) original Steering Committee and updated in 2009 with input from the community.
On Monday, January 18th, 2010, the City of Duncan became the first organization in the Cowichan Region to officially adopt the Cowichan Food Charter. Following, several of the region’s governing bodies and organizations signed onto the charter including: Jean Crowder, MP Nanaimo-Cowichan; Bill Routley, MLA Cowichan Valley; Cowichan Valley Regional District; District of North Cowichan; Town of Lake Cowichan; Town of Ladysmith; Malahat First Nation; Cowichan Agricultural Society; Cittaslow Cowichan Bay; and The Community Farm Store.
To sign the Charter is to firmly state that food, health, and the environment are connected, and that they are integral to the wellbeing of our whole community. Accordingly, the Charter identifies that:
Food security exists when ALL members of our community have access to enough nutritious, safe, ecologically sustainable, and culturally appropriate food at all times.
To add your voice to the movement – sign the Cowichan Food Charter as an individual or on behalf of your organization or business. Click below to download a copy of The Charter.
If you would like to learn more about how your community can develop a food charter, check out the Food Charter Toolkit developed by the Guelph-Wellington Food Round Table (PDF).