The big city goes organic: Toronto’s food sovereignty policy

Written by By Julia Reed, CNN

Toronto is now home to a first of its kind food sovereignty policy, establishing food sovereignty as one of the goals of the city’s food planning process.

The first three recommendations were implemented on March 28, with the rest to be made by the end of the year. The recommendations were developed by Prof. Jason Block of Ryerson University, in collaboration with Toronto Community Housing (TCH).

“Food sovereignty policy is a political and a social approach to local food security and food production in a city,” said TCH Chair Craig Alexander in a statement. “By creating Food Security Policy, we can ensure our food system is clearly characterized by food sovereignty and strengthens city-wide social and economic programs with strong local foods access.”

The programme focuses on food security in three main ways: subsidies for smallholder farmers and small-scale urban agriculture to help local growers market their products, affordable accessible food for those making the “food transition” from welfare to work, and community gardens to improve food access in an underserved community.

Toronto has the largest visible minority population in Canada, and has seen rapid population growth during the last three decades. As a result, a large portion of the city’s population is often unable to access decent and affordable food.

The city is now expected to report by June on the progress of each of the initiatives.

The project was funded in part by the European Union.

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