Understanding Local Food Systems
We’ve worked to develop a thorough understanding of food systems, the sustaining energy source for human life. The Foodscape encompasses production to consumption and everything in between. We focused on identifying challenges and opportunities within this complex system within the context of Southwest British Columbia (SWBC)
Rising food prices and a growing reliance on imported produce is a major threat to local agriculture. Following these trends it will become increasingly difficult to sustain the sector that contributes so much to Western Canada’s domestic food supply.
So we asked…
How can we provide local farmers with an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable system of services to regenerate and support the local foodscape?
Designing the Resilient Link presents the design process through which potential for new solutions in local food systems can be explored and new problems can be identified.
Through this design, our team aims to the facilitate a new iterative process — a dialog surrounding the socio-cultural and ecological sustainability in local food systems, not just within agricultural circles, but among designers, scientists and policymakers.
The Resilient Link
To change the food system we must address the needs of the many stakeholders. Here are three adaptable links that support businesses, communities and producers.
Service Link – With a focus on business support, development and innovation, the Service Link aims to identify and explore new opportunities relating to local agriculture and food systems.
Industrial Link – Through sharing models in proximity to ALR land, the Industrial Link supports small-scale farmers, reducing start-up costs and creating a starting point for a more diverse and resilient foodscape.
Community Link – Strengthening the bond between communities and agriculture, fresh local produce and new narratives around our food.It’s a point where ideas and knowledge are shared, and common objectives are realized.
Resilience through Diversity
Because things change so rapidly, we’ve designed the system to be adaptable. The solutions can be interchanged and rearranged to create contextual solutions to a constantly changing system.
An Industrial Link would be well suited to areas where new producers are putting down roots, and the Community Link can start a conversation about local foods availability in communities that lack it. New communities (like Southlands) that bridge agricultural settings and cosmopolitan amenities present a prime opportunity to implement the full system.