Food System Roundtable WR
Food Charter

Food Charter

Alt Text: Vision: A healthy, just, and sustainable food system is one in which all residents have
access to, and can afford to buy, safe, nutritious, and culturally acceptable food that has
been produced in an environmentally sustainable way, and that supports our rural
communities. Such a food system promotes social justice, population health, and
profitable farms, reflects and sustains local culture, and supports ecological viability.

To achieve this vision for a healthy food system, there is a need to carry out food system
planning, and to establish principles that govern food-related decisions. The Waterloo
Region Food Charter defines a common vision, and provides a foundation for a food
system strategy.

Because we believe in fair, environmentally sustainable, livable,
and economically profitable rural and urban communities:

1)we support connecting people to our local food system
by enhancing knowledge about, and engagement in, the food in
our communities. This includes:

  • empowering people to participate in the local food system
  • improving our skills for growing, preserving, and preparing food
  • educating ourselves and others about the food system
  • encouraging respect for food and the ecosystems to which it is bound
  • supporting the expansion of food grown or raised in urban and rural areas

2)… we support community economic development
by building the processing and distribution infrastructure required
to make local foods available for local residents and global trade.
This includes:

  • prioritizing local processing, distribution, and retailing opportunities for
    small- and medium-sized businesses
  • encouraging public institutions to buy local and environmentally
    sustainable food
  • by encouraging policies and other initiatives which enable profitable
    livelihoods for local farmers for generations to come.
Alt Text:
3) we support access to healthy food
-by protecting farmland from urban development
-by supporting policies and other initiatives that ensure that
everyone has access to enough nutritious food.
This includes:
-championing adequate incomes for everyone, so that all residents can
afford to buy healthy food
-encouraging the local production and processing of foods that contribute
to the nutritional health of citizens
-ensuring walkable access to venues that sell healthy foods
-ensuring the widespread availability of, and access to, locally produced
and culturally appropriate food
-ensuring the availability of healthy, affordable food choices in workplaces
and public institutions

4) we support ecological health
-by promoting and supporting food production and processing methods that
reduce greenhouse gas emissions; use less fossil-fuel energy; sustain or
enhance wildlife habitats, watersheds, biological and seed diversity, and soil
health; and that optimize or reduce the use of local natural resources to
ensure long-term ecological sustainability
-by ensuring access to a safe and sustainable water supply for all residents of
Waterloo Region
-by encouraging the reduction of food waste and excessive food packaging,
and supporting initiatives that strive to reduce or reuse food waste, such as

5)we support integrated food policies at all levels of
-by encouraging joined-up policies across local, provincial, and federal levels
of government that aim to ensure that healthy, environmentally sustainable
food is available to everyone
-by recognizing the importance of comprehensive food strategies and policies
that promote a profitable, viable and ecologically sustainable food system