* Gulf Islands FOOD CO-OP – Summary & Services

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

(pdf version of this Summary)

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, gardeners, livestock producers, non-Indigenous and Indigenous, fishers, value-added sellers and more).  The main goal is to help increase food production capacity, and to encourage community members to buy local food.

APRIL, 2020:  See below for our PROJECTS OVER THE PAST YEAR.  Thanks to Vancity, the CRD, plus Community Works hauling funds, we’ve supported island Food Producers to work on or benefit from:

 

Joint Bulk Buying and Soil Amendment Hauling

  • Co-op coordinated cost-saving bulk purchases of necessary supplies for 15 Food Producers
  • adapted Gulf Islands Food Co-op online ecommerce for producers to pay for bulk buying
  • COVID: supported 40 Producers to buy supplies needed to keep growing for their communities
  • (separate Community Works grant) also supported 20 soil amendment truck hauls to keep growing

 

Education / References and Indigenous Outreach:

  • Honouring Indigenous Food workshops on Pender and Saturna (March, 2019), plus online references
  • Soil Building Class on Galiano (March, 2019), plus online unique island soil building references
  • Sustainable Poultry Workshop on Pender (Feb, 2020) – check back here for future workshops
  • Saturna Local Food Security workshops (Jan/Feb, 2020), leading to Island Food Production Guide
  • COVID: supported Tsawout + 4 island programs to provide local meals for vulnerable islanders

 

Joint Selling through Co-op Tables and Ecommerce Development

  • “Co-op Table” hosts at 25 Galiano, Mayne & Pender Saturday Markets (June to Oct/19), sold for dozens of Food Producers (back on the land planting, weeding, watering – to keep the food coming)
  • steadily developing Producer support for joint selling, plus other on-island & inter-island cooperation
  • refined Ecommerce system, got Producers using for bulk buying, now 2 groups interested in selling
  • COVID: supported Saturna Food Bag program + 3 island Food Banks to provide local food as needed

 

See also our GULF ISLANDS FOOD REGISTRY, now with 66 amazing commercial food producers from our islands, plus 12 island food groups that are also key to local food sustainability and security.

You can easily BECOME A CO-OP MEMBER ONLINE, for food producers of any type, or Co-op supporters. Then you can have input into FUTURE LOCAL FOOD RESILIENCE PROJECTS that we’re developing.

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

CONTACT: Nancy Klein, Gulf Islands Food Co-op Coordinator (info@gulfislandsfoodco-op.org)

 

Logo design: Mae Moore