Dear Island Food Producers and Eaters,
We are very happy to confirm that as of yesterday (September 27, 2018), the non-profit GULF ISLANDS FOOD CO-OP was officially incorporated!
MISSION & PROCESS: The primary mission is to support our incredible Southern Gulf Islands (SGI) Food Producers, from Pender, Mayne, Saturna and Galiano.
This includes commercial, non-commercial, plus value-added producers. These food producers will always be the majority of the Co-op’s Members, so it can respond to what they need most to keep creating food!
However, the companion Co-op mission is to increase our islands’ local food bounty, its sustainability, and local food security – for the benefit of Eaters and all our communities. So Active Supporters will be welcome as Members too. Then there’ll be a first AGM on February 9, 2019, where all Members can elect Directors and guide the Co-op forward.
PRACTICAL CO-OP SUPPORTS in the meantime: What’s initially proposed below is based on a year and a half of feedback from island Food Producers and Eaters, at Co-op Meetings, by phone/email, plus from a core team of Island Liaisons. This Co-op is lucky because it ALREADY HAS SOME RESOURCES TO DEVELOP THE FOLLOWING:
* Soil Building Education: proposed half-day sessions on each island, with honorariums for teachers and organizers – want to get involved?
* Honouring / Bridging between Indigenous & Non-Indigenous Food Creators & Practices: proposed half-day on each island, to reach out and learn from each other
* Online Ecommerce for Marketing & Facilitating Food Sales: Yes, a non-profit Co-op can host this! See DEMO at https://gulfislandsfoodco-op.org/ecommerce/deva-farm/
* Soil Building Pilot Project: now incorporated, the Co-op can meet an October deadline for a major grant application to offer hauling of soil amendments and other help
You’ve asked for other kinds of food producer supports, e.g. for wildlife management, water management, sharing of equipment, advocacy, etc. This Co-op is a way to co-operatively go after related grants/resources, which each island can then use how it suits them best.
BIG THANKS: This Co-op only exists because of the incredible support offered by DAVID HOWE, your Southern Gulf Islands CRD Director. The Co-op is also part of the practical follow-through to the tremendously valuable SGI Food & Agriculture Plan. Other key supports are Vancity funding the Co-op’s incorporation, and Heartwood Folk School hosting its collaborative development.
MORE NEWS TO COME: about the Co-op’s official membership drive, opportunities for island folks to be paid to work on Co-op projects, and much more. See HERE for updates… plus we invite you to use this Forum to tell us what you think!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more…