SASKATOON — Saskatoon citizens and organizations came together on Oct. 16 in recognition of World Food Day and to learn about local food security initiatives and food sovereignty around the world.
The event featured a keynote presentation by author and activist Nettie Wiebe on switching the menu from land-grabbing, migration and food insecurity to food sovereignty. Wiebe is a university professor, an organic farmer, and a community organizer. She farms near Delisle, Sask., and recently retired from teaching at St. Andrew’s College at the University of Saskatchewan.
The evening also featured groups working for local food security and global food sovereignty, sharing ideas and opportunities for Saskatoon citizens to get involved in supporting ethical food options at home and around the world. Discussions showcased the role of local, small-scale agriculture in achieving health, nutrition, environmental sustainability and global food security.
Wiebe was available in advance of the event for interviews with the media and to discuss her thoughts on World Food Day and the importance of local production in achieving global justice. She also spoke with groups and citizens who are working on projects in Saskatoon.
The event was sponsored by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, CHEP Good Food Inc., Engineers Without Borders, Fair Trade Saskatoon, the National Farmers’ Union, the Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation, the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre, the Saskatoon Food Council, Slow Food Saskatoon, and USC Canada.
The event was held in response to the United Nations 2017 World Food Day call to action: “Change the Future of Migration: Invest in Food Security and Rural Development.”
Higher temperatures and erratic weather patterns attributed to climate change, including both flooding and drought, are affecting food security around the world. Agricultural adaptation to climate change is vital to combating poverty and hunger now and in the future.
By adopting sustainable agricultural practices tailored to local contexts, farmers around the world can increase both their productivity and their income, while also increasing their resilience. By learning about the impact of the food we eat and choosing more sustainable options, citizens can substantially reduce the harmful effects of agriculture and food production on the planet.
As Canadians become more aware of their power as consumers, they are choosing to make a clear statement with the products they buy. By purchasing fair trade, organic, and locally produced goods, they show support for the environment, local and global communities, and farming families around the world.