Updated charter to become a north star for future food policy initiatives and programs
Guelph, Ont., October 26, 2023 – The Food System Resiliency Table (the Table) unveiled the Guelph-Wellington Charter for Food Justice on Wednesday, October 25. This charter will guide future decision-makers and contribute to a transformational food movement in the region. Food charters unite communities with a common vision for a better food system. Over 140 people from across Guelph and Wellington contributed to this revitalized vision.
The charter supports actions that align with the following key values and priorities:
- The land and all our relations
- Health and wellbeing
- Shared prosperity
“Rising demand at food banks, biodiversity loss, huge amounts of food lost and wasted, and soaring farmland prices are all symptoms of a food system that simply doesn’t serve everyone in our community equally,” says Ashlee Cooper, co-chair of the Table and manager of Food Equity and Resiliency in the City of Guelph’s Smart Cities Office. “To fix these problems, we need to focus on the broader system such as how we grow, distribute, and consume food. We need to learn how the construct of race, and colonialism, patriarchy, and capitalism have shaped our food system so we can craft one that is equitable for everyone” adds Cooper.
The Charter for Food Justice reflects the community’s desire to address the root causes of food insecurity and inequality. This means advocating for policies that guarantee everyone’s right to food, water, and opportunity. By creating the new Food Charter through a food justice lens, we can ensure this concept is central to all future policymaking decisions.
Sign the charter
The Table invites the community, both individuals and organizations, to read, sign, and share the charter with others.
“The charter can be a very powerful and influential tool, but it needs the support of the community,” says Kate Vsetula, Table co-chair and director of community and organizational development, Guelph Community Health Centre. “The more individuals and organizations that commit to it, the greater its value. This puts policymakers in a position to stand up and take notice.”
To learn more about the Guelph-Wellington Charter for Food Justice and to sign it, visit www.charterforfoodjustice.ca. You can also read it in Arabic, Nepali, Spanish, and Tigrinya.
About the Food System Resiliency Table
The Food System Resiliency Table is a working group comprised of diverse stakeholders from food, farming, and the community focused on regional food policy and programming. Launched in 2021 as part of the Our Food Future initiative, the mandate of the working group is to “make a better food system for all of us” by
- learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and resisting the attempt to return to business as usual;
- building and supporting a food system transformation that builds resilience at all levels;
- ensuring that diverse groups of people are leading from their lived experience and active in building a resilient food system for all; and
- supporting the transition to a circular food economy that is designed with equity, prosperity, and sustainability at the core.
To learn more about the Food System Resiliency Table, or to attend a meeting, visit foodfuture.ca.
Manager, Food Equity and Community Resiliency
Smart Cities Initiative
519-822-1260 extension 3544