EDMONTON – The Green Party candidate in Edmonton-City Centre is calling for increased food sovereignty as a means of addressing the state of limited food access in urban centers.
Chris Alders believes action is required to address an overall lack of food security. “This situation is emblematic of continental trends. Only about 2% of North Americans grow and sell food on an ongoing basis. While we are not alone in this regard, we must take steps to incentivize people to produce food.”
A link exists between food production and access. States Alders: “If our goal is to move Alberta on a sustainable footing, having more people producing food can lead to greater access and social equity. The lack of capacity to produce food in our urban settings have consequences, namely from food sovereignty, environmental, and social perspectives. This should be a central priority towards developing communities that are truly sustainable.”
There is a lot of pressure to feed North America’s 579 million people. This pressure is exacerbated by climate change, leaving large-scale, rural farms susceptible to drought, flooding, disease, and pests. Young people are finding it difficult to farm full time, with more than 60% having to work second, off-farm jobs just to make ends meet.
Alders says the current situation cries out for solutions. “Rural farmland prices continue to soar in Alberta as it competes with city expansion and recreational use. These farmers are feeding Edmontonians. We have the opportunity to tip the scales and support farmers in order to increase local access and resiliency. Urban farming involves growing food and raising animals within cities.”
The Green Party candidate says he will champion policy solutions that address food sovereignty. States Alders: “We need to make the most of urban land. Edmonton sits on top of beautiful, fertile black soil. This soil is some of the best soil in the country. One square meter can produce up to 20 kg of food per year. The produce from urban farming can be eaten by the urban farmer, or sold in local markets, which reduces transportation costs and the overall carbon footprint.”
The Green Party campaign is people-powered. Canadians have elected nine Green Party MLAs to provincial legislatures.
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For more information, please contact:
Green Party of Alberta Candidate for Edmonton – City Centre