* Gulf Islands FOOD CO-OP – Summary & Updates

serving Producers, Eaters, and Local Food Sustainability!     *pdf summary

 

1. INVITATION:  Dear Pender, Mayne, Saturna and Galiano food producers of all sizes, types, and ages,  including (with gratitude) the Coast Salish W̱SÁNEĆ peoples of the Southern Gulf Islands (SGI)… 

Now a new non-profit Gulf Islands Food Co-op has been incorporated, and can offer you support!

 

2.  MISSION:  Based on all the Food Producer, community, and Member feedback to date:

(A)  to support the community of Gulf Islands Food Producers (both commercial and non-commercial), by facilitating increased practical co-operation, communication, education, access to equipment and resources, capacity building, producer connections with eaters, and other useful community services;

(B)  to welcome Food Producers who originate currently or traditionally from the islands of Pender, Mayne, Saturna or Galiano, plus other Gulf Islands of BC, Canada where mutually beneficial, and including various food producers (e.g. non-Indigenous and Indigenous, farmers, growers for personal consumption, wild harvesters, fishers, value-added producers, young growers and more);

(C)  through supporting the above Producers, to increase the Gulf Islands local food bounty, its sustainability, and local food security – for the benefit of Eaters and all our communities;

(D)  as decided by Members, to follow up on other key priorities from the SGI Food & Agriculture Strategy.

Note: a majority of the Co-op’s Members and Directors will always be SGI Food Producers (commercial or non-commercial).  However, food producers from other Gulf Islands, plus non-producing Supporters, are also welcome to seek involvement in the evolution of the Co-op!

 

3. INITIAL PLANNING:  Supported by a collaborative planning grant, we’ve had 6 initial Co-op meetings, and hundreds of useful feedback conversations.  Outreach is also currently in progress with the Tsawout, Tsartlip, Tseycum, Pauchaquin, Penelakut and Lyackson First Nations, and other key stakeholders.

 

4.  INITIAL CO-OP ACTIONS / SERVICES:   Starting as an informal Co-op, for our first steps we…

(A)  identified and connected with 60+ SGI commercial food producers, and 100+ local food supporters;

(B)  created a Gulf Islands FOOD REGISTRY for joint promotion and getting to know each other;

(C)  created a Gulf Islands FOOD FORUM, for Producer knowledge sharing and informal cooperation.

 

5.  UPDATES RE: NEXT PRACTICAL SUPPORTS:   As of February, 2019…

(A)  EDUCATION & ECOMMERCE:  Thanks to CRD funding, we’re now offering Soil Building Classes on various islands, plus our first two educational events to Honour Indigenous Food Creation & Practices.

(B)  MEMBERSHIPS & MEETINGS:  Now that we’re incorporated, we invite food producers or supporters to register as Members  (49 so far!)  Note: at our February 17, 2019 Members & Directors Meetings (by video), we elected Co-op Directors from the islands, and approved the priorities in this Strategic Plan.

(C)  APPROVED PRIORITIES:  Job #1 is Increasing Island Food Production.  We have a grant for soil building transport, and are seeking more to support water and wildlife management, bulk purchasing, and related education.  Our other priority is Joint Marketing & Easier Selling, including Co-op Tables at Saturday Markets, activating our online Ecommerce Demo, facilitating cooperative marketing, and also supportive selling of Indigenous Foods.

We are stronger together!  Contact info@gulfislandsfoodco-op.org or see https://gulfislandsfoodco-op.org for more…

 

Logo design: Mae Moore