Kootenay food security takes another step forward

The Kootenay and Boundary Food Producers Co-op is moving ahead with its plans to build resiliency in our region.

Willow Springs Farm in Nelway belongs to the Kootenay and Boundary Food Producers Co-op.

The Kootenay and Boundary Food Producers Co-op is moving ahead with its plans to build resiliency in our region by supporting food producers. They have just received a technical assistance grant from Vancity Community Investment for board development and organizational guidance.

“The timing is great,” says Kim Charlesworth, chair of the steering committee, “as we are holding our first annual general meeting on Nov. 25. Our first elected board will be ushered in and new board members will have professional help moving forward. This kind of support is critical to the success of new organizations.”

The producers co-op incorporated in March and has already completed a pilot delivery and marketing project. This service will be expanded next year, and a new project started which will see a storage facility leased in Salmo to offer co-op members safe winter storage for crops such as squash, carrots, potatoes and onions.

The producers co-op’s mandate includes increasing food security in the region while assisting farmers and secondary processors to access new markets and to grow, process and store more food for local consumption.

“The pilot was a huge success,” says Willy Fuder, a member farmer who participated this year. The co-op hopes to also promote an even greater appreciation among consumers for local, sustainably produced crops, meat and other edible products.