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A “Right to Food” Framework for a Just Circular Economy of Food

Focus Category: Green Economy
Published: October 13, 2021

A “Right to Food” Framework for Tackling Food Waste and Achieving a Just Circular Economy of Food in Vancouver, British Columbia

A “Right to Food” Framework for Tackling Food Waste and Achieving a Just Circular Economy of Food in Vancouver, British Columbia report coverVancouver Economic Commission (VEC) and City of Vancouver (COV) are actively engaging in a transition toward a just circular economy of food (CFE) that has the potential to resolve two interrelated systemic issues: food waste and food insecurity. This report takes a novel approach by incorporating a “right to food” framework to support a circular food economy that designs waste out of the system, promotes food security, and centres justice and equity.

Through this research, diverse participants with lived expertise across the food system in Vancouver were asked to identify root challenges, opportunities, and potential interventions necessary to achieve their vision for a just CFE in Vancouver. Researchers incorporated these findings, along with feedback from an expert advisory group, and used a theory of change methodology to identify enabling conditions and potential interventions. Some of these conditions are directly influenced by COV, and others are under the jurisdiction of the federal or provincial governments. The study’s findings provide VEC and COV with actionable solutions within their jurisdiction, and as advocates in other jurisdictions, to advance a just CFE in Vancouver and beyond.

This project is part of the Economic Transformation Lab.

Author: Jamie-Lynne Varney

Supervisors: Meg O’Shea, Senior Manager, Economic Transformation; Dr. Tammara Soma, Assistant Professor, School of Resource and Environmental Management (Planning), Simon Fraser University, Research Director, Food Systems Lab

Advisory Group members: Erin Nichols, City of Vancouver – Solid Waste Strategic Services; Sarah Carten, City of Vancouver – Social Policy and Projects Division; Kim Winchell, United Way of the Lower Mainland.

With editorial support by Sonu Purhar, Claire Campbell and Ingrid Valou.

Can we achieve a just circular economy of food?

Vancouver is on a quest to achieve a just circular economy of food. Applying a Right To Food framework to this objective helps identify missing elements and critical components for the transition. This presentation covers key challenges, desired outcomes, and next steps for Vancouver.

Land Acknowledgement

The Vancouver Economic Commission respectfully acknowledges that it is located on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Vancouver Economic Commission