Kootenay Co-op plans rally against CFIA 'local' definition
The Kootenay Co-op food store is mad as hell and refuse to accept changes by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Following a recent decision by the CFIA to make changes to the definition of local food, the Nelson-based store is organizing a rally on the front steps of the Kootenay Co-op on Saturday, (June 1) at 1 p.m.
“We are big supporters of sustainable agriculture across the Province and the Country,” said Marketing and Outreach Manager Jocelyn Carver clarifying that the Co-op is not taking a swing at farmers and food suppliers in other parts of the province or across borders.
“That doesn’t mean it’s accurate, meaningful or ethical to call them local.”
Alex Atamanenko, who supports the Co-op’s stand, will attend, as will MLA Michelle Mungall.
The changes by the CFIA can be read at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/other-requirements/claims-and-statements/local-food-claims/eng/1368135927256/1368136146333
The Kootenay Co-op is asking the public to come and show their support. The Co-op will be launching their new ‘True Local’ campaign as part of this event.
“I support the Kootenay Co-op in their fight with CFIA over the definition of local,” Alex Atamanenko, MP for the BC Southern Interior said.
“By broadening the definition to include anything produced within an entire province, where local could potentially now mean more than 2,600km away, the original concept of local food is undermined.”
The Kootenay Co-op said the decision by the CFIA undermines efforts to develop local food security, a growing form of community economic development.
“Who loses out? Small and medium sized farms and food processors…and the consumers who support them”, said Operations Manager Joe Karthein.
Who stands to gain?
“We are concerned that this new definition allows corporate food chains to meet consumer demand for local food by watering down the definition,” Karthein explains.
“The change to this definition comes at a time when consumers are beginning to see the value of truly local food and are willing to pay a premium to support farmers and suppliers in their community. It’s no coincidence.”
Supporters will gather at the Kootenay Co-op this Saturday, June 1st at 1pm to express their support for ‘true local’ and sign a petition to be delivered to the CFIA.