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 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, non-Indigenous and Indigenous, gardeners, fishers, value-added producers and more). The main goal is to increase their food production capacity, and to encourage community members to buy local food.
JUNE, 2019: We are grateful to announce that GIFC now has NEW FUNDING from Vancity, the Community Works Fund, and the CRD – to pay islanders to work on the following supportive projects:
(1) CO-OP TABLES for joint selling at the 4 island Saturday Markets, for producers a bit too small to have their own table each week (see more info below);
(2) JOINT BULK BUYING for less expensive purchasing of other key things needed by food producers, e.g. see first Bird Netting Bulk Buy
(3) CO-OP ECOMMERCE for producers who want to try selling online through the Co-op;
(5) ADDITIONAL INDIGENOUS OUTREACH and support from Co-op programs;
(6) FREE HAULING of compostable materials for soil building (e.g. manure, plant waste – next year);
(6) LESS-EXPENSIVE BULK BUYING of other key things needed by food producers (e.g. soil tests, seed, fertilizer, and other supplies and small equipment).
For our first new project, GIFC is funding CO-OP TABLES (co-operative sales tables for the joint selling of fresh fruits and vegetables), at each of the 4 Saturday Markets in the Southern Gulf Islands. This project will also showcase the variety of produce available throughout the season, and provide Gulf Islands Food Co-op info.
Even small growers are invited to contribute surplus produce for sale at the Co-op Tables (subject to local Market Manager requirements). All of this is valuable for local food resilience! For each island, GIFC is currently arranging a paid person to connect with the growers offering produce that week – to set up/take down the Co-op Table, sit for the length of the weekly market to sell the produce, and then divvy up the cash and leftovers later.
CONTACT new Co-op Coordinator Nancy Klein (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are interested or have questions about the Co-op generally or any of the above projects (especially the Co-op Tables starting soon).
You can also google “gulf islands food” to find the Co-op website with more info. This includes a GULF ISLANDS FOOD REGISTRY of 65 amazing commercial food producers on our islands.
You can easily register online to BECOME A CO-OP MEMBER – for food producers of any type, or Co-op supporters. Then you will be sure to hear about future offerings, and also help us grow in our services to you!
Nancy Klein, Gulf Islands Food Co-op Coordinator (email@example.com)
Logo design: Mae Moore