* Gulf Islands FOOD CO-OP – Summary & Services

serving Producers, Eaters, and Local Food Sustainability!  (in the Southern Gulf Islands, BC, Canada)

The GULF ISLANDS FOOD CO-OP (GIFC) is a non-profit community service co-op, focused on supporting the food producers, food groups, eaters, and local food resilience of the islands of Pender, Mayne, Galiano, and Saturna.  This is within the beautiful Coast Salish W̱SÁNEĆ traditional territories where we are grateful to be.

We offer free or low-cost services to island food producers of all types and sizes (e.g. commercial and non-commercial, gardeners, livestock producers, non-Indigenous and Indigenous, fishers, value-added sellers and more).  We currently have 84 voting Members from all four Southern Gulf Islands (including 66 Producers), 600+ island contacts who support food security, and a Gulf Islands Food Registry of 66 SGI Commercial Food Producers and 12 SGI Food Groups.

The CO-OP’s MAIN GOALS are to help increase island food production, encourage buying of local food, and follow up on key practical recommendations of the Southern Gulf Islands Food & Agriculture Strategy.

THANK YOU TO OUR FUNDERS!  The inspiring Co-op activities below (socially distanced or online during covid) have only been possible with essential financial support from Vancity Credit Union, the Capital Regional DistrictCommunity Works Funding, and partnerships with the Southern Gulf Islands Community Resource Centres and others to whom we are so grateful!

2021 & 2022 Co-op HIGHLIGHTS and Upcoming

* Feb, 2021 to March, 2022: Roz Kempe and Ben Dunsmuir of the Co-op along with many cooperating stakeholders completed a lengthy SGI Food System Assets and Priority Actions REPORT  (funded by the CRD’s Southern Gulf Islands Community Economic Sustainability Commission).

* May to Sept, 2021: Our highly successful Co-op Tables for Joint Selling at island Saturday Markets (Pender, Galiano and Mayne) ran again in 2021 (along with our Saturna Food Bag Program support).

* November, 2021 to March, 2022: We were so grateful to receive Vancity Community Partnership funding for a new Healthy Soils & Regenerative Agriculture Course.  This involved 55 registrants from all 4 islands, participating in zoom sharing sessions plus 4 island Field Days (to support Food Producers practically and with soil carbon sequestration, with an Instructor from Kwantlen Polytechnical University)

* Fall, 2021 to March, 2022: Co-op cooperated and shared grant funding with the Galiano Conservancy and Coast Salish Peoples of Galiano on the creation of the Se Lelum Sar Augh Ta Naogh native plant restoration garden (more info and photos here)

* March 26 to May 2, 2022: Co-op is cooperating with Ptarmigan Arts and Pender Island Seed Library on “Food is Everything” Art Show, to celebrate island food creation and seed saving

* April, 2022 onwards: Co-op has also confirmed CRD funding, to continue our support for Pender, Galiano and Mayne Seed Libraries, and and to offer another Seed Saving Workshop

* May to September, 2022:  Great news!  Our latest CRD (Capital Regional District) funding also includes another year of Co-op Tables for Joint Selling at Pender, Mayne and Galiano Markets, plus related support for Island Food Producers and Saturna Food Bag Program

* Fall, 2022 onwards: When the harvest comes, you can borrow big dehydrators and pressure canners from our Food Preservation Equipment Program

* Ongoing: See our Food Registry of 66 wonderful commercial Food Producers and 12 Island Food Groups!  Just fill out this easy ONLINE FORM to then be found in this Registry searchable by island and/or food.  Final great news…  the Co-op is currently in discussions with Vancity, who’ve suggested another year of funding for a 2023 Healthy Soils Course for Southern Gulf Islands producers!

To support Co-op activities like the above, you can easily MAKE A DONATION, and/or BECOME A CO-OP MEMBER ONLINE, primarily for food producers of any type, plus keen Co-op supporters. Then you can have input into FUTURE LOCAL FOOD RESILIENCE PROJECTS that we’re developing for 2022.

Our islands are stronger together… when we remember old ways of cooperating, and create new ones too!

CONTACT: Roz Kempe, Gulf Islands Food Co-op President (rk@gulfislandsfoodco-op.org)

Logo design: Mae Moore