Farm to Institution: Exploring food literacy education and public procurement in British Columbia and beyond

Project team: Lisa J. Powell, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm and UBC Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, lisa.powell@ubc.ca  (BC study lead); Hannah Wittman; Jill Guerra, M.A. Student, UBC Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability (Brazil study); Chris Hergesheimer, Ph.D. Student, UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems (Ecuador study); Susanna Klassen, M.Sc. Student, UCBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

Impact: Farm to Institution (FTI) efforts aim to increase both public understanding of and connections to food systems and the amount of locally produced foods served by public institutions such as schools, colleges, hospitals, community centres, and correctional facilities. Farm to Institution programs have the potential to achieve public health, education, community economic development, and environmental goals. FTI programs have a long history in many countries worldwide, and over the past decade in British Columbia (BC), many FTI projects have emerged in various communities across the province.

The CSFS Farm to Institution program’s objectives are to:

1) Understand and characterize the development and implementation of FTI programs in British Columbia, and the diverse motivations for the growth in FTI initiatives

2) Investigate and assess the particular role of mediated market interventions (public food procurement programs in Canada, Brazil and Ecuador) in meeting multiple social, economic, and ecological objectives while minimizing trade-offs.

3) Spur theoretical and applied innovation in the fields of food sovereignty and food systems governance, and develop a guide to best practices in food system transformation.

Partners: Farm to School BC/PHABC, State University of Sao Paulo (UNESP), Brazil, Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Ecuador, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, University of the Fraser Valley.