About us

The BC Food Systems Network was formed in September 1999 to link people all over the province involved in community-level action related to food. The Network highlights the way food issues cross cultures, sectors, and age groups. Through social media, email networks and annual meetings, we share insights, initiatives, strategies and critical analysis of events in the food system. We have held an Annual Gathering each year since 1999 where we share our own work and stimulate each other through exchange of ideas.

The BC Food Systems Network is a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform, which supports on-the-ground efforts to create uncommon solutions for the common good. Tides Canada is a national Canadian charity dedicated to a healthy environment, social equity, and economic prosperity.   

Tides Canada’s shared platform provides governance, human resources, financial, and grant management for leading environmental and social projects across Canada, allowing projects to more effectively achieve their missions. Tides Canada has full fiduciary and governance responsibility for the BC Food Systems Network.

The BC Food Systems Network is committed to principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equal opportunity. For more information please see Tides Canada’s Accessibility Policy and Plan

Membership in the Network is open to any person or group who supports our mission and democratic, inclusive process. Interested in joining us? We’d love to have you as a member. Here’s how you can join. We are interested in hearing from you. If you have a question, a concern, or an idea, let us know

Steering Committee

  • Colin Dring, Co-Chair
  • Amanda Barney, Treasurer
  • Heather Deegan
  • Ione Smith

Director: Terri Rutty, director@bcfsn.org

Program Coordinator: Piyali Chakraborti, piyali@bcfsn.org

Our mission

The BC Food Systems Network works to create healthy, just and sustainable food systems in British Columbia by building connections, nurturing capacity and advancing policy.

Our principles

Food security requires a sustainable food system in which:

  • everyone is able to acquire, in a dignified manner, adequate quantity and quality of personally acceptable food;
  • people are able to earn a living wage by growing, producing, processing, handling, retailing and serving food;
  • the quality of land, air and water, the well-being of animals, and the integrity of plants and seeds are maintained and enhanced for future generations; and
  • food is recognized as the basis of health and celebrated as central to family, community and cultural integrity.

We recognize that food is essential to life and is therefore a human right. It is also a gift from the Creator so that both the food and its sources must be honoured.

We encourage initiatives to reclaim local ownership of community food systems and develop food self-reliance by sharing food, information, skills, and resources.

We develop and advocate policies to redesign food and related systems that contribute to hunger or are unsustainable. This includes food production, processing, transport or retail; it also includes health, welfare, education, institutions, economics, and trade.

We work to ensure that the voices of grassroots organizations and marginalized groups are heard in the process of policy formation at all levels.

We link provincially, nationally and internationally with organizations and networks committed to the same goals.

Our network therefore includes people who experience hunger and food insecurity, who produce food, who work to protect the environment, and who develop policy frameworks that foster food security for the whole population. We link provincially, nationally and internationally with organizations and networks committed to the same goals.