A Food Strategy is the missing piece of the pie
The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture in collaboration with Ecology Action Centre has a vested interest in the amendments to the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA) being discussed today at the Nova Scotia Legislature.
EGSPA lists a number of goals the government has set to reach by 2020. Goals that pertain to protecting ecosystems, air quality and renewable energy and albeit important, the list of goals is not inclusive.
The Federation of Agriculture feels there is a key component missing from the amendments made in Bill 136. “The Act needs a stronger connection between the environment and our economy.” says Richard Melvin, Past President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. “It is time to develop a Nova Scotia Food Strategy; a strategy that will provide us with a sustainable food source, localize our food systems and secure healthy profitable farm businesses and rural communities,” he adds
“Agriculture is integral to our rural economies, our social fabric and our resilience,” says Marla MacLeod, Ecology Action Centre.” Marla adds that, “in recent years, we have seen an incredible increase in awareness of and support for a local food system, now we need government legislation to support it.”
The Federation along with Ecology Action Centre have defined three goals to be included in the Act:
- 20% of our food spending from local farms by 2020 and increased local procurement by government. A study would be necessary to define measureable goals and benchmarks.
- A 5% increase of new farmers to the Nova Scotia Farm Registration System by 2020
- Protecting farmland with conservation easements. A goal for a specific amount of farmland to be protected should be outlined by 2014 and included in the 2020 EGSPA goals.
The Federation and Ecology Action Centre believe that it is time for Nova Scotia to develop a food strategy for our province and the time is right to include these goals as a part of the government’s goals for 2020.
Want more information about the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA)? Go to https://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/egspa/