For Immediate Release: October 5, 2011
COPE City Councilor Ellen Woodsworth and Park Board Candidate Brent Granby are supporting the creation of a permanent farmers’ market infrastructure that would operate throughout the entire year. While farmers’ markets are becoming an ever-popular occurrence in Vancouver neighbourhoods, they are still mostly limited to the fair weather spring and summer months.
“We need to think of the bigger picture and how much an amenity such as this would benefit our city,” said Brent Granby, COPE Candidate for Park Board. “In just over 10 years Vancouver’s Farmers’ Markets went from a one location, weekly community gathering running from May to October to a five-location economic powerhouse, pumping $10 million into the local economy last year, including $4.1 million in direct sales.”
COPE is supporting the creation of the New City Market, a project that, thanks to a $100,000.00 Vancity grant, has made it to the business planning stage. The New City Market, the brainchild of Vancouver non-profit, Local Food First, would serve three main functions: as a permanent market and storage space for local producers, as an education and community outreach resource as well as a value added food processing location. COPE looks forward to seeing the business plan and financial assessment, and plans on making its completion a priority for city council.
“COPE sees the construction of a permanent food hub as integral to ensuring local food security and creating a thriving local food economy,” said COPE City Council Candidate Ellen Woodsworth. “Year round access to local organic food is crucial to supporting and nurturing sustainable, healthy communities.”
“If we are going to meet our ambitious greenest city goals, we need to have a place where local residents, farmers, community groups, and businesses can come together to buy and sell local food on a year round basis,” added Woodsworth. “The support of local food systems should be a priority for our city.”
David Tracey, agricultural designer and author of the book Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution, commented, “We have to scale up our urban agriculture plans to ensure everybody has access to fresh, affordable, healthy food. A permanent food hub will bring local food into the local economy in a viable way.”
“Concerns over food security are becoming an issue at both the local and global level,” said Granby “With its plan to become the greenest city by 2020, Vancouver needs to take initiative in creating urban agricultural hubs and building local food security networks.”