Sudbury

Local food strategy to be presented to Sudbury planning committee

Only 2 per cent of food consumed in Sudbury is locally grown, and a new report being presented to the city’s planning committee includes strategies to address the imbalance.

Strategy would lay out goals for creating an economically viable and ecologically sustainable food system

Only two per cent of food consumed here in Sudbury is locally-grown, says Stuart McCall, member of the Sudbury food policy council. (Greater Sudbury Market/Facebook)

Only 2 per cent of food consumed in Sudbury is locally grown, and a new report being presented to the city's planning committee includes strategies to address the imbalance.

Stuart McCall, a farmer who sits on Sudbury's food policy council, said the Greater Sudbury food strategy would lay out the short and long-term goals for creating an economically viable and ecologically sustainable food system for the city.

One of the ideas in the report would be to increase the amount of local producers at the downtown farmer's market.

The Sudbury Food Policy Council hopes that a report being presented on Monday alleviates some of the challenges that consumers face when making the choice to eat local.
"[2 per cent is] kind of sad actually," said McCall, "I'd like to see that up maybe around 10 per cent or even greater. I think that's possible. I think it's quite doable."

Another step the city can take is to amend bylaws to improve signage directing consumers to local farms.

"That tells me that the consumers of produce and so on don't really know where to go," McCall said, "I think it would be really important to get that part of it clarified through the bylaws and allow that sort of direction for people."

According to the report, Sudbury's awareness and interest in locally-grown food has been increasing for a few years, not only at the consumer level, but the institutional level as well.

The report said that even some large organizations incorporate local food in their procurement policies.

The food council will be presenting its report on Monday night.

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