food systems work in rural and remote communities

The Provincial & Territorial Food Networks met by teleconference on February 11th, 2014. The meeting included the usual fascinating update of activities from across the country and then featured a talk by Aimée Watson, author of Groundswell: A Guide to Building Food Security in Rural Communities. Aimée provided detailed insight into the particularities of working in rural and remote communities on food systems. The small population numbers pose particular challenges to market considerations, but they contribute to rural economies that are based on much more than just a monetary exchange. As she stated, "in a rural community, there is a social and cultural base that is foundational to anything they are trying to do – more important than just dollars and sense." The rich stories and analysis based on her ten years of working in the community sparked a really interesting dialogue about how in rural communities across Canada and in many parts of the world, local economies are necessarily based on four pillars: financial, social, environmental, and cultural. The minutes from the meeting can be downloaded here.

The next meeting of the Provincial & Territorial Food Networks is on April 8th. In the meantime, read the minutes and join the discussion below about working in community.

During the february meeting of the Provincial / Territorial Food Networks meeting, we had an interesting discussion about how rural community economies are necessarily based in relationships and exchanges that often do not include an exchange of currency. Theresa Schumilas shared a link to a network of researchers who are working on a new vision of economies that is based in this rural reality: