The importance of food to human health and the economy is well understood and profound. As one of the vital elements of human existence, from production to consumption, food involves many of the most important cultural, social, and economic activities of human societies.
The Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action in 1996 called for each nation to develop and implement a national plan of action to achieve food security domestically and internationally. The Action Plan for Food Security is Canada 's response to the World Food Summit (WFS). The Plan recognized the important role played by civil society "in social, political and economic reform, through public education, advocacy and participation in public policy formulation." The Action Plan also recognized that food security implied access to adequate food and sufficient food supplies and that poverty reduction, social justice and sustainable food (and wild food) systems are essential conditions for a food secure Canada .
Food insecurity affects many and presents itself in many different forms in Canada. The problems are evident in the number of people using food banks, the financial problems of farmers and fishers and their communities, diabetes rates among aboriginal people, widespread obesity in children and adults, and pollution and habitat destruction associated with the food system. FSC helps create opportunities for its members to address these problems, in local, national and international arenas.
Food Secure Canada recognizes that food security requires that adequate amounts of safe, healthy, nutritious, culturally acceptable food be accessible to all in a dignified manner; that food producers earn a fair return on their labour, and that food production, harvesting and distribution methods sustain the environment. In a society in which most people purchase their food, they must have adequate funds to do so, and full information about what they buy.
We recognize that food security includes many evolving concepts that require on-going discussion and development. This is particularly so regarding rights and entitlements, social justice and respect for the sovereignty of Canadians in relation to the food system (e.g., aboriginal relations to traditional lands, farmers' maintenance of biodiversity through breeding and seed saving, workers' authority in relation to their working conditions and remuneration). These basic elements of food security require a fundamentally new direction for Canadian and world food and health promotion systems.
We endeavor to work in solidarity with communities throughout the world who are striving for justice, equity and environmental sustainability in the production, processing and consumption of food. We believe that there is an increasing need for informed citizen participation in important decisions dealing with food policy, food safety, health and poverty reduction.
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