Fulfilling recommendations made in the Brandon Food Charter and Community Food Assessment, the newly formed Brandon Food Council will monitor the local food system and provide direction for a forthcoming Brandon Food Strategy.
The timing could not be better. In an address to the Frankfurt Congress on Food Councils last November, Olivier De Schutter, former UN special rapporteur on the right to food, and co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems applauded the successes of food policy councils in Canada and the US and their influence on similar movements in Europe and the UK.
“It is [an] exercise in political imagination that food policy councils can perform, by building on the combined knowledge of all the actors of the local food system to build alternatives that can deliver on the different levels of what it means to be a sustainable food system,” Olivier De Schutter.
A steering committee with support from Food Matters Manitoba and the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation selected the initial food council. The newly appointed members represent multiple sectors and demographics. They include experts in agriculture and land-based food, community-based food systems research, leadership in the non-profit sector, as well as people of colour, persons with disabilities, those with lived experience of food insecurity, youth and seniors.
“It is in the community’s best interest to ensure that food security is recognized in policy, strategy and action as a basic human right and prioritized in responses to health, economy and the environment,” Nancy McPherson, Associate Professor at Brandon University Faculty of Health Studies and member of the Brandon Food Council Steering Committee. “We were impressed with the quality of candidates and breadth of experience, and look forward to this exciting work.”
The Brandon Food Council will meet for the first time on Feb 27, 2019.