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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Re-localizing horticultural supply chains in Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Canada : an exploratory… Brunetti, Anthony Joseph 2009

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RE-LOCALIZING HORTICULTURAL SUPPLY CHAINS IN LOWER MAINLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF MARKET BARRIERS AND OPPORTUNITIES   by  ANTHONY JOSEPH BRUNETTI  M.A., The University of Illinois, 1993 B.S., The University of West Florida, 1990 A.A.S., College of the Air Force, 1987    A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in   THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES   (Interdisciplinary Studies)    THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)    FEBRUARY 2009   © Anthony Joseph Brunetti, 2009  ii ABSTRACT  Most horticultural crop producers in the Metro Vancouver region and Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, find themselves unavoidably competing within globalized agriculture and food supply chain systems controlled by relatively few powerful corporate entities. This global competitive environment has meant that horticultural producers, especially relatively small-scale producers, experience difficulty maintaining economic viability. In addition to globalization, food-system vulnerabilities manifested by such issues as global climate change, land-use conflict in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), biosecurity concerns, and increasing energy costs are becoming ever more salient issues for local horticultural producers and buyers.  In light of globalization and emerging system vulnerabilities, this thesis explored the possibility of re-localizing the Lower Mainland horticulture supply chain by asking two questions: First, how do B.C. Lower Mainland producers of fresh fruits and vegetables, and buyers in the City of Vancouver, perceive their current and potential capacity for local food sourcing and marketing relationships? Second, given that there are discernible benefits to re-localization of the horticultural supply chain, what recommendations can be made to inform public policy development that facilitates re-localization? Using a case-study approach, structured interviews were conducted with food-service providers, retailers and wholesalers within the City of Vancouver, as well as with fruit and vegetable producers in the FVRD and Metro Vancouver region. Each market participant’s sourcing and marketing relationships were explored to uncover barriers and opportunities for developing or enhancing their respective market channels and relationships.  Lower Mainland, City of Vancouver and provincial policy considerations are suggested for overcoming experienced local market barriers. These considerations focus on the following: 1) establishing a sophisticated go-to-market approach; 2) establishing the infrastructure for a local/regional horticulture supply chain system that embeds the food economy ubiquitously in local market channels; 3) rebuilding and enhancing re-localized/regionalized horticultural value chains; 4) initiating responsive community and cooperative economic development around food production; 5) comprehensively planning regional/community food system integration. Organized around these considerations, re-localization policy development would embrace regional and local identity and food system integrity, effectively branding local/regional horticultural products and agriculture that beget market loyalty and preference.  iii TABLE OF CONTENTS   ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................... iii TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................................... iii GLOSSARY ........................................................................................................... ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ....................................................................................... xii CHAPTER 1:  INTRODUCTION................................................................................ 1 Characterization of Lower Mainland Agriculture............................................... 3 Fraser Valley Regional District ..................................................................... 5 Metro Vancouver............................................................................................ 6 Horticultural Production................................................................................ 6 B.C.’s Lower Mainland and its Agricultural Capacity ................................. 8 Characterization of BC/Lower Mainland Horticultural Supply Chains............. 8 Problem Definition ............................................................................................. 10 Research Questions........................................................................................... 14 Introduction to Research Methods ................................................................... 14 Scope of the Study and Geographical Delimitations ...................................... 15 Research Limitations ......................................................................................... 16 Research Assumptions ..................................................................................... 17 Significance of the Study .................................................................................. 17 Summary............................................................................................................. 19 A Guide to This Thesis ...................................................................................... 20 CHAPTER 2:  LITERATURE REVIEW.................................................................... 21 Main Impediments to Horticultural Re-localization ......................................... 21 Globalization and Neo-Classical Economics............................................. 22 Agriculture Intensification .......................................................................... 25 Consolidation of the Agri-food Sectors ..................................................... 27 Emerging Food System Vulnerabilities ..................................................... 36 Re-localization as a Food System Alternative ................................................. 48 The ALR and a Potential Role for Localization.......................................... 49 Climate Change and a Potential Role for Localization ............................. 49 Peak Oil and a Potential Role for Localization .......................................... 51 Biosecurity and a Potential Role for Localization..................................... 52 The Prospect of Self Reliance in British Columbia................................... 53 Food System Sustainability ........................................................................ 55 The Need for Change in Farm Management .............................................. 58  iv Concept of Foodshed .................................................................................. 59 The Development of New Marketing Strategies ........................................ 61 Local Food Systems and Food Security.................................................... 63 Re-localization and the Local Economy .................................................... 67 Food Democracy.......................................................................................... 73 Summary............................................................................................................. 77 CHAPTER 3:  A THEORETICAL AND INTERPRETIVE FRAMEWORK................ 79 The Foundations of Agroecology and Agricultural Industrialism.................. 80 An Interpretive Framework ......................................................................... 82 Considerations on Interpreting “local”...................................................... 84 Summary............................................................................................................. 87 CHAPTER 4:  RESEARCH METHODS .................................................................. 89 Case-Study Methodology .................................................................................. 89 Other Case-Study Types.................................................................................... 90 Marketing Channels: Defining Buyers and Producers.................................... 91 Distinctions between Conventional and Alternative ....................................... 91 Case-Study Procedures..................................................................................... 92 Case-Study Interviews ....................................................................................... 93 Participant Selection Process........................................................................... 95 Wholesalers and Broker.............................................................................. 98 Institutional Food Service Providers.......................................................... 98 Producers ..................................................................................................... 98 Restaurants .................................................................................................. 99 Declined Interviews ................................................................................... 100 Others ......................................................................................................... 101 Nutrient Cycling ......................................................................................... 101 Data Analysis.................................................................................................... 102 Literature Review ............................................................................................. 102 Study Limitations ............................................................................................. 103 Verification, Reliability and Representation................................................... 103 Dissemination of Findings............................................................................... 104 Summary........................................................................................................... 105 CHAPTER 5:  FINDINGS ...................................................................................... 106 Buyers’ Responses .......................................................................................... 107 Producers’ Responses .................................................................................... 142  v CHAPTER 6:  DISCUSSION ................................................................................. 180 Summary of Key Findings ............................................................................... 180 Buyers’ Typologies.................................................................................... 182 Producers’ Typologies .............................................................................. 185 BCVMC........................................................................................................ 188 Food waste ................................................................................................. 189 Identified Local Market Barriers and Opportunities in the Lower Mainland 190 CHAPTER 7:  RECOMMENDATIONS, CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RESEARCH ........................................................................................................ 196 Recommendations Informing Re-Localization .............................................. 197 Market Sophistication and Go-To-Market Approach: Reducing Market Uncertainty......................................................................................... 197 Value-Chain/Supply-Chain Management: Coordination, Embedding Value and Creating Brand ........................................................................... 199 Community Economic Development – Building Local Food Network .. 201 Cooperative Business Strategies............................................................. 204 Regional Food System Planning .............................................................. 206 Additional Policy Considerations............................................................. 208 Conclusions...................................................................................................... 210 Future Research............................................................................................... 215 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................... 218 Appendix A: Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley Regional District................ 245 Appendix B: B.C.’s ALR and ALC’s six designated regions............................ 246 Appendix C: Interview Questions for Buyers.................................................... 247 Appendix D: Interview Questions for Producers: ............................................. 248 Appendix E: Suggested Interview Questions BCVMC...................................... 249 Appendix F: Mailout Letter of Invitation to Study Participants........................ 250 Appendix G: Letters of Introduction and Consent Taken to Interview............ 253   vi List of Tables  Table 3.1 Premises of Industrial Agricultural and Agroecology. ....................... 81 Table 3.2  Beliefs, Values and Assumptions of the Expansionist and Ecological Worldviews. ..................................................................................... 83 Table 4.1  Outline of interview participants, breakdown of sampling units...... 94 Table 4.2. Average restaurant food ticket price determination........................ 100   vii List of Figures  Figure 5.1:  Legend of identifiers for interview participant .............................. 107    viii List of Boxes  Box 5.1. A wholesaler sourcing, contracting and purchasing locally............. 108 Box 5.2. Arrival to place of business as method or process ........................... 110 Box 5.3. Frequency of Produce Shipments/Delivery ........................................ 110 Box 5.4. Stated Origin of Produce Shipment..................................................... 111 Box 5.5.  Stated timing of receipt of shipment/delivery.................................... 113 Box 5.6. Stated personal knowledge of produce supplier ............................... 114 Box 5.7a. How did you come to know the person that supplies you with the produce you use or sell?.............................................................. 117 Box 5.7b. How did you come to know the person that supplies you with the produce you use or sell?.............................................................. 118 Box 5.8. Knowledge of producer or grower of their produce........................... 119 Box 5.9. Personally knowing supplier influencing relationship with customers ........................................................................................................ 124 Box 5.10. Statement of purchasing policy origins ............................................ 131 Box 5.11. Statement of sourcing locally in purchasing.................................... 132 Box 5.12. Conditions for changing local produce purchasing ........................ 137 Box 5.13. Food waste disposal ........................................................................... 140 Box 5.14.  Identification of Experience .............................................................. 143 Box 5.15.  Identification of Buyer Choice .......................................................... 146 Box 5.16.  Identification of Supplier Choice ...................................................... 147 Box 5.17.  Price fairness, criteria as a supplier................................................. 162 Box 5.18.  Price fairness, and unacknowledged grower criteria...................... 164 Box 5.19.  Role of BCVMC to supplier (grower) ................................................ 165 Box 5.20.  Supplier (grower) marketing needs unacknowledged by BCVMC. 167 Box 5.21.  Producer openness to market alternatives...................................... 170 Box 5.22.  Acceptance of return food waste by producer ................................ 173 Box 5.23.  Access to timely and quality market information............................ 179   ix GLOSSARY   Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR): The Agriculture Land Reserve is a provincial zone in which agriculture is recognized as its priority use. Farming is encouraged, and non- agricultural uses are controlled. The ALR covers approximately 4.7 million hectares, and it includes private and public lands that may be farmed or forested, as well as vacant land. It comprises those lands within British Columbia that have the potential for agricultural production (B.C. Agricultural Land Commission 2004a).  Analysis of themes: Following description, the researcher analyzes the data for specific themes, aggregating information into large clusters of ideas and providing details that support the themes (Creswell 1998).  Bounded system: The “case” selected for the study has boundaries, often bounded by time and place. It also has interrelated parts that form a whole (Stake 1995).  Buyers: For the purposes of this study, a buyer is a retail business, or private/public institution that sells raw, fresh or prepared food to the public for its consumption (e.g. green grocers, supermarkets, restaurants, schools and hospitals). These buyers or intermediaries, who purchase at the wholesale level, are the main focus of the study in question.  Case study: In qualitative research, this is the study of a “bounded system”, with the focus being either the case or an issue(s) that is illustrated by the case (or cases) (Stake 1995). A qualitative case study provides an in-depth study of this “system,” based on a diverse array of data-collection materials, and the researcher situates this system or case with the larger context.  City of Vancouver: Vancouver is the largest city in the province of British Columbia and the third largest in Canada. It covers an area of 113 square kilometres in the southwest corner of the province and is composed of 23 communities or neighbourhoods. It has a population of approximately 560,000 people.  Consumer: Consumers are “end users” of whole, prepared or otherwise manufactured food. Consumers are people who purchase food from intermediaries (see Buyers) to eat or prepare and serve to others in a non-retail business setting.  Context of the case: In analyzing and describing a case, the researcher sets the case within its setting. This setting may be broadly conceptualized or narrowly conceptualized (Stake 1995).  Description: This simply means stating the “facts” about the case as recorded by the investigator. This is the first step in an analysis of data in a qualitative case study (Stake 1995).  Foodshed: A foodshed can be considered a conceptual analogue to a watershed. The term was coined by William Hedden (1929) in his book, How Great Cities are Fed, and revived by Arthur Getz (1991) in his article, Urban Foodsheds. This concept offers a framework to grasp the shape and unity of the complexities of food systems by imagining the “flow” of food into a particular place. Foodshed becomes a unifying and organizing metaphor for the unity of place and people, and of nature and society. (Kloppenburg, et al. 1996: 3).  x Kloppenburg, et al. (1996), in their paper, “Coming into the Foodshed”, establish a normative distinction between the global-food system that exists now and the multiplicity of local foodsheds that they hope will characterize the future.  Food security: The generally accepted definition of food security is a condition in which all people at all times can acquire safe, nutritionally adequate and personally acceptable foods that are accessible in a manner that maintains human integrity (Center for Food Studies 2001).  Food system: A food system is the deliberate organization of the production, processing, distribution, selection, consumption and disposal of food. An additional component to the food system is the supporting infrastructure that supplies the necessary inputs into the system such as feed grains, petroleum agricultural chemicals, machinery and technical expertise (B.C. Food System Network 2008). For the purposes of this study, the local food system is composed of a similar microcosm of interconnected subsystems that include producers, consumers and the multitude of market avenues, sales and distribution points that act as intermediaries.  Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD): The FVRD stretches from Abbotsford and Mission through the Fraser Canyon, and straddles both sides of the Fraser River. It includes the municipalities of Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack and Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and Kent, as well as eight electoral areas, which include the hamlets of Lindell Beach, Hemlock Valley, Popkum, Yale, Spuzzum, Boston Bar, North Bend, Sumas Mountain, Hatzic Prairie, Deroche, and Lake Errock. As a partnership of six municipalities and eight electoral areas, the FVRD provides many types of services to more than 220,000 residents (FVRD 2008).  Globalization: The concept of globalization refers to rapid change in the technical, social, political and territorial organization of investment, production, trade and aid. Among the shifts most commonly identified are the transnationalization of communication, commerce, production, ownership, consumption, sociocultural reproduction and politics; the increased segmentation and volatility of market demand; the organizational decentralization of firms and the enhanced flexibility of production; the strategic ascendance of finance capital and specialized services relative to manufacturing; the transfer of public resources to private hands; the proportional relocation of manufacturing activity from the United States and Western Europe to East Asia as well as poor geographic areas; and, deterioration in average pay, stability and other conditions of employment (Tardanico 1998).  Metropolitan Vancouver (Metro Vancouver): The Metro Vancouver region is a working partnership of the 21 municipalities and one electoral area that make up the metropolitan area of Greater Vancouver. The Provincial Government established the regional distinction concept in 1965. There are now 29 regional districts in British Columbia.  Holistic [analysis]: The researcher examines the entire case (Yin 1994) and presents a description, themes and interpretations or assertions related to the whole case (Creswell 1998).  Local: For the purposes of this study, local can be defined as the geographical area—a physically defined place—composed of the Metro Vancouver region and Fraser Valley Regional District in southwest British Columbia. Although this definition may be suitable for producers/farmers, buyers, on the other hand, for reasons of simplicity and convenience, will necessarily be those confined within the City of Vancouver and their interactions with the  xi Lower Mainland. Because local and global systems do not operate as separate, entirely independent units, the meaning of “local” can also be interpreted in this study to be “more- local” as well as “to localize”, or, “as close as possible” or “in close proximity to”; a process of concentrating a food system locally that can be applied in diverse situations according to negotiations between importers and exporters (Bellows and Hamm 2001). In other words, local means the locally negotiated geo-eco-socio-political boundary(ies) for a self-reliant food supply by all relevant stakeholders.  Lower Mainland: For the purposes of this study, the Lower Mainland consists and is inclusive of the combined geographical area represented as the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the Fraser Valley Regional District.  Permaculture (Pc): Permaculture comes from the synthesis of two words: permanent culture or permanent agriculture. Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing them with food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way (Mollison 1988).  Producers: Producers are defined as those people or businesses that cultivate and harvest fruit, vegetable and animal products, byproducts, produce, and value-added products, such as food, fibre, ornamentals and medicinals.  Purposeful sampling: The sampling strategy in selecting the case and a rationale for this approach. It applies to both the selection of the case to study, as well as the sampling of information used within the case (Creswell 1998).  Sampling unit: For the purposes of this study, a sampling unit consists of conventional or alternative categories with subcategories within each category that define a set of market stakeholders. These stakeholders can be interviewed and subsequently analytically treated—initially—as individual cases (Sandelowski 1996). This approach assisted with in the analytical process of the data for this study from a large number of stakeholders, by maintaining a primary focus on the case-orientation approach, while ultimately leading to a variable-analysis of the whole study.  Triangulation: The convergence of sources of information, views of investigators, different theories and different methodologies represents the triangulation of ideas (Denzin 1970) to help support the development of themes.               xii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS   First, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the wonderful people at the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program: Dr. John Beatty (Director) for his unfettered support and encouragement, accepting my always-late progress reports, and his unwavering confidence in me to conclude; and, Janice Matautia (The Office Administrator) for her unconditional support, and always solving the unsolvable with grace, confidence and professionalism. John and Janice are an astonishing leadership team, instilling a sense of community, collegiality and camaraderie among ISGP students under challenging circumstances.  I want to thank my academic supervisor, Dr. Art Bomke. He taught me the value of writing in common, approachable language. In addition, he showed me too much patience and tolerance for my failure to make self-imposed deadlines. I would like to thank the rest of my thesis committee: Dr. Alejandro Rojas, who taught me the value of qualitative research methods. Alejandro allowed me to work with him as co-instructor as well as teaching assistant in core agroecology courses; Dr. William Rees, who provided the additional critical feedback on my work and galvanized my interest in systems thinking and ecological economics; Dr. Jerry Spiegel, who magnanimously accepted the role as thesis committee member, and made the time and effort to become familiar and critically review my work.  I wish to express my gratitude to Lee Ann Bryant, who is the best Librarian in this universe – or at least UBC. She taught me the invaluable skills for finding obscure information. From the beginning, Lee Ann has been a great friend and colleague, always encouraging and supportive beyond compare. Also, to Carolyn Bell, for her help with editing the closing drafts of the dissertation. I am glad she enjoys formatting documents. Of course, any errors, omissions, or oversights are entirely my responsibility, and mine alone.  I want to thank my parents, Marico Brunetti and Jacqueline Brunetti, for instilling in me the gift of perseverance, curiosity and risk-taking, as well as for their unconditional encouragement to pursue my intellectual interests. Last, but not least, to all the influential people throughout my life, living and not, that contributed to my understanding that my work, above all else, had to serve to enhance, and never knowingly detract from, life and living with dignity and gratitude. They are, fortunately, too numerous to mention here.  1 CHAPTER 1:  INTRODUCTION   During the 20th century, food-consumption patterns shifted away from a traditional diet, based on food harvested mainly from the local environment, toward a diet governed by more affluent, industrialized and globalized cultural influences (Gerbens-Leenes and Nonhebel 2002: 187). As a consequence, diets associated with affluent lifestyles have created food- consumption patterns with a proportionately greater impact on land requirements, and the ability to assert a powerful transnational economic influence over a disproportionate measure of the world’s agricultural area (Penning de Vries, et al. 1995; Bouma, et al. 1998).1 The very nature of globalized trade in agriculture-and-food-supply chain systems increases the distance required to transport agriculture-and-food products. The rise in global trade of agriculture and food products also reflects the significant transnational corporate involvement and concentration currently existing in the food production, processing, distribution and retail sectors in North America and Western Europe (NFU 2000). The values and goals of a transnational, neo-liberal economy emphasize producing food cheaply by externalizing environmental and social costs, and standardizing products for their predictable outcomes. At the same time, market power is concentrated and capital resources are manipulated in an effort to control the means of production and consumption in the global food and agriculture system. This may be exactly what neo-liberal economists and some consumers think should happen in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, however this economic ideology informs operational premises and infrastructures that are inherently unsustainable and contrary to the goals of local food security.  Globalization as an economic panacea for providing food security is, from among a broad range of other proclaimed benefits, inherently unreliable and unsustainable because it attempts to operate outside the ecological constraints within which it is embedded. These market forces assume immunity to the empirically constituted fact that Earth’s biophysical  1  In the meantime, human-energy requirements have retained the same order of magnitude as they did in the Stone Age. Once an individual’s physiological energy and nutrient requirements are fulfilled, the social and cultural aspects of food determine food consumption patterns, with a strong correlation between diet and income (Von Braun 1988; Vringer and Blok 1995). Rising incomes favour more expensive foods—as opposed to greater quantities of food—so that dietary shifts alter claims on the available natural resources. The results of a study on land requirements for food (Gerbens-Leenes and Nonhebel 2002) indicate that the difference in land requirement between an affluent diet and a vegetarian diet could be more than three-fold. Penning de Vries, et al. (1995) determined that agricultural production is capable of satisfying physiological requirements; however an affluent diet featuring meat (especially beef) would be highly difficult to sustain for an increasing proportion of the world’s population. Peters, et al. (2007) found a nearly fivefold difference (0.18–0.86 ha) in per capita land requirements was observed across several diet variations and  their results supported the assertion that diet should be considered in its entirety when assessing environmental impact.  2 resources and ecological services are finite in supply and function, and incompatible for quality, long-term human presence. Also, the current food-supply system engenders physical and psychological separation between producers and consumers, disassociating and undermining the value of social, economic and ecological interdependencies. As such, in recent years, and more so in recent months, food security has become an increasingly important worldwide and local consideration as significant impediments related to globalization play out (e.g., corporate concentration, supply chain dynamics, global economic pressures, and questionable land for fuel biomass production schemes). In addition, in the local/regional context, loss of productive agricultural lands within and outside British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) within the Lower Mainland to development pressures, precarious farm finances, consequences of peak oil and lack of suitable energy substitutes, biosecurity measures, and climate change impacts provide substance and rationale for re-localization of agricultural and food system capacity and infrastructure.  The ability to re-localize food-and-agriculture systems to compensate for an unsustainable and unreliable global supermarket may be hindered by a loss in production capacity and infrastructure occurring locally. Local production capacity in the Lower Mainland for local consumption is being compromised under globalization; production capacity elsewhere in the world has been expropriated, while resources necessary for food production closer to home are subject to loss against other competitive uses (e.g., exclusionary urban and industrial development). Within an agroecological-systems framework, these culturally induced and manufactured forces pose a market challenge to local food producers and buyers who want to participate in a more regionalized supply chain, as well as they promote food-system vulnerabilities and stresses mentioned above. These concurrent forces, challenges and vulnerabilities complicate local efforts to achieve food-security goals and attain a greater degree of food self-reliance. Food-system vulnerabilities have had different degrees of impact regionally across the globe, as nations and communities adjusted to the consequences of dependency on a predominately distant and protracted horticultural supply chain system.  Therefore, this thesis explored the potential of re-localizing the horticultural (i.e. fruits and vegetables) supply chain of the City of Vancouver food system within the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It explores the production, distribution, and recycling of  3 horticultural products in order to identify the circumstances under which market relationships with other stakeholders in the food and agriculture system can be strengthened or expanded. In this thesis, “re-localization” means establishing substantial/reliable market linkages and partnerships between local producers and local buyers. An agroecological / agroecosystems framework was adopted in order to link a systems perspective with the relevant food system challenges, relative to the development of greater local food security. From a systems perspective, it also takes into consideration what are thought to be several major food-system vulnerabilities and their implications for local food security. As such, and within the local/regional context, it asks how B.C. Lower Mainland producers of fresh fruits and vegetables, and buyers in the City of Vancouver, perceive their current and potential capacity for local food sourcing and marketing relationships? Second, given that there are discernible benefits to re-localization of the horticultural supply chain, what recommendations can be made to inform public policy development that facilitates re- localization? It is hoped that this thesis becomes a resource for local food-system information, and it offers guidance for local food-system decision-making and public education, as it aims to strengthen food policy-making efforts by the Vancouver Food Policy Council (VCFP)2. However, to be clear at the start, it does not examine issues related to consumer demand or consumer buying behaviour, but is limited to the horticultural supply chain (i.e., it excludes from consideration British Columbia livestock, grain, legumes, aquaculture, hay, ginseng, etc.) simply for matters of data manageability and focus. Likewise, the results of this study do not imply that direct correlations should be drawn between horticultural production capacity and other agricultural sectors; there may be similarities but not enough to draw similar conclusions.  Characterization of Lower Mainland Agriculture  Within B.C. the Lower Mainland region represents the major agricultural area for farming income and jobs. Proportionally, the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) and Metro Vancouver3 regions combined have the smallest total area under cultivation in B.C. in 2001  2  The City of Vancouver created the Vancouver Food Policy Council, whose aim it is to help develop policy that links the social, environmental and economic aspects of food production and consumption. In addition to creating public awareness, this group advises City Council regarding food-related health, nutrition, education, land use, poverty, culture and market-related issues. 3  The Greater Vancouver Regional District was renamed Metropolitan (or Metro) Vancouver in 2007. As the third largest metropolitan area in Canada, the name Metro Vancouver is meant to increase the profile of the greater Vancouver region nationally and internationally and perhaps have more influence while seeking funds or instituting policy changes (CBC 2007). I will use the terms Metro Vancouver exclusively so as not to introduce confusion with past and current regional district documents and references.  4 and 2006, but it earned the largest proportion of farm-cash receipts and agricultural workers. British Columbia has less than 0.1 percent of Canada’s Class 1 land and 1.4 percent of Canada’s dependable agricultural land. Agricultural productivity occurs on less than five percent of the provincial land base. Despite a prolonged history of losing agriculturally productive land, the agricultural sector has continued to play a key role in the British Columbia economy. In the 2006 Census of Agriculture (Statistics Canada 2007a) – the latest data available – British Columbia reported 19,844 working farms, and 29,870 farm operators, a 2.2 percent and 1.7 percent decrease from 2001 levels, respectively. Farm holdings cover 2.8 million ha. Of the 19,844 farms, 3,232 (16.3 percent) had certified organic production, more than double the national figure. B.C.’s agriculture sector supported about 35,000 primary agriculture jobs and generated nearly $2.7 billion in farm-gate receipts in 2005, and $2.4 billion in operating expenses. BC farm operators spent an average of $0.90 in expenses for every dollar of receipts in 2005. The stability of the expenses to receipts ratio over the 2001-2006 Census period is good news in light of the fact that inflation over this period saw the prices of inputs increase 9.6 percent compared to 4.2 percent for products sold – a sharp contrast to the 5:1 ratio seen nationally over the same period. The total area of land on farms in British Columbia rose 9.6 percent between 2001 and 2006 to 1.7 million ha (about 4.2 percent of the total farm area in Canada) with average farm size increasing more than 10 percent from 75.3 ha to 84.3 ha. The increase in farm size accompanied a 4.5 percent increase in the number of farms with gross farm receipts over $250,000. These 2,019 farms represent only 10.2 percent of all farms in B.C., they accounted for 80.8 percent of total provincial gross farm receipts in 2005. However, of the 1.7 million ha of farm land area, 0.3 million ha are cropland; the total are in field crops, fruits, vegetables, sod and nursery. In 2006, British Columbia reported 4,107 ha of vegetables and remains third in terms of total hectares of vegetables, behind Ontario and Quebec (Statistics Canada 2006a; Statistics Canada 2007b; B.C. ACF 2008; B.C. MAL 2005; B.C. MAFF 2003a,b).  The B.C. greenhouse industry is well ensconced in the Lower Mainland in terms of capital investment, its productive capacity, and its role in the national, provincial and regional agricultural economies. In the Lower Mainland the greenhouse vegetable industry in consisted of about 80 greenhouse vegetable operations, or 95 percent of the total in B.C. In 2004, the estimated value of the greenhouse vegetable sector to the B.C. economy in 2004 was $750 million, with the total farm-gate value of its products between $220 million (B.C.  5 GHGA 2005) and $250 million (Mitham 2004). The United States is the major export market, accounting for approximately 75 percent of all Canadian greenhouse vegetable sales. The expansion of the greenhouse industry recently stabilized in the U.S. and Canada, but its growth is still taking place in Mexico (Gyarnati 2005).The B.C. greenhouse vegetable industry employs an estimated 2,600 people: 2,000 at the farm level and 600 in packing, distribution and marketing operations. The workforce consists mainly of year-round, full-time employees, owing to the extended crop seasons. However, the greenhouse industry competes for labourers in the trade, transportation and construction industries where pay scales and earnings can be much higher. In addition, the aging population has resulted in a shortage of greenhouse workers (Work Futures BC 2001). Although B.C. greenhouse growers have increased their production of greenhouse vegetables,4 the demand or price for these items has either grown slightly, or declined in recent years.5 Fraser Valley Regional District The Fraser Valley is predominantly rural and agricultural, but increasingly suburban as it abuts Metro Vancouver’s political and economic jurisdictions (see Appendix A). It contains some of Canada’s richest, most fertile agricultural land. With 2,567 farms and 3,920 farm operators occupying 56,603 ha, the FVRD earned more than $921 million in 2005 farm-cash receipts, which is more than 55 percent of Lower Mainland’s, and about 35 percent of province’s, gross farm receipts. This represents a 72 percent increase in gross farm receipts since 1996. Since 1996, the number of farm operators declined 15 percent in the FVRD. The farm population is aging and fewer young farmers are entering the industry; the average age of the farmer is 54.2 years, 2.8 years higher than in 2001. In the FVRD 33 percent of farmers were over 55 years, a 5 percent increase over 1996. Approximately half of all farm operators are fully employed in farm work. The FVRD has 59 percent of its farmland, about 33,394 ha, in horticultural crops. Between 2001 and 2006, the FVRD saw a 3.5 percent loss  4  The principal vegetable crops include tomatoes (beefsteak, Campari and cluster), sweet bell peppers (red, yellow and orange), long English cucumbers and butter lettuce. B.C. growers have achieved globally competitive yields: tomatoes, 73 kg/m2, cucumbers, 160 cucumbers/m2, peppers, 27 kg/m2 and lettuce, 200 heads/m2. B.C. growers also supply a variety of other specialty greenhouse crops, including culinary herbs, grape and cherry tomatoes, mini-peppers and mini-cucumbers (B.C. MAFF 2003c). 5  In 2003, for instance, a lower price for greenhouse tomatoes of $1.89/kg resulted in their revenues falling from a high of $141 million in 2002, to $136.5 million in 2003. Sweet and hot peppers showed a slight increase in the area grown in 2003, and while the price was stable, the total value of sales decreased by three percent. The greenhouse area of cucumbers declined 12 percent, to 27 ha in 2003. However, cucumber production showed an increase of six percent because of higher yields. A price increase of $1.63/kg in 2002 to $1.74/kg in 2003 meant cucumber sales totaled $26 million, a 13 percent increase. Greenhouse lettuce production declined more than 50 percent (227,272 kg) in 2003, while the greenhouse production acreage remained unchanged from 2002. In spite of a higher $/kg ($3.04) farm value for greenhouse vegetable production, totaling $565,000 in 2003, this form of farming demonstrated an overall decrease in production of about 65 percent (B.C. MAFF 2003c).  6 in the number of farms and a 20 percent increase, from 18 ha to 22 ha, in the average farm size (Statistics Canada 2006a; Statistics Canada 2007b; Metro Vancouver 2007). Metro Vancouver The City of Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia and borders on some of the most productive farmland in Canada (see Appendix A). The agricultural land base is 14 percent of the total land in Metro Vancouver. With 2,618 farms and 3,850 farm operators occupying 41,035 ha, Metro Vancouver earned more than $728 million in 2005 farm-cash receipts, which is approximately 44 percent of Lower Mainland’s and about 28 percent of province’s gross farm receipts on 1.5 percent of the province’s farmland. This represents a 46 percent increase in gross farm receipts since 1996. The increase in gross farm receipts by farmers in Metro Vancouver is similar to what occurred overall in B.C.; higher than the Canadian average, but much lower than the adjacent FVRD. Metro Vancouver has, like the FVRD, 59 percent of its farmland, about 24,086 ha, in horticultural crops. Between 2001 and 2006, Metro Vancouver saw an 8.3 percent loss in the number of farms. The decline is consistent with a trend that has seen a 24 percent decline in the number of farms and a 25 percent decline the number of farm operators since 1996. As in the FVRD, Metro Vancouver realized an increase in farmers over 55 years; 48 percent of farmers representing a 14 percent increase over 1996. As with the FVRD, half of all farm operators are fully employed in farm work. Nearly half (47 percent) of farms in Metro Vancouver were less than 4 ha with another 41 percent of farms between 4 ha and 28 ha. Metro Vancouver experienced a 15 percent increase, from 14 ha to 16 ha, in the average farm size, a trend consistent since 1996 when the average farm size was 11 ha. In 2006, 48 percent of farms reported earning less than $10,000 in the region, which is consistent with previous years (Statistics Canada 2006b; Statistics Canada 2007b; Metro Vancouver 2007). Horticultural Production The cooler and wetter climate of the Lower Mainland is unique and it favours the production of the widest variety of fruits and vegetables as field crops than anywhere else in Canada. In addition to horticultural field crops, 95 percent of B.C. vegetable greenhouse production occurs in the Lower Mainland (B.C. ACF 2008). Cropland in Metro Vancouver is primarily used to grow berries (4,643 ha) and vegetables (3,025 ha), not including potatoes (70 farms growing 2,235 ha). Five-hundred-fifty farms in the region grow fruits and berries, while 292  7 farms grow vegetables. Land area devoted to berries and vegetables increased 29 and 13 percent, respectively, since 1996. The region leads the province in total area for potatoes, beans, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, celery, spinach and squash/pumpkins/zucchini, blueberries and cranberries. Blueberries have increased by 1,228 ha over the last ten years. Since 1996 there has been a steady increase in the land area used to grow potatoes, beans, Chinese cabbage and squash/pumpkins/zucchini. With other vegetables, such as sweet corn, the number of hectares grown appears to fluctuate depending on market conditions. The amount of land used for vegetable greenhouse production increased (71 percent from 502,898 m2 to 1,743,581 m2) despite declining numbers of greenhouse farm operations (277 in 2006 compared to 341 in 1996) (Metro Vancouver 2007: 7). Cropland in the Fraser Valley, like Metro Vancouver, is primarily used to grow berries (4,219 ha) and vegetables (2,311 ha), not including potatoes (27 farms growing 58 ha). Five-hundred-fifty-eight farms in the region grow fruits and berries, while 167 farms grow vegetables. Since 2001, land area devoted to berries increased 7 percent, while vegetables decreased 8 percent. The amount of land used for vegetable greenhouse production stood at 620,597 m2 in 2006 (Statistics Canada 2006c).  The number of certified organic producers in B.C. increased from 154 producers in 1992 to 267 in 2001 and 452 in 2006, with 358 of those being fruit and vegetable farms. These 452 farms had about 13,387 ha of land in production. This trend was evident in the Fraser Basin as well, where the number of organic producers has more than doubled since 2000. About 2,767 farms in B.C., 999 of them fruit, vegetable and greenhouse, reported growing organically but were not certified organic. In 2005, 108 farms representing about 3,557 ha were in transition to organic in B.C. The value of organic production in B.C. in 2005 was approximately, $29.1 million According to Certified Organic Agriculture Association of B.C.’s list of registered and certified organic fruit and vegetable producers, there were 11 producers in Metro Vancouver and 25 in the FVRD representing approximately 112 ha and 124 ha of production, respectively.  Of the 1,557 fruit and vegetable farms in the Lower Mainland, organic production accounted for roughly 1.7 percent of the farms and 1.7 percent of the land in production in 2006. In all of B.C. the certified organic fruit and vegetable farms represented 1.8 percent of all farms in B.C in 2006 (Kendrick 2006; Fraser Basin Council 2007; COABC 2008).  8 B.C.’s Lower Mainland and its Agricultural Capacity The amount of prime farmland in key farming regions of the province, such as the Lower Mainland, has been diminished and if left unimpeded will create a relatively permanent barrier to its capacity for local food production. Approximately 79 percent of B.C. residents live next to land responsible for 78 percent of B.C.'s farm revenues (Smart Growth BC 2008). Between 1974 and April 2008, a total of 5,389 ha and 6,158 ha have been excluded (i.e. removed) from Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver, respectively. The Lower Mainland comprises approximately 4 percent of B.C. total ALR lands (B.C. ALC 2008). All Fraser River Basin regions – within which the Lower Mainland resides - have experienced a net loss of prime, secondary and mixed quality agricultural land since 1974; one year after he ALR was established.  ALR was established to prevent the conversion of farmland in the province into non-agricultural uses. At the end of 2007, the ALR covered about 4.8 million hectares (B.C. ALC 2007). The Since 1974 there has been a net loss of approximately 7,000 ha of prime land in British Columbia, with most of this loss occurring in the Lower Mainland (B.C. ALC 2008). According to the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Clinic, B.C.’s Agricultural Land Commission increasingly fails to protect farm land from development. Citing decisions to exclude farm land from the ALR, the Law Clinic noted that 70.5 percent of applications for removal of property from the ALR throughout B.C. were approved between April 2002 and March 2005 (Boei 2006). Since 2002, 86 percent of the land excluded from the ALR has been in southern British Columbia (Cavendish-Palmer 2008). According to B.C. ALC (2008), 71 of 73 exclusions granted by the ALC since 1974 in the Lower Mainland were for prime agricultural land.  Characterization of BC/Lower Mainland Horticultural Supply Chains6  Horticultural supply and distribution arrangements in the Lower Mainland are currently dominated by large scale operations and infrastructure suitable to the global network to which it is both a part and a reflection.  As such it services an expansive food service industry in the Lower Mainland that generates a substantial amount of economic activity.  In 2005, the contributions to economic spin-offs in food processing, food wholesaling, retailing and service sectors translated into consumer sales at the food retailing and food service  6  For the purpose of this thesis, “horticulture” refers to field and covered crops comprising fruits and vegetable but not nursery and sod field and covered crops.  9 industry level of approximately $18.5 billion. These consumer sales were made possible from upstream sales transactions in B.C.’s agri-food chain which comprised of agricultural sales ($2.4 billion), food processing sales ($6.7 billion), and food wholesaling ($9.9 billion). These agri-food-related businesses employed 259,090 people on farms, agriculture services, food processing, food wholesaling and distribution, grocery stores, specialty food stores, restaurants and food service, which was an increase from 2003 of 23,275 people.  Also, the food processing and manufacturing sector for horticultural crops in B.C had combined sales/shipments of $528 million in 2005, up by more than $100 million in 2003. In terms of the number of agri-food industry establishments, there were 1,182 food manufacturers/processors, 1,934 farm product and food wholesalers, and 16, 854 food and restaurants/food service establishments in B.C. in 2005. The average annual agriculture- related employment in the Lower Mainland fluctuated between 13,600 and 20,000 people between 1997 and 2007, settling at 15,800 in 2007,  Out-of-country exports of B.C. fruits and vegetables sent to more than 50 countries grew to $551.1 million in 2007; an increase over 2003 figures ($455 million) but a decline from 2005 ($558.6 million) (B.C. Stats 2008). B.C.’s top three agri-food export markets are the United States, Japan and China with sales of $16.7 billion, $2.6 billion and $903 million, respectively. Of B.C.’s top 20 high growth farm commodities between 1996 and 2005, 14 were fruits and vegetables with percent growth between 58.3 and 418.7 percent (B.C. MAL 2006). Disaggregated agri-food industry sales and statistics for fruits and vegetables in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley Census District or Metro Vancouver Census District, were not readily available from Statistics Canada and CANSIM data.  According to COABC (2005), there were 103 certified organic processors in B.C. in 2005. Of these, four fruit and vegetable processors could be found in the Fraser Valley and seven in Metro Vancouver. Certified food handlers or packers and re-packers numbered two and one in the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver, respectively. The number of certified organic distributors in the FVRD and Metro Vancouver were 1 and 11, respectively.  The number of local farmers’ markets in B.C. has grown from 60 in 2000, to 100 known markets in 2006, 28 of which are in the Fraser Basin and 14 in the Lower Mainland. Results from a University of Northern British Columbia study of 10 Fraser Basin farmers’ markets found that, on average, 1,670 people attended each market, spending between $11 and $21  10 per person, and that each farmers’ market contributed between $210 and $1.5 million annually to the local economy (FBC 2006: 6; Connell 2006).  Problem Definition  Food plays a rich multitude of roles in our everyday lives. However, the inherent personal, communal and biological interconnections that provide meaning to the food we eat have become progressively fractured (Berry 1995, 1993; Clancy 1993; Curtin 1992; Heffernan 1986; Heldke 1992; Lang 1994; McMichael 2000; Welsh and MacRae 1998). Our progressive loss of connection with the food we grow and consume essentially reflects within a microcosm of the B.C. Lower Mainland the increasingly global, corporate-driven, neoliberal market forces that have grown in apparent strength since World War Two, as well as the advent of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and, more recently, free trade agreements within the World Trade Organization. During the past 25 or more years, the role of free (i.e., progressively deregulated) markets has become increasingly powerful because of growing transnational corporate integration within the agriculture-and-food industry (Daly 1996a; Goldsmith 1996; Harrison and Rude 2004; Heffernan 1999; Henderson and Heffernan 2002; King 2001a; Kneen 2002; Krebs 2002; Lang 1997, 1999a, 1999b; Lyson and Raymer 2000; McMichael 2000; NFU 2000; Troughton 1985; Winson 1993).  The neo-liberal economic goal toward a single integrated world market is arguably unsustainable, and ultimately untenable, because it can neither operate in the long-term outside the boundaries of Earth’s non-growing, finite biophysical resource and its regenerative/assimilative capacities, nor can it operate without subsuming and harming social systems through a maldistribution of wealth and power (Andersson and Lindroth 2001; Daly 1996a; Goodland 1996: 207; Heffernan 1986; Ravaioli 1995: 54-60). Neo- liberalism assumes that society can benefit most from competitive human behaviour, rationalized and motivated entirely by individual and corporate self-interest for greatest economic gain. Free-market capitalism’s tenets hold that economic growth can be sustainable through resource replacement, that it can result in the most efficient and socially optimal allocation of resources, that increases in economic efficiency and growth generally benefit everyone, and that localities can best achieve economic success by becoming internationally competitive rather than locally dutiful (Daly 1996b: 229; Korten 1998: 184- 185; Stiglitz 2003).  11 In addition, globalized food production and distribution systems are composed of distant geographical, psychological and socioeconomic relationships. These relationships have become protracted, opaque and undemocratic, and are lobbied by relatively few people among multinational corporations, manipulation of international financial institutions and governments, mostly in industrialized/economically developed, northern countries. Many political and economic policies in “developed” nations assume that “comparative advantage” and “capital mobilization” are superior approaches to economic efficiency within the global food market. As a result, these terms have become a widely accepted, or at least convenient, means for food production and distribution, as opposed to diversified, small- scale, decentralized local-food systems that tend to observe biophysical limitations and effectively address socioeconomic needs (Busch 2000: 122-133). Free-market capitalism, as it is practiced under the tenets of neo-liberal economics, minimizes or dismisses entirely the qualitative value of human cooperation and the qualitative measures of human, social and economic progress. Its tenets dangerously reject the finite capacity of ecological services and biophysical resource capital, or the fact that capitalism should define and, by extension, characterize sustainable economic strategy and the level of tolerance for human folly (Andersson and Lindroth 2001; May and Bonilla 1997). Such a market system operates at the risk of fostering distributive injustice between labour and capital, separating ownership and control of labour and capital, diminishing the value of democratic processes at the local and national level, while multinational corporate, monopolistic autocracy for smaller scale businesses, pluralistic democracy and local self-determination (Daly 1993: 124-130; Rees 2000).  The implicit and explicit distancing of a globalized, free-market food system ultimately undermines the value of social, economic and ecological interconnections and interdependencies between people and the limited biophysical resources and processes of food that sustain the planet. It diminishes the ability for society to realize the social and environmental costs of production, and it disables consumers’ food skills, while continuing to support complicated, fragile transportation and distribution networks (Lyson and Raymer 2000; Kloppenburg, et al. 2000). As a result, dominant market forces dictate the patterns of technological and local land-resource use, and distort consumer expectations about the role of agriculture for food and society (Berry 1995, 1993, 1989; Curtin 1992; Daly 1996b: 229- 238; Gardner 2002; Kneen 1989). In addition, agricultural management and global food- production systems become patterned after corporate, industrial models that emphasize  12 centralization, private ownership, economic efficiency, standardization and economies of scale above that of local-scale, disregard for biological efficiency and biophysical limits, and reliance on technological substitution for natural resource limits (Lehman and Krebs 1996; Dahlberg 1998, 1996; Flores and Sarandon 2004; Hinrichs 2000; King and Feenstra 2001; Stern 1997; Whit 1995). From an agroecological perspective, the neo-liberal economic forces that drive global trade liberalization encourage local food-system stakeholders to become dependent on extra-regional food products for everyday food needs. These same global market forces that unfairly challenge the local food industry’s ability to be competitive at the local level also play a significant role in food-system vulnerabilities.  In the current free-market environment, food-system vulnerabilities created by global climate change, land-use conflict in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) of the Lower Mainland, the introduction of biosecurity concerns and measures, and the ramifications of peak oil7 accentuate the challenges for local food producers and buyers, and complicate local efforts to establish food security. The high level of international trade in food-and-agriculture products is inherently unsustainable, because global trade is utterly dependent on the availability of subsidized petroleum for every aspect of “cheap” food production: petroleum for transportation, fertilizer production, cultivation, processing, storage, packaging, biosafety and security measures and waste disposition.  Local and global food systems are fragile in the face of relatively unpredictable consequences associated with global climate change, including the B.C. climate (Environment Canada 2005; NFU 2003), with the average global temperature expected to increase between 1.40 C and 5.80 C by the year 2100, and the growing need for irrigation agriculture (ISS 2005; IPCC 2007). Nearly all local and all global food-and-agriculture systems are dependent on crude oil and natural gas, and are thus vulnerable to the political and socioeconomic consequences of peak oil, generally expected to manifest between 2008 and 2015 (ASPO 2005; ISS 2005; Appenseller 2004). In the Lower Mainland of B.C., an area of high regional population growth, one of the most relevant natural-capital issues affecting agriculture involves the loss of productive land within the Agricultural Land Reserve to non-agricultural uses (Baxter 1998; Parfitt 2008; SWCS-BC 2005). Biosafety concerns represent a further obstacle to agricultural land preservation. International developments,  7  The point where half of all conventional oil and gas resources that can be recovered, has been recovered. After this point, the growing demand for oil and gas resources and the decreasing availability of oil and gas resources – recognizing that the price for petroleum products is neither perfectly inelastic nor perfectly elastic  –  diverge.  13 such as centralized food processing of large batches, distribution and storage, loss of genetic diversity in farm animals, increased rapid transport and trade, a rise in antibiotic- resistant bacteria, an aging population and an increased potential for intentional contamination all represent complex and emerging biosafety concerns (FAO 2001), and their effective resolution is made more difficult by inherent self interest of the food industry (Nestle 2003).  Neither a “corporate-centric”, nor a “farm-centric” policy approach to local food security is adequate for the creation of a self-reliant food system. Taken individually, each approach focuses on narrowly defined problems and reductionist solutions that do not effectively address systemic food and agriculture issues. Sustainable local food security and food self- reliance depends on a local-food-production and distribution system geared not to endanger public, ecological and socioeconomic health, as it internalizes its costs, builds healthy and systemic marketing relationships between local producers, local food buyers (e.g. restaurants, wholesalers, processors and organic food delivery services) and consumers8 and operates through an enabling framework of public policy that fosters market cohesion through stakeholder (citizen) participation. Thus, agricultural sustainability and public health become integrated, with food being the glue that binds the relationship between the quality of life and the quality of the land, and health being the economic determinant for developing responsible policy and practice to guide human endeavour.  The notion of local food self-reliance does not imply 100 percent self-sufficiency in terms of its production capacity. Instead, local food self-reliance constitutes a balance between global imports and local food sourcing and marketing that allows the region in question to take full advantage of its food production, processing, distribution, nutrient cycling and marketing potential. Local produce sourcing, marketing and distribution based on localized food production should be structured in the interest of regenerating and preserving local food-production capacity (e.g. the maintenance of biodiversity, nutrient cycling and fair wages), enhancing local food security and contributing to the overall sustainability of society. Reductionist local food-policy, based upon an incomplete understanding of the relevant issues regarding food-and-agriculture systems, creates additional barriers to sustainable  8  By “producers” I am referring to the farmers and their primary resource industry of agricultural products. “Buyers” are all those people or businesses that purchase the primary resource for resale (i.e., wholesale or retail) with or without adding value in the process. This would include restaurants, wholesalers, green grocers, home delivery services and supermarkets.  14 food self-reliance and food security. This study suggests that expanding and strengthening local horticultural product sourcing and marketing relationships, which in turn is supported by sophisticated supply chain logistics and infrastructure, can address numerous challenges that have evolved, at least partly, from a globalized agro-food system, and contribute significantly local food-system resilience and integrity (i.e., local food security). In an era of agricultural industrialization and transformation in which its natural and cultural foundations have become degraded, the power of food lies in its material and symbolic functions of linking nature, human survival, health, culture and livelihood as a focus of resistance to corporate takeover of life itself (McMichael 2000: 21).  Research Questions  1. How do BC Lower Mainland producers of fresh fruits and vegetables and buyers in the City of Vancouver perceive their current and potential capacity for local food sourcing9 and marketing relationships?  2. Given the findings to research question one (1), and the established context/thesis within which there may be discernible benefit to re-localization of the horticultural supply chain, what recommendations can be made to inform public policy development that facilitates re-localization?  Introduction to Research Methods  In accordance with the principles of a case-study approach, I collected data by conducting structured interviews with food-service providers, retailers and wholesalers within the city of Vancouver and fruit and vegetable producers in the FVRD and the Metro Vancouver region. I asked each of my interview subjects the same series of straightforward questions, each designed to explore that market participants sourcing and marketing relationships with the other market participants, and to uncover perceived barriers and opportunities for developing greater channels for food production and distribution in the local marketplace. The study participants included owners or managers of restaurants, green grocers, home- delivery services, supermarkets and food stores, as well as local producers.  As this was an exploratory study, I conducted 39 interviews between March 2003 and January 2004 after clearing University of British Columbia interviewing protocols and  9  In this study, sourcing is an activity or process conducted by food buyers (e.g., green grocers, processors, restaurants, caterers, etc.) to seek out food and/or agricultural product (raw or processed) suitable to produce their end-product.  15 receiving an ethics panel certificate. I acquired permission from each participant—identified through a randomized selection process—and a subsequent bulk mailing of interview requests that introduced the subject of my thesis and requested possible future interviews. Both organic and conventional producers were included on the list, as well as a variety of food-service employees, retailers and wholesalers, in order to provide a wide range of opinions and perspectives on the subject. In instances involving the failure of interview requests, an additional request was mailed if necessary. In cases involving shortages of interview participants in any of the aforementioned categories, participants were asked to recommend alternative interview subjects.  All research interviews were recorded in person or by phone (with the permission of the participant) using the Sony Net-MD, MZ-N1 MiniDisc recorder. The transcripts of the interviews were transferred to full-size CDs to facilitate transcription and encryption in a personal laptop, ensure secure storage and offer potential reuse of the MiniDiscs. All of the interviews were transcribed over the course of the interview process, from March 2003 to March 2004. The NVIVO7 qualitative data analysis program was used to assist in the analysis of the data.  Scope of the Study and Geographical Delimitations  This study is focused primarily on the food sourcing and marketing relationships between producers in the Fraser Valley Regional District and Metro Vancouver region and the food- service providers, retailers and wholesalers located in the city of Vancouver. Producers outside the Lower Mainland of B.C. also market fresh fruits and vegetables through food service, wholesale and retail-market channels in the city of Vancouver; however, I do not include detail of these regions. I recognize, however, that the Vancouver food market benefits from the productive capacity for fruit in the Okanagan region of B.C. For the purposes of this study limiting the geographic context is useful for manageability, and given that the Okanagan region is at least four hours outside the City of Vancouver.  Located east of the Coast Mountains with a warmer, drier climate, the Okanagan is an important tree-fruit and wine-grape-growing region. However, to include the Okanagan in this study would have added significant burdens in terms of this researcher’s limited financial and time resources. Likewise, an area south of the B.C.-United States border in the  16 Whatcom and Skagit counties of the State of Washington could be considered “local” by definition. However, this region is excluded for the simple reason that the movement of food and agricultural products across this political and international border would constitute international trade, and the fact that as a political entity, this U.S. region is subject to some of the food-security concerns discussed in this study. I focused specifically on vegetable and berry-fruit producers in the Lower Mainland, included data on other commodities from the whole of B.C., Canada and/or the United States. The disadvantage of limiting the scope of the study participants to the Lower Mainland of B.C. was its exclusion of important agricultural areas and commodities that make a significant contribution to the province’s food and agriculture economy. However, these exclusions do not make the findings of this study irrelevant, since other producers and buyers of food and agricultural goods would likely benefit from greater clarity regarding potential market opportunities in the Lower Mainland. Also, other localities considering food system re-localization may find helpful parallels to the Lower Mainland region under study, depending upon how interested parties choose to take advantage of the information and policy recommendations from this study.  Research Limitations  The participants I interviewed for this study represented the marketing channel from which they were selected. Since this study was qualitative by design, its intent was to gain broad stakeholder perspectives, while seeking out common experiences among study participants. A random-selection process, using potential interview candidates within each respective food-market category, acted as a control for representation. With regard to the selection of vegetable and fruit producers, I decided geographical representation was more important than random selection and, therefore, chose my interview candidates accordingly. Appropriate attention had to be paid to instances involving generalizing across populations within represented marketing channels. Any claims were qualified by the sample size, emphasizing the exploratory nature of the study and the potential for future researchers to test emerging working hypotheses.  The availability of statistical data concerning the food service, retail and wholesale industries is restricted in at least three ways. First of all, historical information on the food-service industry is incomplete, because business classifications change over time, and are different from federal or provincial business classifications. Second, restaurant and food service-  17 industry associations and marketing research companies hold their membership information and industry records as proprietary data, and thus restrict their availability to paying members or those willing to directly purchase the information. Data is also rendered incomplete within this industry, since a varying number of restaurants and food-service establishments are actually members of their respective associations.  Finally, the retail data available from Statistics Canada and Statistics B.C. is only available to the public in the form of aggregate figures. In short, one must exercise caution about applying the data to make generalizations about the behaviours and activities of those involved in the food service, retail and wholesale industries. This study omitted analysis of the potential for other regions of Western Canada and the Northwest United States to be used as local sources of agriculture products for the city of Vancouver; therefore, no producers from these regions were included in the interview process.  Research Assumptions  Local agriculture includes all scales of agriculture, food and fibre processing and production that take place within the geopolitical boundaries of the Metro Vancouver region and FVRD, comprising the Lower Mainland of B.C. Because of the magnitude and complexity of the Lower Mainland’s agricultural community, this study takes into account the need to restrict its research focus and manage its data within the narrow confines of a thesis. Also, the researcher’s time and other resources were limited. Therefore, to simplify this study, only fruits and vegetables (i.e., produce) were considered for analysis. Nevertheless, narrowing the focus in this way does not necessarily deny this study’s applicability or relevance to other agriculture products, and by extension, to further studies of food security  Significance of the Study  The results of this study could currently be incorporated into the Vancouver Food Policy Council’s growing knowledge base, and ultimately be applied to policy making and advising in relation to local food-security and public-health issues. In addition, this research could enhance public awareness about the problems associated with an excessive dependence on food from a global supermarket, such as the externalized costs associated with pursuing and ensuring a supply of food and agricultural products from faraway places, and such a  18 market scenario under an industrialist model. Increased public awareness about the role of producers, buyers and consumers as land stewards might lead to a growing appreciation for the value of open space and green space as public goods—as ecological, economic and social attributes and services to society.  Since 1973, when legislation was created to preserve agriculturally capable land, as well as to promote agriculture in B.C. (i.e., the B.C. Agricultural Land Reserve Act and Agricultural Land Commission), stakeholders have struggled to maintain the physical integrity of the Agricultural Land Reserve in the face of a growing population and subsequent land- development pressures. An increased public awareness about the importance of land preservation could lead to the development of food-and-agriculture policy that takes into account a higher order of understanding of agriculture and food’s role in regional economic, social and ecological integrity of the Lower Mainland. These policies, in turn, may foster greater public support for preserving remaining ALR lands. Ultimately, a better-educated public may consider itself entitled to greater access to a local food supply and demand a higher productive capacity from its local farmland.  As society grows more aware of food-and-agriculture-system vulnerabilities, it will become increasingly difficult for the globalized and industrialized food-and-agriculture supply system to maintain the status quo. Climate change, energy costs, and biosecurity—among other localized and global concerns—will undermine the organization, structure and function of the globalized food supply system, leading communities to seek greater food security through re-localized food and agriculture systems. This emerging awareness of food-system vulnerabilities will have varying degrees of influence across the globe. But scarce access to a secure food supply will certainly introduce additional sources of potential conflict over social, economic and natural resources, as people and nations adjust to the self-imposed consequences of globalization, industrialization and neo-liberal ideology. At the same time, the ability of various localities to compensate for their diminished access to a global supermarket and their efforts to re-localize food and agriculture systems may be severely limited by the reduced natural capital and system capacity expropriated under an unsustainable economic regime.  The loss of agricultural land to urban encroachment in B.C.’s ALR demonstrates such reduced access to natural resources—a tragic series of events that has been repeated  19 again and again during the past 60 years, throughout North America and other developed and developing countries. On its own, this study is unlikely to have a dramatic impact on the effort to secure sustainable food and agricultural systems; yet, this study represents a modest parable within a much larger story that needs to be told, heard and understood by as many people as possible. Lastly, although this study is focused on the geographic region representing the City of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, there may be relevance and, therefore, transferability of the findings and recommendations to other municipalities and their surrounding regions. Much of the context established here in has similar bearing on nearly any jurisdiction in North America, or wherever agricultural land is undervalued for its food production potential, in light of system vulnerabilities discussed in this thesis.  In the interests of reaching a wider audience, a number of local organizations are available to possibly distribute or disseminate the research in question via linkages with their web pages or through other media forms. These organizations include Smart Growth, City Farmer, the Real-Estate Institute, the International Centre for Sustainable Cities, the Vancouver Food Policy Council and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, along with members of the mainstream media such as Business in Vancouver Weekly and a variety of food-security organizations. The results of this research might also be more thoroughly debated and discussed through professional and peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Agricultural Systems, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Food Policy, Urban Ecology and Agriculture and Human Values.  Summary  This thesis makes the case for the creation of a policy or institutional framework to enable the development of an economically viable local food production system. This exploratory study examined, from an agroecological systems framework, the culturally induced and manufactured forces that pose a challenge to local food producers and buyers, as well as additional food-system vulnerabilities, such as global climate change, the loss of productive capacity from our Agricultural Land Reserve, issues of biosafety and the ramifications of peak oil. These concurrent stresses and vulnerabilities may increase the challenges for local food producers and buyers, thus complicating local efforts to establish effective food security. At the same time, this study suggests that a positive outcome toward addressing these vulnerabilities at the global and local levels could involve expanding and strengthening  20 local food sourcing and marketing relationships that effectively respond to these numerous market challenges. Such activities could enhance local food self-reliance and food security while strengthening local-food-system integrity, and give rise to opportunities that promote local business and improve environmental and, population and public health. As well, communities may consider the value potential of comprehensively integrating population health issues with local environmental, urban and regional planning and—ideally—with food- security initiatives.  A Guide to This Thesis  The first part of this thesis is organized in a standard format for such endeavours. The next three chapters that follow, Review of the Literature, Theoretical and Interpretive Framework and Research Methods, respectively, are an opportunity to reveal the nature and context of the problem of a globalized food system and develop a conceptual framework for the re- localization of food and farming, the theoretical basis and interpretive lens by which I conduct my analyses and deliver my assessments, and lastly, describe the qualitative method(s) utilized to collect and interpret data. Chapter 5 is a presentation of my comprehensive results and findings, based on the interviews conducted with selected local food-system stakeholders. Chapter 6 is a discussion that synthesizes the preceding material, and proposes policy considerations for the Vancouver Food Policy Council to develop or advocate food security measures that identify and strengthen local horticultural supply chain and market opportunities. In Chapter 7 I present the conclusion and suggestions for further research.   21 CHAPTER 2:  LITERATURE REVIEW   The objective of the following literature review is to develop the local context of current conventional farming and food production. I will discuss the characteristics—and potential benefits and challenges—of a local food system and argue that such a system presents a relationship-based alternative to the globalized food production and marketplace model. As is shown in the literature, an evolving local food-and-farming-systems model would place greater value on the integrity of individual, collective and ecological relationships and processes, than can be found from an industrial agriculture model. Localization contrasts markedly from the globalized model where distant market forces emphasize industrial efficiency. The struggle for a sustainable food-and-agricultural model is an exercise of empowerment as local citizens make food choices that challenge the efficacy of outside economic and political forces for control and determination of their food production and consumption.  This chapter is organized into two parts. First, a discussion of the main impediments to horticultural re-localization where, under globalization and its foundation in neo-classical economics, there is an emphasis on intensive, export-oriented production of agricultural commodities, a consolidation of various agri-food sectors along the dominant agri-food supply and value chain, and an emergence of relatively new food system vulnerabilities. The second part discusses re-localization as a food system alternative, looking first at the potential role in addressing system vulnerabilities, the prospect of self-reliance in British Columbia, and finally alternative food system concepts that inform re-localization, and its value as an substitute for the dominant agri-food model.  Main Impediments to Horticultural Re-localization  Most horticultural crop producers in the Metro Vancouver region and Fraser Valley Regional District find themselves unavoidably competing within globalized agriculture and food supply chain systems that are controlled by relative few powerful market entities. Globalized agriculture and food-supply systems can reduce economic opportunities for producers in local food-production systems that do not participate—either by choice or by circumstance— in the global market system. Therefore, many horticultural producers in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, especially small-scale producers, experience difficulty maintaining  22 economic viability and relevance. In addition to globalization, food-system vulnerabilities manifested by such issues as agricultural intensification, global climate change, land-use conflicts, biosecurity concerns, and increasing energy costs are becoming ever more salient issues for local horticultural producers and buyers. These challenges and impediments, however, add relevance to food security efforts and inform market-based responses at the local level. Globalization and Neo-Classical Economics Notwithstanding the economic fluctuations of the past 60 years that encompass the period between now and the end of World War Two and beginning of GATT10, the last two decades have borne witness to many factors affecting the market structure of the agriculture and agri-food business in Canada. The signing of FTA11 in 1987, CUST12 in 1988/89, NAFTA13 in 1993, the WTO14 multilateral agreement in 1994 significantly reoriented the function of agriculture and agri-food systems toward export-oriented trade and the opening of domestic markets to greater levels of competition from imports (Burroughs, et al. 2001: 2). International trade, although balanced in monetary terms, may be unequal in terms of the exchange of biomass and sink-capacity. It may also be unilaterally or mutually unsustainable if it implies the overuse of the bio-capacity in either one or both of the trading partners (Andersson and Lindroth 2001: 1). The expansion of market opportunities through trade-liberalization measures also promoted vertical integration of food and agriculture processes and modernization in North America: firms then searched to secure stable and reliable sources of primary products for their new high-capacity processing operations, built by substantial contributions of foreign direct investment in capital development (Henderson and Heffernan 2002). This shift has enabled a concentrated group of retailers, wholesalers and brand manufacturers in industrialized countries to capitalize and outsource production to manufacturers who contribute to larger economies of scale at the points of production and processing (Heffernan and Constance 1994; King 2001a; Kneen 1990, 1999; Mander and Goldsmith 1996).   10 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade–international trade. 11  Free Trade Agreement between U.S. and Canada. 12  Canada and United States Free Trade Agreement. 13 North American Free Trade Agreement–includes Canada, U.S. and Mexico. 14 World Trade Organization–the official adjudicator to facilitate global trade and the successor to GATT.  23 In a globalised food supply scenario people become dependent on invisible intermediaries who have no stake in the local communities, eroding the ability of individuals to determine and influence the scope and depth of a more local agro-food system. Thus, the process of globalization and agri-food industrialization systematically removes political and economic power from local residents or citizens. This process effectively dismantles farm-based economies and shifts decision-making power away from local bureaucracies (DeLind 2002; Lang 1999a, b; and Lyson 2000). In addition, many people living in urban areas take their access to food for granted, resulting in a self-reinforcing effect on the globalizing of the food system.15 While people within smaller scale economies are often deeply engaged in the decisions that affect them, this involvement rapidly diminishes once they are linked to a much larger scale economic system (Norberg-Hodge, et al. 2002). Also, while transportation networks tie high-yield croplands to consumers in the world’s cities and facilitate access to the globalized agri-food system, they can encourage suburban development that places pressure on local agricultural lands, collectively imposing costs that can easily be easily dismissed (Burchell 2002; Papendick et al. 1986).  Given the unaccounted costs of the current food system, we are confronted with a dominant approach to economics that is limited by its emphasis on economic efficiency and the trade imperative. According to Kimbrell (2002: 56), the narrow definition of economic efficiency reflects the dominant agribusiness perspective: large-scale, monocultural production is more important than producing multiple crops on a smaller scale. In addition, arguments that focus on economic productivity generally tend to ignore ecological issues, as well as the social and human-health costs of production (Lang and Heasman 2004; Lang and Rayner 2002; Qualman and Tate 2004; Qualman 2001). Industrial farming does not account for its externalized social and environmental costs (Daly 1996a). Thus, economics has significance beyond neoclassical definitions of productivity and efficiency that “make no distinction between the desirable and the undesirable, or costs and gain… [where] every item of commerce [is] assumed to add to the national well-being merely by the fact…that it [is] produced and bought…” (Cobb et al., 1995: 29-30).  Mainstream economists may sincerely believe that if Canada no longer produces agricultural products, adequate food can be purchased at a lower cost through imports from  15  By self-reinforcing, I mean that existing socioeconomic activities and market conditions not only persist but strengthen as the means to produce food (e.g., access to land and sufficient income) increasingly diminish for all but the most powerfully situated in the marketplace.  24 countries where it can be produced more efficiently; a function of comparative advantage. Thus, as reliance grows on foreign horticultural crop production capacity, agricultural land in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia can have a higher “value” as residential development property. Accordingly, mainstream economists argue that this scenario reflects the workings of a “free market” economy; so long as the economic benefits still exceed the economic costs (Daly 1993, 1996a; Coffin 1987). However, as costs for land and labour continue to rise, transnational corporations can move their food and farming operations to other countries. The balance of benefits of increased economic efficiency is not going to consumers or farmers, but to corporations. In the pursuit of economic efficiency to lower the cost of food, the growing environmental and social costs of agro-food industrialization are disproportionately borne by society.  It may not be feasible to rely exclusively on global market forces, regardless of the potential opportunities such forces supposedly provide for innovative, private entrepreneurship. Instead, it may be more appropriate to rely upon agricultural planning and design, emphasizing a systems approach with local solutions and involving a cross-section of local civic society (Kaufman et al. 2007; Altieri 2000a; Pothukuchi and Kaufman 1999). Under such a scenario agricultural planners and citizens would need to subject their projects to the potential constraints of social equity, ecological sustainability, economic viability and balanced human-settlement strategies, while their designs would necessarily overcome the traditional dichotomy of rural-agricultural/urban-industry. Importantly, those involved would need to emphasize the integration of local economies and seek a symbiotic relationship between the countryside, small-town and regional centres (Sachs and Silk 1990: 45). To accurately compare the efficiency and productivity of small and large farms, a shift from single-crop-yield measurements to a more holistic picture of total agricultural output (products and services) must be balanced against total farm inputs, costs and externalities (Kimbrell 2002: 58). However, such an analytical framework is far more complex than the neoclassical-economics model permits. Outside the mainstream marketplace, other dimensions of human economy must be considered in an effort to assess economic impact and progress. An honest assessment of economic efficiency in a food system requires a broader framework for understanding the multidimensional nature of food systems, including the benefits and costs of all economies directly affected by these systems (e.g. environmental, health, social/cultural, market, production and technological knowledge, and  25 traditional- knowledge economies) (Dobbs 2004; Dobbs and Pretty 2001; Altieri 2000c; Ikerd 1996; Rosset 1994). Agriculture Intensification In order to accommodate export-market objectives, agriculture and food production has become increasingly industrial and corporate in structure and function during the past 50 to 60 years. These objectives grew out of policies that promoted economic globalization and were created to meet the growing needs of downstream agri-food sectors, such as processing, packaging and distribution sectors (Winson 1992 1993). The intensification of farming practices through the use of high-yielding crop varieties, fertilization, irrigation, mechanization and pesticides—while significantly increasing food production since the mid- 20th century—has also altered the local, regional and global biosphere with undesirable ecological, social and economic consequences (Papendick, et al. 1986; Arden-Clarke 1988a; Matson, et al. 1997; Altieri 2000a and 2000b; Lucas and Hines 2001; Pirog and Van Pelt 2001; Pretty 2000; Pretty and Brett 2000; Monbiot 2000; and Meadows 2000). The negative environmental impacts of current agricultural practices include soil degradation, water depletion and contamination, inefficient energy use, loss of plant and animal genetic diversity and destruction of non-agricultural habitat (Pimentel and Pimentel 1979; Hodges and Schofield 1983; Hallberg 1986; Papendick et al. 1986; Arden-Clarke and Hodges 1987, 1988; Arden-Clarke 1988b; Soule et al. 1990).  There are three significant, overriding corporate agri-food industry objectives, each a reflection of their inexorable drive to lower costs, upon which corporate agribusiness thrives: (1) by substituting capital for efficiency and technology for labour; (2) by standardizing the food supply; and, (3) by creating synthetic food. As technological (i.e., purchased) inputs increased, human-labour requirements and other on-farm resources (inputs not purchased) have been significantly reduced. The results of these activities have been dramatically increasing yields and a growing, gross-operating income (Cochrane 1979: 126-127). Technological inputs have also increased farmers’ dependency on off-farm, expert knowledge from the agricultural input industry and from government institutions, in order to address related environmental and rural-social concerns. This dependency on expert knowledge has thus facilitated, along with a devaluing of local knowledge, an increasing level of standardization or homogenization of agricultural production (Morgan and Murdoch 2000). In pursuing each of these objectives, corporate agribusiness has sought first to  26 diminish the role of family farmers in the production of food. It has also sought to relegate the farm community to a small and select group of economically and politically impotent raw material producers serving a food-manufacturing system. Such a system can be controlled from afar by a select number of large corporations and economically powerful individuals. A global agri-food system demands the centralized operation of “monocultures” (i.e., single commodity agriculture systems) that require intensive and expensive external material and energy inputs (Norberg-Hodge and Gorelick, 2002). Natural resources and ecosystem services, such as nutrient cycling, soil regeneration, natural biodiversity and air and water cleansing, are largely disregarded, imposing tangible and intangible costs which threaten the integrity and longevity of the ecosystems that support food systems. As such they borrow waste and emissions absorption capacity from people with lower consumption levels, and to borrow from future generations (Stagl 1999). According to Lehman and Krebs (1996) increasingly urban societies have the potential to become entirely dependent on multinational corporations which could own the farmland and employ framers as their own “farm managers”.  Global developments have also affected the way food is delivered to the table. Since the 1950s, accelerating technological and infrastructural changes have created a food system conducive to the long-distance transport of food resources. Refrigerated trucks, reduced gas prices and a subsidized highway system have contributed to a convoluted agri-food-delivery system. Today, food travels an average of 2,400 kilometers in North America from farm to table—a 25 percent increase from 1980—with an accompanying increase of transportation energy, non-point source pollution and carbon emissions. The reliance on global food production also presents potential implications for public health. For instance, certain products and practices have been directly linked to human health problems, including illness related to animal antibiotics (Spika 1987), nitrates in groundwater (Power 1987), exposure to pesticides in an occupational setting (Center for Rural Affairs 1984; Hoar et al. 1986; Blair 1990; Wigle et al. 1990), pesticide residues in foods (Mott 1984; Clancy 1986), food additives (Lowrance, et al. 1986), several food-processing techniques (Hall 1974; Grimme et al. 1986; Gussow and Clancy 1986), and food-borne diseases such the current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak associated with Maple Leaf ready to eat meats (CFIA 2008). Furthermore, some evidence suggests that conventional soil-management practices may result in a loss of the nutritional value in foods (Voisin 1959; Albrecht 1975; Bishop 1988; Kristensen 2008).  27 In North America and other parts of the world, a contrary response to the growing problems associated with agri-food industrialization has featured the search for alternative, sustainable agricultural models that emphasized natural, ecosystem-based food production. This form of agriculture uses an ecosystem approach that mimics natural ecosystem processes and functions. The use of ecologically based management strategies can increase the sustainability of agricultural production, while reducing off-site consequences (Matson, et al. 1997). Altieri (1987, 1990, 1995, 1999, 2000b), Widdowson (1987), Gliessman (1990, 1998a, b, 2001), Ikerd (1996), Soule and Piper (1992), Pimentel and Pimentel (1979) and Thrupp (1997) offer alternative models of sustainable agriculture that operate from a biophysical systems perspective. Consolidation of the Agri-food Sectors As a result of the horizontal and vertical integration16 of the food production, processing, retail and marketing sectors, everyone involved in the process of food production, distribution and consumption is directly affected by market coordination and consolidation. Heffernan and Constance (1994), Hendrickson and Heffernan 2001, Hendrickson (1995), Magdoff and Foster (2000), Pollan (2001), Shiva (2000), Halweil (2000a, b) and Schlosser (2002) collectively provide a broad analysis and critique of the environmental, social and economic implications of the consolidation of the agri-food industry upon family farms, rural economies and consumers. SUSTAIN and Elm Farm Research Centre (1999), Lang (1999a), Norberg-Hodge, et al. (2002), Lucas (2001), Hendrickson and Heffernan (2002) argue that the normative, but arguably counterintuitive, nature of global-food trading and swapping creates food interdependencies, affecting buyer and seller relationships in such a way that food travels increasingly longer distances and through narrower market sector channels. Heller and Keoleian (2000: 9) assert relationships built through mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, contracts, informal agreements, corporate strategic alliances17 and joint ventures are complex. They are production-chain alignments, often seen as subverting farmers’ independence and reducing their roles to subcontractors responsible solely for supplying and/or producing raw materials for food companies and retail chains. Lyson and Raymer (2000) and Schwartz and Lyson (2007) describe another form of control by ten of the largest food and beverage corporations as a web of indirect “interlocking  16  Vertical consolidation is the phenomenon whereby businesses move into a niche on either side of their current niche in the food-supply chain, while horizontal consolidation affects the number of operators within a company’s current niche. 17  Corporate strategic alliances are sometimes referred to as “vertical network alliances” (Sporleder 1999), “strategic networks” (Jarillo 1988), “vertically coordinated” (Galizzi and Venturini 1999) or “clusters” (O’Malley and Cast 2005).  28 directorates” such that the social and demographic characteristics of board members created common ties among members and boards of directors. Through “value-chain management” (value added to food as it proceeds downstream to the consumer), a market- driven pulling of goods takes place, through the agriculture and food chain (Gooch 2005: 5). Nevertheless, the main purpose of these consolidated relationships is to gain market power and efficiency, and to capture increasingly larger shares of the value-added activities performed off the farm (IFAP 2004; CNFU 2005; Heffernan 1999).  Some food manufacturers have used market power to lower their prices for producers’ goods (NFU 2000; Kneen 2002; Coffin et al. 1989) and Canadian consumers have paid more for food because of retail sector concentration (NFU 2000; Coffin 1987). Concentration in the food sector has largely been the result of the progressive elimination or takeover of smaller, local, regional, and national firms by transnational corporations (Lang and Heasman 2004: 139-173; Kneen 1990 and 2002). Corporate concentration can be found in most sectors of the Canadian food-and-agriculture system, especially in fruit and vegetable canning, frozen fruit and vegetable processing (Harrison and Rude 2004: 17).  In terms of the “upstream18 consolidation” of Canadian farms, in the form of consolidation of business activities such as fertilizer and machinery production and sales, Qualman and Tait (2004), Greider (2000) and Qualman (2001: 15-17) reveal that nearly every link in nearly every sector is dominated by between two and ten large multinational corporations. The large size and small numbers of these multinationals steadily accumulate market power. In terms of agricultural inputs, three companies in Canada retail and distribute the bulk of Canadian oil, gasoline and diesel fuel. Three fertilizer companies control 71 percent of Canada’s nitrogen-fertilizer-production capacity. Nine companies make and market almost all of the insecticides, fungicides and herbicides used in Canada. Worldwide, the top ten companies control 85 percent of the $45.4 billion pesticide market, with six firms controlling 63 percent of that market. Four companies (DuPont/Pioneer, Monsanto, Novartis, and Dow) control 69 percent of the North American seed-corn market. Three companies dominate the Canadian and North American farm machinery sector. Two railways, Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP), haul Western Canadian grain. Nine grain companies control grain collection in Canada, but market analysts speculate that mergers and  18  Terms such as upstream and downstream are used to denote processes or activities that occur before (upstream) and after (downstream) the point of reference.  29 takeovers will leave only four19. International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP 2004: 1) predicts that eventually, on the agri-business side, three large clusters of transnational companies will dominate the entire sector: Cargill/Monsanto, Novartis/ADM/IBP and ConAgra.  What has become clear since the farm crisis of the 1980s is that the escalating concentration of economic power located upstream and downstream of the farm—rather than the economic and managerial inefficiency of the primary producer—determines contemporary profitability and viability (Heffernan 1999; Qualman and Tait 2004; CNFU 2000, 2005; Martz 2004). Farmers in the Western world have long been caught in a cost- price squeeze in which they have little control over input or output prices (Martinson and Campbell 1980; USDA, 1981; Youngberg and Buttel 1984; Buttel et al., 1986). Ultimately, the effect of corporate consolidation and the concentration of the agriculture industry mean farmers have little choice about whom they purchase their inputs from and to whom they sell their product(s). “In many cases the multinational firm that processes or handles the farmer’s product also owns, is in a joint venture with, or is strategically aligned with, the firm(s) selling the inputs. These clusters of firms can therefore dictate the terms of purchase for the farmer’s product while ensuring that the farmer’s inputs come from their seed and chemicals division… With fewer firms buying their product and supplying their inputs, farmers have less choice about what and how to produce. The consolidation of firms has led to an inequitable distribution of wealth in favour of large multinational firms” (IFAP 2004: 3). The concentration of market power by a few companies distorts pricing practices, restricts exports of certain commodities in order to influence market behaviour, hinders market innovation and has the potential to jeopardize international and regional food-and-farming security. King (2001a) argues that concentration adversely affects competition, production costs and efficiency through the accumulation of excessively broad control of intellectual property rights: all developments within the industry that are bound to eventually hinder market innovation and  19  April 13, 1999 meeting of the Canada Grains Council, Agricore CEO Gordon Cummings predicted that American transnationals ConAgra, ADM and Cargill will survive “and if we do things right, one Canadian-owned [company will survive].” He predicted that the consolidation would occur within two to five years, following the conclusion of the next round of WTO talks (Dawson1999). In fact, the consolidation occurred the same year (1999) and created a new company named CNH Global. A United Business Media release states: “With strong global brands, CNH Global N.V. is a leader in the agricultural equipment, construction equipment and financial services industries and had combined 1998 revenues of approximately $12 billion. CNH is the number one manufacturer of agricultural tractors and combines in the world, the third largest maker of construction equipment and has one of the largest equipment finance companies in the world. CNH has operations in 16 countries and sells its products in 160 markets through a network of more than 10,000 dealers and distributors. CNH products are sold under the following brands: Case, Case IH, Fermec, Fiatallis, Fiat-Hitachi, Link-Belt, New Holland, O&K and Steyr” (United Business Media 1999).  30 affect the long-term viability of conglomerated firms, particularly firms that are strategically aligned or integrated.  For at least the past 40 years, the basis of farm policy has been to improve efficiency and expand production, in an effort to address farm-income problems as a result of inflation and the cost-price squeeze that has become endemic with farm enterprises (Easter 2005). Yet, AAFC (2004a: 17) states, “farmers can improve their income prospects by actively managing risks instead of reacting to them… [farmers] can promote income stability by improving production and management decisions.” According to Easter (2005: 11), Canadian primary producers have become highly efficient, even more so than most agri- sector “upstream” and “downstream” businesses. The problem farmers face relates to the “downstream” prices (by those who add value post-farmgate), and “upstream” costs (by those who supply farmers pre-farmgate), that diminish their profitability, and for which they have progressively less control. Agriculture’s annual productivity growth was 4.6 percent between 1984 and 1995, an otherwise tumultuous period in the history of agriculture that saw the demise of many thousands of farms.. As with the United States, Canada depends heavily on agricultural exports to help maintain a positive trade balance. As a result, many farmers feel obliged to pursue contradictory objectives: investing in environmental stewardship, while producing for the global marketplace, a marketplace driven largely by cost-efficiency considerations. The global marketplace implicitly encourages producers to externalize their costs (MacRae 1999: 186). However, one of the most conspicuous features of the global food-production system is the shrinking percentage farmers receive of the price of food they produce. A large number of corporate intermediaries, such as international traders, food processors, distributors and supermarkets are taking increasingly larger shares of the profit (Mander and Goldsmith 1996). Similar changes have occurred in Europe: in Germany, about 20 percent of the “food Euro” goes to the farmer, compared to 75 percent from food expenditures in the 1950s (Norberg-Hodge, et al. 2002: 68).  Food Manufacturing and Processing  One of the basic requirements for a competitive agri-food system is based on the theory of a level playing field in the marketplace. In other words, no single company or small number of companies dominates market price, thereby creating asymmetrical power relationships with other players. The tipping point occurs when four (C4), or less (C3), horizontally integrated companies become concentrated and control among them at least 40 percent of the market  31 share20 (Heffernan 1999: 1). One or more companies acquire a significant amount of control over all stages in the food and agriculture system. As discussed earlier, horizontal integration can occur through mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures or long-term agreements of either a formal or informal nature. The C4 and C3 measures historically have been accepted measures or indicators in anti-trust assessments for determining the potential of price-concentration in corporate mergers. Price-concentration is a concern if corporate concentration leads to unfair price increases and/or stifling of industrial innovation and investment from lack of competition. However, depending on a variety of factors such as degree of horizontal product differentiation (Beckert and Mazzarotto 2006), market size or competitive superiority (Newmark 2004), C4 is contested as a reliable measure of high seller concentration and potential for subsequent harm to consumers.  Vertical and horizontal integration and transnationalization are three increasingly common forms of structural changes taking place within the global food system. However, in the manufacturing and processing sector of the agri-food system, relationship marketing such as strategic clustering or partnering of food-industry corporations within food chains is a growing trend (Harris 2002; Sporleder 1999). “Relationship marketing is part of the developing ‘network paradigm’, which recognizes that global competition occurs increasingly between networks and firms…to be an effective competitor in the global economy requires one to be a trusted competitor in a network” (Morgan and Hunt 1994: 20). These structural changes are prevalent throughout much of the modern agri-food system (AAFC 2004b: 3), and are designed to meet the following goals: to expand product lines; to counter the purchasing clout presented by consolidation activities in the food-retailing sector; to lower transaction costs; to secure efficiency gains and lower procurement costs; to capture a larger share in a mature domestic market; to maintain or increase bargaining power with other stages in the supply chain; to ensure a market outlet downstream; to guarantee a consistent and high-quality source of raw materials; and, to improve the ability to compete domestically and internationally (O’Malley and Cast 2005; Harris  2002). The process of food-industry consolidation and the standardization of agriculture have fueled the desire for a greater degree of predictability and control over agricultural products, as distance, volume and processing between the points of production and consumption increase. In general, manufacturers embrace specialized production methods, more capital-intensive technology  20  The economic literature in the mid-1980s indicated there was general agreement that if four firms had 40 percent of the market, that market was no longer competitive, a theory that, according to Heffernan (1999: 2), may be deemed somewhat arbitrary but still provides a useful economic benchmark.  32 and greater vertical coordination with agricultural producers and wholesalers (Harris 2002). According to Grier (2002: 2), this is testimony to both the degree of competition within food manufacturing and the challenge of passing along price increases to a stronger retailer- buying sector.  Food Retailing, Wholesaling and Distribution  A trend that has gained considerable ground in the past 20 years is the consolidation of the national and global retail market (TFPC 1996; Heffernan 1999; USDA 2000; Lang 2003; Lang and Heasman 2004: 160-166; Vorley 2004: 34-37). At the retail level, supermarkets have grown rapidly in both developed and developing countries. Worldwide, the top 30 supermarket chains now control almost one third of all grocery sales. At the national level, the five biggest retailers control between 30 and 96 percent of food retailing in the EU, Canada and the U.S. Retailers were originally driven to consolidate because of dramatic, demographic changes that led to increased spending on prepared foods and spending on meals away from home (Kaufman, 2000). According to the CNFU (2000), Harris (2002) and Davis, et al. (2004), supermarkets’ domination of the market gives them significant leverage over production, distribution and trade, including direct involvement with suppliers in developing countries.  Most supermarkets work with a small number of suppliers—those that possess the resources to meet the stores’ quality guidelines and delivery schedules. Retailers that possess the purchasing power to buy higher volumes also have the bargaining power to negotiate lower wholesale and producer prices, effectively becoming their own brokers. Bypassing the wholesaler altogether, larger retailers internalize their wholesaling activities by establishing a system of self-distribution, arranging directly with manufacturers and producers for distribution to warehouses on a just-in-time delivery basis. Thus, large retailers control or heavily influence an increasingly greater portion of the “upstream” food system. As a result, merchant distributors, such as wholesalers, brokers and some processors, find their customer base shrinking, compelling them to engage directly in retail acquisitions. In addition, exclusivity in the food-manufacturer and grocery trade as a marketing-procurement practice—establishing preferential supplier-distributor relationships—has been occurring for 25 years, leading to further strategic alliances among firms (Grier 2001).   33 In the current food-production market, at least half of major Canadian manufacturers are involved in some form of exclusivity arrangement with Canadian distributors and suppliers. A number of reasons behind these arrangements relate chiefly to a growing sophistication about consumption habits. Increasingly, consumer demands have moved toward fresh foods, overtly nutritious foods and convenience-oriented products. Meanwhile, national brand strength is diminishing and private-label21 acceptance among consumers is growing. Food retailers have grown savvier about predicting successful sales and profitability. As well, manufacturers are likely willing to accept lower margins in exchange for securing exclusive, sole-supplier business with retailers because such a relationship reduces transaction costs, benefiting both retailers and manufacturers. The role of limited-line retailers, box stores, mass merchants and wholesale-club formats has grown significantly in importance as a means of moving traditional grocery lines or categories toward consumers, thus gaining a bigger market share. Large distributors, such as big-box warehouse or discount-club stores, superstores, cash-and-carry organizations and market-segment specialists further complicate and possibly promote concentration in the retail sector, as each vies for an advantageous position in the market, challenging traditional supermarket formats and their relationships with their consumers (Grier 2001).  Large distributors play a powerful role in the food-production market, by shaping buyer or consumer expectations in the form of price determination, quantity and availability (AAFC 1999). For example, Wal-Mart was a $5-billion-a-year competitor in the Canadian grocery retail industry by 2006, and is expected to gain $1 billion in grocery business each year. Wal-Mart did approximately $8 billion worth of business, with more than 6,000 suppliers in Canada in 2004 (Cox 2005). Wal-Mart, with its introduction of discount Supercentre stores in Canada over the past few years is one such example of a drastically changing food retail landscape. In contrast to the United States, Canada already had a well-developed discount grocery sector (Loblaws and its 17 different banner stores (Lewis 2005)) and with significant market share, but has been reorganizing and reformatting its entire business infrastructure and processes to compete effectively with Wal-Mart (Strauss 2006). According to JustFoodERP (2008), competing effectively is about focusing on supply chain efficiency, quality control and monitoring vendor performance. Any supply chain vendor, such as processors and distributors, working with mass-retailers like Wal-Mart or Loblaws also had  21  With a private label, a retailer has primary access to its own grocery shelves, strengthening its role in the agri-food supply chain. It allows the retailer to perform functions of the processor to whom it then outsourced, consequently capturing more the processor’s category share. Retailer private-label products can be distributed globally as well (AAFC 1999).  34 to adopt highly efficient but costly business processes. Additionally, upstream vendors are becoming increasingly dependent on the volume and resource demands of fewer, larger customers like Wal-Mart or Loblaws for a significant share of revenue. However, dependency and customer consolidation is akin to placing all your eggs in one basket. According to Olijnyk (2006) market consolidation has had the affect of forcing other traditional supermarket chains and independents to lower their food prices as well. Although entrance of a competitive mass-merchandiser can effectively mute negative price impacts of food cost for consumers through local competition – at least in the short term – it forces a standard of efficiency that can only be adopted by those with the capacity to do so. Until at least 2005 Canadian grocers still held the greater market share of consumer spending on food, with only 15 percent of food sales taking place in general merchandise stores (Statistics Canada 2006d).  The grocery-store industry in Canada has become one of the most concentrated and least competitive industries both regionally and nationally. This reflects both an expansion and consolidation of the global supermarket sector – especially through the late 1990’s amidst numerous mergers and acquisitions to counter the “Wal-Mart” threat to their market share – where they have become “global sourcing companies” (Brown and Sander 2007: 1). Tickell (2004) states that supermarket sector analysts foresee future global markets in which the sale of food is controlled by no more than five global firms.  In Canada, the growing concentration of market share in the food-retailing marketplace is increasingly evident. Food retailing in Canada is controlled by five companies: Weston/Loblaws/Westfair (Superstore, Loblaws, Loeb, Provigo, IGA, SuperValu, Lucky Dollar, Extra Foods, The Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Your Independent Grocer, No Frills, Valu-Mart, etc.); Safeway; Metro-Richelieu; Empire/Sobeys; and, Pattison/Overwaitea. The relatively large number of retailers is deceiving, because two or three companies dominate most regions: Pattison/Overwaitea and Safeway market most of the food in British Columbia; Weston/Loblaws/Westfair and Safeway dominate food retailing on the Prairies; The Ontario market is dominated by Weston/Loblaws/Westfair, Sobeys, Metro-Richeleu, and A&P; Metro-Richelieu, Empire/Sobeys, and Weston/Loblaws/Westfair (Provigo) divide the Quebec market; And two companies—Empire/Sobeys and Weston/Loblaws/Westfair (Atlantic SaveEasy, Atlantic Superstore, Dominion, IGA)—share the Maritimes. Gervais and Larue (2005), in a study prepared for the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, concluded:  35 “The high degree of concentration at the retail, food processing and farm input manufacturing levels is often identified as the most important contributing factors to explain increases in retail to farm [price] spreads…Two or three retailers get most of the Canadian consumers’ dollars in any given region.” At many links in the food chain, market power is much closer to monopoly levels than it is to levels found in competitive markets. According to Winson (1992): “The small number of very large corporations that dominate each link in the agri-food production chain means that these firms could exert significantly more upward pressure on their selling prices and profits and more downward pressure on their buying prices than would be the case in truly competitive markets.   However, Winson (ibid.) may not necessarily hold in the past decade for reasons noted above, specifically: 1) competing effectively now means focusing on supply chain efficiency, quality control and monitoring vendor performance (JustFoodERP 2008); 2) upstream vendors increasingly depend on the volume and resource demands of fewer, larger mass retail customers like Wal-Mart for a significant share of revenue; and market consolidation led by mass retailers has had the affect of forcing other traditional supermarket chains and independents to lower their food prices (Olijnyk 2006). Competition has, at the mass merchandizing level through to the smaller scale independent, had the effect of lowering prices at the retail level. In a globalized food system, the downward pressure on prices is on system efficiencies, externalities, and on the producer, where ever they may be.  Retailers recognize that the food-distribution sector is playing an increasingly important role in the food system and is generating substantial economic activity. To be successful, grocers face significant challenges from all food-retail sectors, requiring them to be extremely innovative and flexible in terms of their product mix, marketing strategy, supplier relations and customer service (Thomas 2005; Bisetty 2005). However, not to be out- maneuvered by supermarkets and independent grocers, Wal-Mart is introducing their own brand small-format stores, known as "Marketside", in the United States in order to enter urban areas where their larger format supercentres cannot be accommodated or are vigorously opposed. Having had time to experiment with merchandising organics and figuring out which grocery strategies work to its advantage, it will be aggressively marketed (McTaggart 2008). Whether these smaller format, neighbourhood stores, make their way to Canada remains to be seen.  36 Emerging Food System Vulnerabilities The following section looks at four food-system vulnerabilities—peak oil, climate change, biosecurity and the pressures on agricultural land in B.C. specifically the Agricultural Land Reserve in the Lower Mainland. Each of these challenges posed particular relevance to the B.C. context in terms of its potential for self-reliance, and to the entire social, ecological and economic foundations upon which our global and local food systems rest. Each of the vulnerabilities has local and global implications; the implications foretell additional challenges and justify greater balance within the local-global food-system dependency scenario. From a systems perspective, the B.C. food-and-agriculture industry is composed of subsystems, which are also part of a larger set of regional and global systems. As such, they are open systems22 nested within each another and are therefore inseparable from each other.  I specifically chose these vulnerabilities above others because they reflected the greatest magnitude for social, ecological and economic transformation, and also because of their immediacy and proximity. I researched these identified vulnerabilities through the available peer-reviewed and grey literature, government and industry documents, and, as necessary, through direct communication with relevant industry and government informants. I outlined the impact for each of the vulnerabilities and focused on the relevancy of each problem in relation to B.C.’s agriculture and food systems.  Loss of Productive ALR Land  B.C. has the third largest area of urban land, represented by the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)23 with almost 4,100 km2 (Hofmann, et al. 2005, 2001).24 The Vancouver CMA will represent about 85 percent of the population growth between now and  22  Ecosystems smaller than the biosphere are essentially open systems with respect to matter as well as energy. All environmental systems are open systems with throughputs of matter and energy. 23  According to Statistics Canada (1991), the Vancouver C.M.A. includes the following: Cities: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Vancouver, White Rock, Surrey; Municipal Districts: Delta, Langley (Township), Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, West Vancouver; Island Municipality: Bowen Island; Villages: Anmore, Belcarra, Lions Bay; Reserves: Barnston Island 3, Burrard Inlet 3, Capilano 5, Coquitlam1, Coquitlam 2, Katzie 1, Katzie 2, Langley 5, Matsqui 4, McMillan Island 1, Mission 1, Musqueam 2, Musqueam 4, Semiahmoo, Seymour Creek 2, Whonnock 1. 24  Metropolitan regions influence land-use patterns up to 100 kilometres beyond their formal boundaries (Houston 1993; Rambeau and Todd 2000; Environment Canada 1996).Gravel pits and recreational areas, for example, are often located on agricultural land adjacent to urban areas, and contribute to urban and rural build-up. Apparently, these built-up areas were the cause of 57 percent of the total area of dependable land converted to non-agricultural uses, with another 29 percent (11,700 km2) lost to transportation and utility uses (Hofmann, et al. 2005). During the same period, a further eight percent of dependable land was lost to protected areas and campgrounds. Dependable agricultural land lost to urbanization, and the rural built-up uses are considered permanent losses of land (ibid. 2005).  37 2026, and see the Lower Mainland population grow to at least 3.4 million people. The Lower Mainland is also expected to absorb the bulk of $91.6 billion in residential and non- residential development, including a majority of 1.1 million new residential units (BC Stats 2006; Sashaw 2006). The loss of productive agricultural land in B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) to urban encroachment and other development pressures demonstrates the most significant problem associated with urban development and an unsustainable food system. The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) and Metro Vancouver 25 are endowed with some of the richest and most productive farmland in B.C. and Canada. The rapid growth of Vancouver’s urban residential and non-residential development in the first decades of the 20th century resulted in Vancouver’s incongruous expansion pattern (Garrish 2002).  For three decades, the province witnessed a steady and substantial decline in available, agriculturally productive land. Between 1971 and 2001, economic and population-growth patterns in B.C. manifested a 122 percent increase in land area for additional residential and non-residential development. In 2001, a new B.C. provincial government gave the ALC a stronger mandate to improve overall compliance within the Agricultural Land Reserve through partnerships with local governments and other agencies.26 In 2002, six regional panels were created to increase the Commission’s regional presence by appointing three commissioners for each region. These commissioners were expected to represent the provincial interest, with an increased sensitivity to regional and community land-use desires. Subsequently, under voluntary agreements regarding the power to make decisions on land use and subdivision within the ALR, the Commission’s authority to decide subdivision and non-farm-use applications was delegated to local governments, with the Commission monitoring local government decisions. Regulatory changes in Bill 21,27 and subsequent changes made through the 2004 Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act streamlined procedures, expanding the range of permitted uses in the ALR.  According to Baxter (1998), all of the Lower Mainland’s expected growth over the next 25 years can be accommodated within the already urbanized portion of the region, without making the suburbs any denser than the city of Vancouver. However, this may no longer be  25  The Metro Vancouver and FVRD together comprise the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. 26  B.C.’s New Era Commitment, see: www.gov.bc.ca/prem/popt/service_plans/srv_pln/prem/goals.htm 27  Bill 21 awarded Cabinet greater authority to make regulations concerning the use of agricultural land, including permissible non-farm uses of agricultural land (WCEL 2002).  38 the case because Vancouver’s present landscape features large urbanized land areas of detached housing currently unavailable for urban redevelopment—a key resource in the effort to increase municipal housing density. Community redevelopment of already urbanized or developed areas means that the current residents who actually oppose such efforts would more directly experience the costs and benefits of densification. As it now stands, there are poor or non-existent linkages between ALR preservation and local municipal bylaws on urban land, such as height limitations, and a misplaced fear of mixed zoning. Poor linkages are the result of uninformed decision-making that does not explicitly weigh the full costs and benefits of land-use change. For example, urban development can significantly undermine the viability of the local agri-food industry through encroachment onto highly productive farmland (Houston 1993; Rambeau and Todd 2000; Pirn and Ornoy 2002). Notwithstanding ALC’s new mandate and structure, the absence of a clear and enforceable mechanism or set of mechanisms for farmland protection will subject agricultural land to growing real-estate speculation and create opportunities for urban-rural conflicts that progressively limit or hinder opportunities for viable farming.  Climate Change as a Food-System Vulnerability  The unpredictable nature of global warming limits the ability to predict how B.C. will be affected by climate change, especially at the regional and local scales. During the past 150 years, the Earth's climate has grown measurably warmer owing to anthropocentric (human- induced) greenhouse gases (GHGs). GHGs are atmospheric gases that trap solar energy, warming the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth. These gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and other trace compounds. After remaining stable for 10,000 years at about 280 parts per million, global CO2 levels are approximately 34 percent higher today than in pre-industrial times (B.C. MWLAP 2004a; FAO/IFA 2001). The IPCC (2007) predicted that the Earth’s average temperature would rise by 1.4 oC to 5.2 oC within this century. In January 2005, a United Kingdom (U.K.)-based group from Oxford University predicted a temperature rise of 1.9 oC to 11.5 oC when CO2 levels in the atmosphere—currently measured at 379 parts per million by volume by the year 2100 (ppm—double the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm) (Ho 2005).  Between 1895 and 1995, the average annual temperature increased by 0.6 oC on the B.C. coast, 1.1 oC in its interior and 1.7 oC in northern areas of the province. The Lower Mainland  39 has experienced a three-week increase in frost-free days between 1955 and 1995, with the growing season beginning progressively earlier. Average coastal sea-surface temperatures are 0.9 oC to 1.8 oC higher (B.C. MWLAP 2004b). Average annual temperatures are expected to increase between 2oC to 7oC, accompanied by more winter precipitation. Precipitation is expected to increase in southern B.C. by six per cent each decade (Government of Canada 2005).  In an expectedly warmer B.C. climate, many crops that adapted to day lengths associated with the specific growing seasons of middle and lower latitudes may respond poorly to the longer days of high-latitude summers (Van Caeseele 2002). Significant flooding of the Delta region of B.C., a low-lying but major agricultural region of the Lower Mainland, is expected, with a 3.0-metre rise in sea level (NRC 2006). A 1-metre rise in sea level would inundate more than 4600 ha of farmland in the Metro Vancouver region of the Lower Mainland (Yin 2001). This region of the Lower Mainland is protected by 127 km of dykes that were not built to accommodate sea-level rise (Government of Canada 2008: 341). Sea-level rise can result in saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers, affecting the quality and quantity of irrigation water supplies (Allen 2004).  Furthermore, agricultural pests, pathogens and weeds— usually associated with barriers to successful farming—tend to flourish in a warmer climate. Warmer summer and winter temperatures, a longer growing season and changing predominant wind patterns can affect the range of pest species, while extreme weather events provide a greater opportunity for infestation. Many weed species would benefit from an enriched carbon dioxide environment (Epstein 2000; Government of Canada 2008; Shriner and Street 2000).  In all areas of the province, longer growing seasons and milder winters were expected to increase the range of crop types suitable for economic production. Increasing requirements for irrigation were predicted for the south coast…with possible water shortages caused by reduced precipitation, limited storage capacity and competition from the burgeoning urban populations…It is likely that crop production areas will adjust to accommodate a changing climate and that some producers will be able to take advantage of new opportunities to grow different, and perhaps more valuable, crops. Growing regions for annual crops (i.e. horticultural crops) are limited by length of the growing season and heat units. In all areas of B.C., the possibility of increased summer drought, coupled with decreasing water resources,  40 will provide challenges for water supply to support irrigation (Government of Canada 2008: 348-350).  Our dependency on the food production capacity and cheap horticultural products from developing countries is as risk. According to Fischer, et al. (2002) climate change by the 2080s could result in a five-to-eight-percent expansion of arid land that has a growing period of less than 120 days of the growing season, comprising a land-area equivalent between 58 and 92 million hectares, and adversely affecting nearly one billion people in developing countries. Based on climate-model projections, developing countries will increasingly depend on cereal imports of up to 600 million tonnes. Loss of forest and cropland worldwide, especially in developing countries that currently hold comparative advantage for agriculture and food exports, may compromise the North’s sense of food security, as developing nation- states struggle to feed growing populations. In contrast, developed regions could experience an increase in the agriculturally productivity potential of local land, notably in North America (40 percent), Northern Europe (16 percent), East Asia & Japan (10 percent) and the Former Soviet Union (64 percent), where cereal production increases of 6 to 9 percent are predicted (ibid. 2002). However, the IPCC suggests that increases in average annual temperature of more than a few degrees Celsius could actually result in a decrease in potential crop yields in the mid-latitudes.  Peak Oil as a Food-System Vulnerability  Peak oil theory predicts a significant rise in oil prices as oil production reaches peak field output capacity. Scientists and planners predict that a painful reorganization of the global economy will follow the peak (Shore 2007; Dunham 2007). The agricultural industry's reliance on fossil fuels for irrigation, processing, harvesting, refrigeration, transport and the production of fertilizer means that as the world's oil supply wanes and fuel prices spike. Modern food systems of all developed countries and, increasingly, those in developing countries, depend on petroleum energy to replace human labour in food production and preparation, while boosting yields and comparatively increasing the safety of food. For those economic sectors heavily dependent on natural capital, such as agriculture, access to oil throughout the entire pre- to post-consumption food system essentially determines labour productivity and, therefore, profitability and farm viability. The world food system is entirely dependent on stocks of petroleum energy in the form of fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation and  41 machinery. However, increasing evidence and support from the world’s financial and energy-industry sectors suggest that global oil demand will exceed production within five to ten years, when the “peak oil” scenario will be realized (Ball 2004; Vidal 2005; Heinberg 2003).  Peak oil is an event predicated on an oil-field depletion theory developed in 1956 by M. King Hubbert28. From a state of peak oil onward, international competition for the remaining half of the world’s oil resources will be progressively contentious—politically and economically. According to experts in the energy industry, oil production is reaching a plateau, or declining in 33 of 48 major oil-producing countries, as well as in 32 of the smaller producing countries, including six of the 11 OPEC29 countries. Outlook for Energy: 2030 View, published by ExxonMobil Corporation (2004), forecasts that oil production outside OPEC, the cartel that controls three-quarters of the world’s energy reserves, will reach its peak in just five years. By 2010, OPEC States are expected to retain a 50 percent share of the global oil business, with the potential to stimulate significant increases in oil prices and possibly keep demand in check for up to ten years30 (Campbell and Laherrère 1998). According to Ball (2004) and Klare (2004; 2005), the incremental value of small oil-field discoveries with a positive rate of return means little compared to the expected growth in demand for oil over the coming decades. Of course, energy experts are at odds over how long it will take peak oil to occur (IEA 2004, Morse 2005). Nonetheless, most energy insiders accept that peak oil will occur: precisely when this shortage will take place is debatable31 32.   28  M. King Hubbert was a U.S. geologist working for the Shell Corporation in the 1950s. His theory is based on a mathematical model of petroleum extraction which predicted that the total amount of oil extracted over time would follow a logistic curve, where the rate of extraction at any given time would then be given by the rate of change of the logistic, bell-shaped curve, known as the Hubbert Curve or Hubbert’s Peak (Hubbert 1949, ASPO 2005, Campbell and Laherrère 1998). See Laherrère (2000) for limitations of the Hubbert Curve. 29  The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The five Founding Members were later joined by eight other Members: Qatar (1961); Indonesia (1962); Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (1962); United Arab Emirates (1967); Algeria (1969); Nigeria (1971); Ecuador (1973–1992) and Gabon (1975–1994). OPEC's objective is to coordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries (OPEC 2005). 30  Demand fell more than 10% after the 1979 shock and took seventeen years to recover (Campbell and Laherrère 1998). 31  For example, Deutsche Bank: 2014; United States Geological Services, International Energy Institute and Energy Institute of America: 2015-2035; and, Oil and Gas Journal: 2003-2020. 32  Another important point to consider in a diminishing energy-supply scenario is the fact that peak-oil theory excludes unconventional sources of petroleum energy for a variety of reasons. First, the contribution of unconventional energy sources contribution is comparatively insignificant to overall, immediate demand. Second, alternative sources require many technological obstacles to be overcome. And finally, the mining and processing of such sources places a high degree of demand on large, natural resources. Non-conventional oil sands in Canada, the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and Venezuela, as well as oil shale in the western United States, could contribute 1 to 1.5 million barrels per day, providing the area’s already announced expansion plans can be realized (Zittel and Schindler 2004). Notwithstanding the existence of numerous obstacles, likely only 700 to 900 billion barrels can be produced from unconventional reserves over the next 60 years (Campbell and Laherrère 1998; Vidal 2005). Substitutes for crude oil might also exact a high environmental price, one that may be too high within the context of global climate change, land use and fresh-water constraints.  42 Energy from Oil for Food  Today, modern transportation and food-production systems have grown entirely reliant on available petroleum-energy resources that are increasingly costly, as they become more difficult to extract and demand, more difficult to meet (ASPO 2005; Murray 2005; Campbell 2004; Aleklett 2004; Zittel and Schindler 2004; SUSTAIN 2001; Gever, et al. 1991). Modern, mechanized agriculture, as well as the post farm-gate food system, is altogether dependent on cheap oil, so a contraction of petroleum-energy supplies will likely result in reduced food production and higher prices for food. In the U.S., approximately 14 percent of food-system- energy consumption goes to food transportation, 16 percent to food processing, 7 percent to packaging, 4 percent to food retailing, 7 percent to restaurants and caterers and 32 percent to home refrigeration and preparation. In Canada, the food-system energy-consumption figures are not similarly disaggregated: approximately 18 percent of consumption goes to food and beverage processing, 35 percent for home, restaurant and hotel preparation of food and about 46 percent at farm level CAEEDAC (2000: 41).  Although Canada’s agricultural sector is a high consumer of petroleum energy per farmer in order to achieve its higher labour productivity, the sector demonstrates relatively low energy consumption per hectare of arable land. The availability of natural capital (oil, land, etc.) and that of human-made technological capital (including embodied energy33 transformed from oil) affects a society’s biophysical output per hour of labour. The availability of natural capital then becomes the dominant factor in determining labour productivity in economic sectors heavily dependent on natural processes, such as agriculture (Pimentel and Giampietro 1979; 1989). Under a post-peak-oil scenario, modern agriculture-and-food systems may face a continuous decline in the energy output/input ratio, as energy returned on energy invested diminishes, even as petroleum-energy inputs persist in an attempt to maintain high labour productivity.  The cost of transportation is another key factor to consider in today’s agricultural production process. Trucking, for instance, accounts for the majority of food transport and is nearly ten  33  Embodied energy (EE) is the quantity of energy is necessary for the fabrication of a specific material. When measuring embodied energy, all energy inputs, from raw material extraction, to transport, manufacturing, assembly, installation and others are considered. As a concept EE seeks to measure the true energy cost of an item (CSBSJU 2006).  43 times more energy-intensive than moving goods by rail or barge. Nonetheless, food miles34 and food swapping35 contribute between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometers for every food item consumed in the global food system (SUSTAIN 1999; Pretty, et al., 2005; Halweil 2002). Processed foods account for as much as three quarters of total world-food sales, and require a disproportionate amount of energy to produce, package, transport, store and prepare for consumption (Ho 2005). For example, 0.45 kilograms of frozen fruits or vegetables require 3.5 MJ of energy for processing and 2.4 MJ for packaging, plus energy for refrigeration during transport, in-store storage, at-home storage, plus preparation and waste handling (Murray 2005). Ho (2005) breaks down the energy expenditure for industrial food production: 12.5 energy units are used for every energy unit of food transported per 1,000 air-miles; up to 1,000 energy units are used for every energy unit of processed food; and, the distribution of food accounts for more than 20 percent of all transport within the Canada, not including energy used for food importing and exporting. In Canada, the food- system energy amounts to approximately 11.5 percent (including machines and buildings) of all energy consumed nationally (CAEEDAC 2000: 40). In 1996, the last date for which figures are available, the entire food system, pre- and post-farmgate, consumed 813 PJ36. However for every Canadian, the average, per-capita daily consumption of food-system energy to maintain required nutrition levels worked out to only 66 MJ37 (CAEEDAC 2000: 41). In other words, the current globalized food and agriculture system is dependent on massive amounts of cheap energy to function. Access to this energy is, under peak oil theory, highly questionable.  Biosecurity and Food System Vulnerabilities  While modernized food-supply systems have contributed to advances in food safety, the drive for economic efficiency has created a structure with inherent vulnerabilities affecting food safety and public health. The modern food-supply system and its dependency on distant markets exposes a global system to accidental, purposeful or structural38  34  The term “Food Miles” was first coined about ten years ago in a report by the SAFE Alliance, now Sustain, which highlighted concerns over the negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of increasing transport of food2. Food miles are simply the distances traveled by foodstuffs from farm gate to consumer (Smith, et al. 2005). 35  Importing and exporting very similar food products with the appearance that it is trading simply for the sake of trading with seemingly no net gain. 36  1PJ = 1015 Joules (petajoules). 37  1MJ = 106 Joules (1 million Joules or one megajoule), which is equivalent to about 0.28 kilowatt-hours, 239 kcal, 0.37 Hp- hour; 10-5 x 2.38 ton oil equivalent (TOE), or approximately 948 Btu. 38  This refers to the centralized food-supply system’s organization of capital, regulation and enforcement, and operational circumstances or arrangements. In other words, structural is the framework within which systemic conditions operate.  44 contamination at many points along protracted production, processing and consumption processes (FAO 2001, 1997: 30; Nguz 2004; Vogt 2001: 2; Fusaro 2004; George 2005).  The modernized food-and-agriculture system has inherent weaknesses because it is structurally and operationally legitimized to produce food at least cost. The efforts to realize economic efficiency, while attempting to add value, externalize costs and beget a food- supply system vulnerable to food contamination (Nestle 2003). Konefal, et al. (2005) contend that with the proliferation of private governance and standards many significant decisions regarding public health risks, food safety, and environmental impacts are increasingly taking place in the backstage of the global agro-food system. They argue that globalization has given rise to an undemocratic, “black-boxed” food procurement processes (i.e. one lacking public oversight) dominated by large supermarkets. As a result transnational supermarket chains increasingly control what food is grown where, how, and by whom.  The mitigation of emergent hazards from this cheap-food system can sometimes reveal endemic food-safety weaknesses, such as instances involving proposed solutions that serve to introduce opportunities for renewed perceptions of risk, such as food irradiation. 39 Rather than address the root cause(s) of a food safety issue, simplified and reductionist40 solutions, based on additional technology and specialization, are sought to address symptoms relatively cheaply as opposed to implementing systemic change (Princeton 2006).  The common occurrence of food contamination, for example, highlights the frequency and danger of unnecessary risks being introduced into the food system. Contaminants41 introduced into just one large-scale food-processing facility can significantly damage, in short order, millions of kilograms of food, and distribute it thousands of kilometers for consumption by a significant number of people (Blake 2003).42 Most people act on the “unspoken contract” among food producers, government regulators and the public to assure that food is safe (Fox 1997). Because it lacks the resilience that comes with complexity,  39  For example, irradiation or “cold pasteurization” of produce to eliminate disease-causing microorganisms introduced by economically efficient production, processing or preparation methods. 40  Reductionism is a theory that describes a number of related, contentious theories that hold, all complex systems can be completely understood in terms of their components, or that the nature of complex things can always be reduced to simpler or more fundamental things (Princeton 2006). 41  For example, viruses and species of bacteria that can cause food-related illnesses. The most common causes of food-borne illnesses can be attributed to bacteria such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella and Escherichia coli. 42  In 1994, a salmonella outbreak in a single plant affected more than 224,000 people across 41 U.S. states from contaminated ice cream (Blake 2003)  45 redundancy and agroecosystem integrity, reductionist science has fostered an increasingly and inherently vulnerable agriculture and food-delivery system, subject to a variety of perturbations throughout the food-production-to-consumption process. These vulnerabilities manifest the enormous shift in the dominant agriculture and food industries toward not just control of the economic facility, but the simplification and manipulation of complex biochemical foundations and processes.  Agro-biodiversity43  Plant genetic diversity provides stability for farming systems by compensating yield variability through cropping and intra-cropping of other crops or varieties.44 Genetic characteristics are valued for the benefits they confer, such as resistance to diseases, pests and drought. In addition, genes provide the ability of plants to adapt to environmental stresses and bestow qualities and attributes such as taste, colour and texture that are appreciated by consumers. Important cultural factors influence and, in turn, are influenced by genetic characteristics of plants. Yet, industrialized agriculture represents one of the greatest factors contributing to the loss of crop and livestock genetic diversity:  “[c]rop and animal diversity…is vital for the maintenance and improvement of agriculture…agricultural biodiversity is not just raw material for industrial agriculture; it is the very key to food security and sustainable agriculture…Without this diversity, options for long-term sustainability and agricultural self-reliance are lost” (Shand 1996: 163). In descending order of impact, the main causes for genetic erosion are: replacement of local varieties45, land clearing, overexploitation of species, population pressure, environmental degradation, overgrazing, legislation/policy, changing agricultural systems, pests/weeds/diseases and civil strife (FAO 1997).46 Globally, the loss of genetic diversity is demonstrated by increasing specialization: just 30 crops provide the world with about 95 percent of plant-derived dietary energy. Of these wheat, rice and maize supply more than 50 percent of the energy intake (McNeely and Wachtel 1988), and sorghum, millet, potatoes, sweet potatoes, soybean and sugar (cane/beet) supply another 25 percent (FAO 1991). However, at the sub-regional level, a  43  Agro-biodiversity includes aquaculture, forestry, soil, and pollinators. However, only domestic animals and plants are briefly covered in this paper just to make a connection between biodiversity loss and biosecurity. 44  For example poor genetic diversity and progress of genetic erosion can be drawn from; the destruction of 15 million hectares of the winter wheat cultivar “Bezostaya” in 1972, in the Soviet Union during a severe winter (Fischbeck 1981) 45  “Genetic vulnerability is the condition that results when a widely planted crop is uniformly susceptible to a pest, pathogen or environmental hazard as a result of its genetic constitution, thereby creating a potential for widespread crop losses…” (FAO 1997: 30). 46  Winson (1992) estimates that 30,000 higher plants (i.e., flowering and cone-bearing plants) are edible, of which nearly 7,000 have been cultivated or harvested for food at some point in history.  46 greater number of crops, cultivated and uncultivated, emerge as significant47 (Prescott-Allen and Prescott-Allen 1990), and the diversity within species is often immense (Ceccarelli, et al. 1992). Gale (2000: 285) argues that the current ecosystem decline is a consequence of the over-extension of the principle of specialization; “when the specialization principle is applied wholeheartedly… to speed up the delivery of desired commercial products it leads to ecosystem simplification, loss of integrity and stress.”  Bio--terrorism  The use of pathogenic organisms and biotoxins as “bioweapons” to contaminate and destroy food-system components—and to inflict physical, psychological and economic harm—is not a new concept.48 However, an argument could be made that the modern food- and-agriculture supply system has, in the name of economic efficiency, specialization and free trade, done more to jeopardize population health within the course of normal operations than any substantiated threat of bioterrorism49 in recent years. Food-borne illness cases each year in North America number at least 77 million, of which about 400,000 people required hospitalization, causing 5,000 deaths, and at least $36 billion in medical-care costs (IFT 2004: 1). Also, the cost of recovering from serious animal disease outbreaks can be higher than just the cost of a crop or livestock and its disposal.50  Notwithstanding the potential damage from conventional chemical and biological contaminants in food, the exotic nature of biotechnology is earning increased public attention. The potential role of biotechnology to develop bioterrorism weapons has become a concern to countries of North America and Europe, because scientific, technical and cost barriers are declining to make the information more accessible and user-friendly. Biotechnology can be used to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria, synthesize plant and soil toxins and microbes, or create herbicide resistant or infertile plants for nefarious purposes (Nestle 2003: 265; Fee and Brown 2001; Henderson 2001). Leahy (2006) observes that a  47  For example, in various sub-regions, dietary staples for millions of the world’s poorer people could include: cassava, beans (Phaseolus), plantain (Musa), groundnut, pigeon pea, lentils, cowpea and yams, millet, sorghum, potatoes, soybean, sugar cane, sweet potatoes (Persley 1990). 48  CNS (2006) documents numerous incidences of pathogen or toxin use for agro-terrorism purposes between 1914 and 2000. CNS (2006) provides a detailed account of confirmed and alleged incidents of bioterrorism, as well as a take on the current situation of global chemical and biological weapons (CBW) development by individual countries. 49  The deliberate use of chemical and biological weapons to destroy pre-harvest crops or livestock (CNS 2006). Agroterrorism involves the act of any person knowingly or maliciously using biological agents as weapons against the agricultural industry and the food supply (Cain 2001). 50  For example, the cost of the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Great Britain included the value of lost trade and related (secondary and tertiary) industries is estimated in the billions of dollars, however, “[n]o one can come up with a specific dollar cost for Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.  47 significant proportion of biotechnology research and development occurs surreptitiously, denying the public assurances that development is not for nefarious purposes. Kleiner (2006) suggests the next generation of bioterrorism, such as RNA interference, synthetic biology and bio-regulators is imminent and in need of scrutiny. In 2004, the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture went into effect, with the objective of global co-operation to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for sustainable agriculture and food security. However, Canada, the U.S. and Argentina have not ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, even though together these countries produce 90 percent of the world’s genetically engineered crops. Nestle (ibid.: 28) suggests that a “[c]entralized food production has created favourable conditions for dissemination of bacteria, protozoa, and viruses…it should be evident that people involved with every stage of food production, from farm to fork, must take responsibility for food security.” The FAO (2004a: 5) rationalizes that “[a]s plausible risks need to be considered with the globalization of the world’s food supply…The opportunities for accidental or intentional contamination of food are too numerous to ever be able to completely control/prevent such incidents.”  Traceability  Peterson (2003: 1) declares that “[w]e are at a critical point in the evolution of produce traceability…For a truly global industry, global dialogue is essential for solutions which ensure the ability for product to move across borders and through the supply chain without obstruction.” At present, information technology for trace-back and trace-forward of intermediate and finished food products is enthusiastically embraced by the government and food industry alike.51 “Traceability” is increasingly becoming an “end-to-end” automated containment system to track products, streamline production/schedules, reduce operating costs and improve customer service to increase efficiency and profitability. 52 This process has become mandatory with the passage of the Canadian CanTrace Initiative and the U.S. 2002 Bioterrorism Act 53 (Ross Systems 2004). 54 However, technological responses and traceability systems that contravene or interdict biosecurity threats or weaknesses do not  51  Trace-back and trace-forward: from whom ingredients where received and their disposition in intermediate/finished product and where the intermediate or finished product is sent (Ross Systems 2004). 52  From farm to consumer and every step in between. 53  2002 Bioterrorism Act is actually entitled, “Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Act 2002”. 54  Similar legislation to the Bioterrorism Act 2002: European Food Safety Authority (EC No. 178/2002) outlines the Global Food Law; in Japan, the Japanese Agricultural Standards.  48 address systemic problems. 55 They are linear approaches to resolve only the symptoms of root causes. Also, their successes may be limited because of the scale, scope and complexity of global agriculture-and-food-system costs for enforcement and compliance.  However, for some corporations, traceability may mean a transformation from a regulatory burden to a branding opportunity for value-added profit and market share. Branding is becoming synonymous with safe food, and processors through to retailers increasingly assess their ability to help retail and wholesale customers protect their brands and reputations. As a result, traceability is becoming a competitive element and a demonstration of reliability that extends to processors and suppliers (Ross Systems 2004; Fusaro 2004). 56 Every participant in the supply chain assumes the risk of poor quality control, regardless of which partner causes the problem (Ross Systems ibid.).  Re-localization as a Food System Alternative  Despite the effects of globalization and emerging food system vulnerabilities, or possibly as a result of the effects, alternative food initiatives are appearing and evolving. These initiatives share a social and political agenda that opposes the economic structures and processes maintaining the current food system (Allen et al. 2003). Conceptually and in practice, alternative food systems envision a sustainable food system as relational, proximate, diverse, ecologically sustainable, economically sustaining, just/ethical, sacred, knowledgeable/ communicative, seasonal/temporal, healthful, participatory, culturally nourishing and sustainably regulated. Kloppenburg, et al. (2000) explain these principles and note their complementarities and tensions, while examining the possibility of empowering communities through the means provided by alternative food systems. Furthermore, Lacy (2000) and Koc and Dahlberg (1999: 16) suggest that the ways in which we view and structure work, generate and disseminate knowledge through science and technology, produce and distribute and consume food are essential factors affecting our sense of self and the empowerment of our communities. How we shape decisions and actions around work, science and technology and food is crucial to achieving a just and  55  Technological fixes gaining credibility and feasibility include, toxin indicators in packaging (diagnostic packaging) (FN-USA 2006), global positioning traceability (AAFC 2006), animal Identification and tracking systems (Thompson 2006), real-time pathogen detection technology (Lambert 2006), radio frequency identification (RFID) technology (Avail Corp 2006), vaccine- treated livestock (Thompson 2006), and plankton luminescence for toxin detection (Somers 2005). See Vernède, et al. (2003) for an in-depth discussion on the state of the art and future developments of traceability in food processing chains. 56  People appear willing to pay more for the security that goes with buying brand names: “[t]hat’s an additional value in our products. It’s not something you can communicate to consumers but somehow they know how careful we are with the whole food supply chain. Folks are willing to pay a premium for our products because of that care” (Fusaro 2004).  49 sustainable agenda for the future. Thus, food is both a symptom and a symbol of how we organize our societies. The ALR and a Potential Role for Localization The Agricultural Land Commission Act requires local land-use bylaws to be consistent with the ALC Act.57 Currently, local governments’ Official Community Plans (OCPs) are referred to the ALC, as required by the British Columbia Local Government Act, with regard to local agriculture and its significance to ALR lands.58 Furthermore, local government Farm Bylaws provide a mechanism for land-use compatibility, and a means of resolving farming-activity issues that are presently difficult to regulate through conventional land-use bylaws. Finally, Agricultural Area Plans (AAPs) provide a mechanism for identifying farming issues and developing supportive policies, with regard to land-use compatibility and industry sustainability.59 Such goals would require a co-coordinated framework between local governments and the ALC to provide for land-use planning and the protection of agricultural resource lands. Climate Change and a Potential Role for Localization60 If the accumulation of food miles and the use of fossil fuels make current agri-food systems a major contributing factor to climate change, then there may be a significant advantage to establishing more-local horticultural production and distribution systems (Millstone and Lang, 2004: 66–67). A number of options are available for mitigating the effect of CO2 emissions on the agricultural industry, including the reduction of emissions from present sources and the creation and reinforcement of “carbon sink potential”, such as sequestering through afforestation and soil building in managed soils. On a positive note, soil carbon sequestration possesses a finite capacity over a period of 50 to 100 years, as new equilibrium levels of soil organic matter are established. Nonetheless, deliberate efforts to  57  Section 903 (5) of the Local Government Act requires that bylaws not restrict the use of land for a farm business, unless approved by BC MAL once a regulation under section 918 is passed. The MAL Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas provides a useful set of standards for bylaw amendments involving the ALR. 58  The Local Government Act strategic and consultation guidelines are aimed at improving communications between local governments and Provincial Ministries. See Smith (1998) and BC ALC (2004b) for useful references to agriculture and the Local Government Act. 59  An AAP is a process that is becoming more common with agriculturally focused planning process being undertaken by a number of local governments. Commonly, AAPs have been assisted by steering BCAC committees, relying heavily on representation from the farm community (Garrish 2002). 60  Adaptation in this context refers to actions required to adjust to future changes in the climate, to both minimize negative impacts and take advantage of new opportunities Mitigation means reducing or eliminating human influences on the climate, primarily by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (Environment Canada 2004).  50 increase soil carbon can improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural production systems. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1996a), the best management practices to reduce soil degradation and environmental pollution are consistent with mitigation measures that significantly reduce the effect of GHGs in the agricultural sector. Such measures could include the following:  • Regulatory measures that limit the use of nitrogen fertilizers through flexible commodity programs, cross-compliance of agricultural and environmental objectives • Voluntary agreements that encourage soil management practices to enhance carbon sequestration in agricultural soils • Market-based programs that reform agricultural support policies; taxes on the use of nitrogen fertilizers; and, subsidization of production and the use of biomass energy  As a response to the food-security vulnerabilities introduced by climate change, the localization of agriculture seems to coincide well with the stated objectives by the B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection’s Weather, Climate and the Future of B.C. Plan (2004a), which include the following:  • Risk Management: supports responsible action on the part of the government and its partners to reduce the environmental and economic costs of extreme weather and climate change; fosters the development of new markets • Economic Revitalization: supports actions that can reduce costs, assist in securing strategic-market positions for businesses, help businesses and communities prepare for weather extremes and develop economic opportunities in domestic markets  B.C. has already entered into a bilateral agreement with the federal government to implement the Agricultural Policy Framework, committing the province to reduce GHG emissions from agricultural operations by 8.0 percent to a target of 2.4 million tonnes by 2008. Under the framework’s environmental farm-planning component, the range of recommended management activities includes farming that promotes conservation and zero-tillage and the use of winter cover crops and improved grazing practices to control soil erosion. Other recommended practices include the use of better irrigation to conserve water and the protection of water quality through improved nutrient and manure management: actions that reduce agricultural GHG emissions by enhancing carbon-sink potential in soils. “Growing carbon” on agricultural lands could, in itself, create a new “crop” for B.C. farmers (B.C. MWLAP 2004b). While increasing temperatures present a range of challenges for farmers, the altered landscape may offer opportunities for a greater diversity of crops.  51 However, the risk of negative climate impacts on the agricultural industry increases with the magnitude of climate change.  The localization of food production and an increase in regional and seasonal consumption in the Lower Mainland may act as both an adaptation and mitigation measure, simply by the subsequent dramatic reduction of food-miles and the need for energy-intensive modes of transport and production. The localization of food production and consumption could go a long way toward meeting the objectives of B.C.’s Future’s Plan by providing the opportunity to develop new or expanded markets closer to home, and by supporting healthy community development. Eventually, a forced internalization of the costs associated with petroleum-fuel use will enhance public awareness, possibly leading to widespread intersectoral support relocalization of agriculture and the recognition of these food-production activities as a public good or, at least, a good public policy. Peak Oil and a Potential Role for Localization Depending on the organization and structure of production and distribution of produce re- localization, and a concomitant increase in the Lower Mainland in regional and seasonal consumption, may act as both an adaptation and mitigation measure as food-miles and the need for energy-intensive modes of transport and production become less favoured. The localization of food production and consumption could go a long way toward meeting the objectives of B.C.’s Future’s Plan (HSF 2007) by providing the opportunity to develop new or expanded markets closer to home, and by supporting healthy community development. Eventually, a forced internalization of the costs associated with petroleum-fuel use will enhance public awareness possibly leading to widespread intersectoral support for the re- localization of agriculture and the recognition of these food-production activities as a public good or, at least, a good public policy.  Localized agriculture and food sourcing--while not immune to the consequences of peak oil—may offer a temporary salve during a global energy shortage in the form of market and economic development opportunities that take advantage of proximity, a productive agricultural land base and the capacity to substitute for imported food, as the global system adapts to higher fuel costs. Today’s growing replacement of independent neighbourhood shops by distant superstores and supermarkets may become anachronistic: instead, the pressure to accommodate local food needs will take precedence, as the industry steps in to  52 reduce food miles and re-orient energy-intensive farm operations, such as refitting B.C.’s hothouses. A variety of local market sectors may respond directly and indirectly to accommodate the needs for a re-localized or contracted food system. For example, the general public may be encouraged to accept a greater level of urban densification, thus indirectly relieving development pressure on local agriculture reserve land. The phenomenon of localization, then, as a response to pre- and post-peak oil could offer a market and economic-development model for food production that has a greater appreciation for the multi-functionality of biophysical resources, and the meanings of responsible utility (i.e. sustainability and food security). Biosecurity and a Potential Role for Localization Although industrialized, large-scale organic and conventional production represents the most likely targets for contamination, smaller-scale production systems, including systems with short distribution links, still present problems that need separate consideration. It is questionable if localized food- system stakeholders could benefit from the highly capitalized, high-tech biosecurity measures designed to address food-safety problems created by a globalized food-supply system. The costs may be intimidating for relatively small-scale producers and processors to participate in traceability and accountability measures. Thus, as with the globalized food-supply system, plausible risks need to be considered within the localized food system to maintain food-system standards and, as necessary, provide rapid detection, identification and effective response to mitigate adverse public health threats.  Though local food supply chains can be complex, food produced locally and processed for local consumption may be easily traceable; it is geographically proximate and stakeholders from producers to retailers are immediately accountable. Furthermore, fewer intermediaries modify and handle food and agricultural products at the local scale, and shorter distances reduce opportunities for intentional or accidental contamination. A decentralized local food system would require different traceability measures appropriate to the scale and diversity of production. It would consider plausible risks within the local food-and-agriculture stakeholder context, including an assessment of consumer acceptability and confidence.  Localized food systems may reduce many variables of the industrial and global system that affect food safety, making it more difficult for system perturbations to have a significant, widespread economic and population health impact. Assuming a localized food system is  53 diverse in its products, has a food processing and distribution infrastructure, has producers, buyers and consumers who are familiar with one another, biosecurity risks could decline as intermediaries and the distance between farm and plate diminishes, and as community and business interrelationships are strengthened (Hawaleshka, et al. 2004). Thus, a localized model with food-system coverage from farm to fork to disposal could be less problematic when combined with context-appropriate biosecurity measures. The Prospect of Self Reliance in British Columbia Re-localization of food and agriculture systems supports self-reliance efforts and a realization of the emerging necessity for local food security. Self-reliance does not mean 100 percent self-sufficiency, but a balance between some degree of reliance on local production and products, and reliance on global agri-food trade. In such a scenario, imports could make up for horticultural industry shortfalls, and local production could be exported to other markets after local needs are met. According to Baxter (1998), British Columbia’s growing population—estimated to reach six million in 2026—cannot sustain agricultural productivity at a rate of 100 percent self-sufficiency in volume or diversity, because the province is already dependent on other parts of the world for our food supply, and because B.C.’s boundaries are set by geography, rather than ecological parameters or agricultural productivity.  According to Statistics Canada (2001), B.C. had approximately 692,200 ha (6,922 km2) of dependable (soil-based) agricultural land, with the remainder (4,072,434 ha or 40,724 km2) affected by increasing restrictions—including climate and geo-bio-physical properties—on productive capacity. According to Zimmerman (2005), a person needs 0.5 ha of cropland and pasture to maintain a nutritious and sustainable diet61. However, Wackernagel and Rees (1996: 82) indicate that a vegetarian diet of fruits, vegetables and grains requires 0.35 ha/capita, and with animal products, a requirement for 1.30 ha/capita. Given that more than half (2,925,573 ha of 4,728,557 ha) of B.C.’s ALR land inventory is farmland, and assuming Zimmerman’s per-person land needs provide for a nutritious and sustainable diet, B.C. farmland could feed approximately five million people from its soil and water. This assumes that 2,475,000 ha of equally capable lands across B.C. are available for food production, which they are not. An added incentive for increasing local production includes the fact that,  61  There is no indication if this sustainable diet includes animal products or is strictly vegetarian or vegan.  54 between now and 2050, the U.S. population is expected to grow to 530 million people (a 50 percent increase), while its high-quality farmland consequently diminishes by 13 percent (a rate of 49 ha/hr over 44 years), possibly transforming Canada’s main food trading partner into a net food importer (Zimmerman 2005; ALR-PEC 2005).  B.C.’s Current Level of Self-Sufficiency  In 1979, the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture (B.C. SSCA 1979, Phase 1) sponsored a study to develop a series of B.C. self-sufficiency scenarios for 1976 and 1996. The Committee was given terms of reference that included the then current area in cultivation, the maximum possible cultivation level in 1976 and 1996, a 70-percent cultivation rate in 1996 and a few other models examining such conditions with livestock production either reduced or eliminated.62 In 1976, approximately 624,000 ha of the ALR landbase of various capability classes were actively farmed, sufficient to meet about 45 percent of the province’s food-consumption needs. In order to meet 100 percent of the province’s food needs, more than 1.8 million hectares of the ALR would have required farming. Based on the provincial models, the amount of land needed for self-sufficiency increased, because greater proportions of less capable land were utilized for farming.  An assessment of the productive capacity or productive strength of a total agricultural system with multiple product capabilities can be expressed in terms of the product demands placed on the system. According to the B.C. SSCA (1979: 160), productive capacity could be measured according to the levels of consumption that occur within a defined reach of the system, i.e., the total food requirements of B.C. The B.C. SSCA (ibid) stated that some in- demand products could not be produced by the system. In 1976 and 1996, B.C. was within its productive capacity means to be up to 70 percent self-reliant in food, and as the authors of the 1979 study observed then, “as long as it {i.e., products demanded cannot be produced by the system (BC SSCA 1979:160)} represents a minor amount of the total food requirements considered, they can be disregarded in favour of concentrating on the capacity to produce products capable of being produced locally.” However, by 2001 a 70-percent degree of self reliance may no longer be possible, at least as far as the local (B.C.) food  62  Given the time and available informational resource constraints at the time of the 1979 study, Talisman Projects, Inc. used the analogue method to determine the relationship between capability class and crop yield. This method is not without limitations and caveats, of which there are too many to be listed here. Please see BC SSCA (1979: 8-11, 18-29) for a thorough review of the analogue methodology limitations. Of course it can be assumed that any computational errors on the part of this researcher will only compound inherent errors from the method’s limitations. With this in mind, I have taken as comprehensive an approach to data collection as possible under my own resource constraints.  55 system as a whole is currently oriented, defined and shaped by consumption and market demands, societal expectations and political priorities regarding land use and the value of land. Therefore, an effort to obtain 100 percent self-sufficiency is no longer a reasonable objective for several reasons: the evolution of consumption demands and preferences based on cultural and socioeconomic patterns; the maturation of a globalized food economy; and competing land-use demands that have placed significant pressures on the productive capacity of B.C.’s farmland. The Greater Vancouver Regional District63 Regional Growth Strategy (GVRD 2002) and its member municipalities contributed to maintaining the vitality of the Metro Vancouver farm sector, while realizing continued population growth (Smart Growth B.C. 2004). However, the current trend—involving the loss of agricultural land to industrial and residential expansion while maintaining farm-cash receipts—cannot continue indefinitely. Food System Sustainability Food-system models that oppose the conventional/predominant food system attempt to re- frame the nature of economic and political power within a systems perspective. These models aim to integrate a more local and diverse cross-section of stakeholders to build integrity into food- system relationships. A relationship-based food system would incorporate a multitude of actors—people, organizations, businesses—and perhaps even move beyond to “technological advances, environmental characteristics, cultural influences, and other physical or conceptual entities” (Lockie and Kitto, 2002; Goodman 2002). A relationship- based food-system model embraces its own fundamental complexity. This complexity may also model more integrated roles for consumers, non-profit organizations, researchers and other external actors than those included in the conventional food-chain model. The health of a community's food system can be an important indicator of its vitality and sustainability. People in developing and industrialized countries are designing and implementing sustainable and traditional food systems that are rooted in particular places, aiming to be economically viable for farmers and consumers, to use ecologically sound production and distribution practices and to enhance social equity and democracy for all members