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Transitioning to a More Resilient Food System in the British Columbia Lower Mainland by 2040 Schmoeker, Genevieve; Wong, Sarah; Henry, Mark Apr 11, 2016

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  Transitioning to a More Resilient Food System in the British Columbia Lower Mainland by 2040      Genevieve Schmoeker Sarah Wong Mark Henry  ENVR 400: Community Project in Environmental Science Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science Research Advisor: Sara Harris   April 11, 2016       2 Executive Summary   The British Columbia Lower Mainland’s (BCLM) current food system is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for production, transport, storage, and processing. By reducing its dependence on fossil fuels in these main sectors, the region’s food system can become more resilient1, enabling it to better withstand shocks such as peaking resources. The goal of this project was to: identify which areas of the food system are vulnerable to fossil fuel scarcity, understand the other challenges that threaten this system, and to identify a list of suggested interventions that can aid in transitioning the food system to one that is local, sustainable, and resilient by 2040.   This study was performed in conjunction with the Village Vancouver Transition Society as a contribution to their Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP). For this report, the BCLM is defined inclusively as Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley up to Hope.  Fossil Fuel Dependence in the BCLM Food System   The four main sector of the food system which are vulnerable to fossil fuel scarcity are food production, transportation, storage, and processing. Within these four sectors, the areas which are dependent on fossil fuels include:  Sector of the Food System Vulnerability to Fossil Fuel Scarcity Production Industrial agricultural practices  Synthetic Fertilizers & Pesticides  Mechanized Work Transportation Dependence on imports from long distances (i.e California) Lack of local production Storage High energy use for refrigeration High out of season produce consumption Processing High energy use for processing facilities High costs for small, local processing facilities Table 1. A summary of the four main sectors of the BCLM food system, and how they are vulnerable to fossil fuel scarcity.   Challenges Threatening the BCLM’s Food System  Challenges that face the food system include: peaking resources, population increases, lack of farm operators, decreasing available agricultural land, climate change impacts, and limited crop types produced in the BCLM. These challenges threaten the region’s food security                                                      1 Resilient is defined as “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks” (Walker et al., 2004).    3 by putting pressure on our ability to produce and supply food to meet BCLM residents’ demands.  Our Vision for 2040  A local, sustainable, and resilient food system for the BCLM is one that is significantly less dependent on fossil fuels. By 2040, the ideal food system will have food needs met by local, sustainable production supplemented by regional trade. Farmers will transition to small-scale farms with holistic practices that use ecologically sensitive farming techniques. Farming is once again a profession of choice for young people, and a greater number of BCLM residents are involved with food production. Strong, local food processing businesses increase residents’ ability to buy locally produced, in-season food, from both rural and urban areas of the Lower Mainland. Produce will be distributed via local networks and will be stored and processed using energy efficient methods. Limited amounts of food that cannot be grown in the BCLM will be imported via rail or marine shipments.  Project Scope  This report will exclusively focus on the transition to decreased dependence on fossil fuels for produce production, transportation, storage, and processing within the BCLM using qualitative analysis. This was achieved by doing an intensive literature review, using peer-reviewed literature and government reports. Additional aspects of the food system important to the BCLM’s food security include: salmon, coastal shellfish, meat production, and animal products such as milk and eggs. However, these aspects will not be addressed in this report, but it is recommended that they be analyzed further in order to create a comprehensive transition plan.   Suggestions To Achieve Our Vision  In order to transition to a local, sustainable, and resilient food system by 2040, the interventions we have suggested will address the following objectives: Sector Objectives Production  Decrease the amount of fossil fuels consumed in food production  Increase the number of people involved with food production Transportation  Raise awareness of the benefits of localizing food production.  Shift consumption to local food  Strengthen local food distribution  Decrease imports arriving via inefficient transport. Storage  Increase in-season consumption.  Reduce energy in food storage. Processing  Increase energy efficiency in food processing  Increase cooperation between food processors and small-scale, local farmers Table 2. A summary of the objectives that the suggested interventions will achieve in each sector of the food system   4  Conclusion  In conclusion, it is clear that the BCLM’s food system is highly dependent on fossil fuels. In particular, crop production, food transportation, storage, and processing are the most important components of the food system that are vulnerable to fossil fuel scarcity. Based on evidence from the Lower Mainland and elsewhere, the interventions proposed in this report provide a possible pathway to transition the BCLM to a more resilient food system by reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. However, further research should investigate a transition pathway for other important aspects of the food system, such as production of meat, dairy, eggs and seafood, in addition to social and behavioral changes that may need to occur. Working together with Village Vancouver, students, the agricultural sector, government, and communities must collaborate and continue to develop this report in order to create a strong plan to build resilient and just food system.      5 Table of Contents  List of Figures and Tables .................................................................................................... 7 A Note from Village Vancouver Transition Society, The Project Sponsor .......................... 8 The Team............................................................................................................................. 9 Preface .............................................................................................................................. 10 Study Area: British Columbia’s Lower Mainland .............................................................. 11 The Example of Cuba ........................................................................................................ 12 Project Goal ....................................................................................................................... 13 The Imminent Food Crisis ................................................................................................. 13 Finite Non-renewable Resources ...................................................................................... 13 Fossil Fuel Dependence in the BCLM Food System .......................................................... 14 Crop Production ............................................................................................................ 14 Transport and Imports .................................................................................................. 17 Storage .......................................................................................................................... 19 Processing ..................................................................................................................... 19 Challenges Facing the BCLM Food System ....................................................................... 21 Local Processing and Distribution ................................................................................. 21 Population Growth ........................................................................................................ 21 Development Pressure on Agricultural Land ................................................................ 24 What We Currently Grow in the BCLM ......................................................................... 24 Climate Change ............................................................................................................. 26 Other areas of the BCLM food system .......................................................................... 26 In Summary ....................................................................................................................... 27 Village Vancouver’s Vision of 2040: Towards a More Sustainable Future ....................... 28 List of Possible Interventions to Transition to a More Resilient Food System ................. 30 Crop Production ................................................................................................................ 30 Objective 1: Decrease the Amount of Fossil Fuel Consumed in Food Production ....... 30 Objective 2: Increasing the Number of People Involved with Food Production .......... 33 Transportation .................................................................................................................. 36 Objective 1: Raise awareness of the benefits of localizing food production ............... 36 Objective 2: Shift Consumption to Local Food ............................................................. 37   6 Objective 3: Strengthen Local Food Distribution .......................................................... 39 Objective 4: Decrease Imports Arriving via Inefficient Transport ................................ 40 Storage .............................................................................................................................. 41 Objective 1: Increase In-season Consumption ............................................................. 41 Objective 2: Reduce Energy in Food Storage ................................................................ 42 Processing ......................................................................................................................... 43 Objective 1: Increase Energy Efficiency in Food Processing ......................................... 43 Objective 2: Increase Cooperation Between Food Processors and Small-Scale, Local Farmers ......................................................................................................................... 44 Timeline............................................................................................................................. 46 Conclusion ......................................................................................................................... 48 Limitations and further research .................................................................................. 50 References ........................................................................................................................ 52      7 List of Figures   Figure 1. Map of the British Columbia Lower Mainland…….…………………………..….….…………11 Figure 2. Global Peak Oil Predictions….………………….………………….………….……....………………..14 Figure 3. Distribution of Total Energy Input in Conventional and Organic Farms…...….…….15 Figure 4. Food Demand, Local Supply and Gap….…………………………..….….…….......................18 Figure 5. Average Retail Electricity Price.........……………….……….……….…..…………………..………19 Figure 6. Population Projections for the BCLM for 2040…….……………………..…………….…..…...20 Figure 7. BC Farmers per Capita...............................................…………….……….………….....…...22 Figure 8. Number of BC Farm Operators by Age ................………………..…….……………………….23 Figure 9. Distribution of BCLM Fruit, Vegetables, and Berries in 2013..................................25 Figure 10. Area in Production of Different Crops by Type in BC............................................25 List of Tables Table 1. Fossil Fuel Dependence in the BCLM Food System..................................................2 Table 2. Summary of Strategy Objectives..............................................................................3 Table 3. Barriers to Establishing a New Farm in BC ................………………..…….……………….….23   8 A Note from Village Vancouver Transition Society, The Project Sponsor   Our future will be very different than our present. Most are unaware of how much our daily lives are influenced by the way we power our societies. Fossil fuels have shaped our lives for good and bad over the last 150 years, but we are on the verge of an abrupt and forced change – we must and will give up fossil fuels and quickly. It isn’t a choice we have to make, peak oil and climate change together mean that over a short time span we will have to adapt to a much lower energy input, we have already entered the transition. What will our future look like? What do we want it to look like?  This is the fundamental question of the Transition Initiative, an international movement of people and communities to respond to the challenges that we know are coming, but that unfortunately, our leaders are not taking seriously enough given the impacts and risks. An Energy Descent Action Plan2 is meant to provide grass roots policy guidance that addresses the myriad ways that this energy shift will impact our lives and how we might best respond. Village Vancouver, the Vancouver transition group, is developing such a plan with a focus on food in our local foodshed – the British Colombia Lower Mainland in the year 2040.3 The project started as a broad collaboration of interested organizations and engaged individuals in public meetings and has progressed to projects with local advanced undergraduate students of UBC. The present project is the first attempt to frame the structure of a plan and builds on prior student projects focused on more specific issues like identifying the local impacts of climate change and the emerging localized food systems, particularly in Vancouver.    Imagining the future 25 years out is a challenge. But it is clear that by 2040, the global food system will consume significantly fewer fossil fuels, as will the food system in the BCLM. Agriculture will be forced to adapt and be significantly less dependent on fossil fuels. This will mean that most food needs will be met through local and regional trade and by personal and community gardens.   In societal terms, the transition will be complicated and abrupt; how we cope with less energy will depend on attitudes and a willingness to adapt. Solutions emerging from transition groups across the world4 are providing examples of concrete ways forward and helping to create a vision of what feeding ourselves might mean when it is more just, ecologically balanced and satisfying.   Ann Pacey Board member Village Vancouver Transition Society                                                      2 A planning tool developed by the Transition network to explore grass roots solutions to the key challenges affecting our immediate futures and long term survival, including climate change, fossil fuel emissions and economic dependence on fossil fuels.  3 The 2040 timeframe is intended to be far enough in the future that we can conceptually move away from the present reality of how our fossil fuel dependent society is structured. We know it must change but we don’t know how. This study is an effort to explore what that change might be like. 4 One of the most valuable attributes of the Transition Network is that it showcases hundreds of examples that can and are be replicated.   9 The Team    Sarah Wong is a student focusing on ecology and conservation with an interest in agriculture. She has work experience in research and industry oriented agricultural settings in the British Columbia Okanagan and Alberta. She is also skilled in data analysis with Microsoft Excel, Matlab and R.   Mark Henry is in the ecology and conservation concentration within the environmental science program. He has experience working with Microsoft Excel, R Commander, and ArcGIS.   Genevieve Schmoeker is working towards her degree in Environmental Science with a concentration on land, air, and water. She has volunteer experience working for local farmers on a variety of organic farms, and has worked with sustainable and alternative agricultural methods within these settings. She is skilled in Microsoft Office and Excel.      10 Preface    The present project, which will contribute to Village Vancouver’s EDAP, is tasked with compiling a list of possible interventions to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. This will subsequently reduce our greenhouse gas emissions over the next 25 years, during which we expect many changes associated with declining resource supplies and the impacts of climate change to become more apparent.   In this strategy, we have developed a vision based on a more resilient food system for the British Columbia Lower Mainland. It is written for all residents of the BCLM, from individuals, to families, to communities and organizations, to policy makers and the government; people who want to work towards a sustainable future and be a part of the transition to a more resilient food system. The present report provides information on the current state of our food system, challenges that the BCLM food system faces, and lists possible interventions to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in order to guide our common future. In addition, this report provides a timeline describing key enabling events that facilitate the transition.   Supporting studies and material have been drawn from a wide range of resources based on a literature review of scientific, peer reviewed articles and government documents that are referenced throughout the text.    We hope that you, the reader, will be inspired to take action and engage in activities that will help the BCLM move toward a more resilient food system.  While government support is necessary to fully enact this strategy, it will be citizens advocating for change that enable the transformation envisioned in this document to come to fruition. Collaboration and care for others will be indispensable to accomplish the task set before us, so encourage your friends, family, community and government to work together. It is only by working together that we can achieve our goal.       11 Study Area: British Columbia’s Lower Mainland   The region of study for this report, British Columbia’s Lower Mainland (BCLM), extends from Metro Vancouver east. It includes the agricultural lowlands within the Fraser Valley Regional District (Figure 1; Taylor & Burchfield, 2014) to Hope, a small town roughly 160km east of Vancouver.   Figure 1.  The BCLM region includes the Metro Vancouver region as well as Fraser Valley.         BC Lower Mainland   12 The Example of Cuba   Cuba provides a powerful example of how a country can adapt to a sudden and major disruption of oil supply. As a result of the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, trade relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union collapsed. Cuba relied on the Soviet Union and its allies for approximately 80% of its trade (Gonzalez, 2003). When the Soviet trading bloc collapsed, Cuba experienced extreme shortages of oil, fertilizers, and other inputs required for domestic food production, as well as dramatic reduction in imported food (Gonzalez, 2003). The effects of these shortages were severe and widespread; there was an immediate reduction of 30% in the average Cuban’s caloric, vitamin, and protein intake (Gonzalez, 2003).           The Cuban government responded by implementing a variety of emergency actions and engaging citizens to transition the nation’s food system to one that is largely domestically self-sufficient, socially equitable, and ecologically sustainable (Gonzalez, 2003). This was accomplished through policies that gave greater incentives to local farmers and promoted low-input, sustainable farming and the development of urban agriculture. Through these efforts, Cuba was able to achieve food security through self-sufficiency by the late 1990s (Wright, 2012).       13 Project Goal  In order to ensure future availability of food in the British Columbia Lower Mainland, the local food system will need to be altered substantially by 2040. In this report, we will be investigating what a non-fossil fuel dependent, resilient, and local food system could look like by 2040 in the BCLM. We have created a list of possible interventions to reduce the dependence of fossil fuels specifically in the following four sectors: crop production, transportation, storage, and processing.  The Imminent Food Crisis    The crisis experienced in Cuba could occur in the Lower Mainland in the future. Because our industrial society depends heavily on oil, we are highly vulnerable to events that limit access to oil or significantly impact its affordability (Beilin et al., 2011). A growing body of research by international food and land agencies, such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UK Energy Research Centre (UK ERC), The Land Institute (TLI), suggest that continued reliance on fossil fuels to support our food system creates significant vulnerabilities (FAO, 2011; TLI, 2011; UK ERC, 2009; Zarrilli, 2006). In the following sections we will explain why we can no longer assume that cheap, finite fossil fuels will continue to be available in the future, why we are currently vulnerable to availability of fossil fuels, and the challenges we face in transitioning to a more resilient food system.   Finite Non-renewable Resources   Fossil fuels are a non-renewable, finite resource, and are highly depended on in almost all sectors of our modern lives, including the BCLM’s current food system (Beilin et al., 2011). Research investigating the theory of peak oil5 and other finite resources predicts that the global demand for oil, and other fossil fuels, such as crude oil and natural gas, will be constrained by physical depletion ranging from before 2023 to 2034 (Figure 2; Sorrell et al., 2010; UK ERC, 2009). New oil fields and enhanced oil recovery methods are incorporated in the predictions, but they only slow the rate of decline (UK ERC, 2009). Already, an increasing number of productive regions around the world have entered the stage of declining oil production, and the rate of decline in production is accelerating (UK ERC, 2009). Declines in oil production are expected to bring about more volatile fluctuation of oil prices before prices eventually increase (Curtis, 2009).                                                         5 Peak oil is defined as the period when oil production, both nationally and globally, peaks then declines, as a result of the inherent physical constraints of the resource and the resulting decline in the energy returned on energy invested (Neff et al., 2011)    14  Figure 2. Estimates of peaking global oil production in billions using different assumptions on ultimately recoverable resources (Sorrell et al., 2010).  Fossil Fuel Dependence in the BCLM Food System   One of the consequences of peak oil in the BCLM is the threat to food security, since crop production, transportation, storage, and processing systems depend on affordable and easily-accessible fossil fuels (Beilin et al., 2011). As competition for these finite resources increases, the price of oil will increase in the long run. Because the main four sectors of the BCLM’s food system are dependent on affordable and accessible fossil fuels, the entire food system is highly vulnerable to fossil fuel scarcity.  Crop Production  Conventional agriculture is heavily dependent on fossil fuels; 87% of on-farm energy in the BCLM comes from non-renewable sources (BC Ministry of Environment, 2012). This dependency on fossil fuels is inherent in the direct and indirect operations associated with conventional farming (called industrial agriculture), which makes up 88% of farms in the BCLM (Statistics Canada, 2009). Fossil fuels are used so extensively in agriculture that it can take 25 times as many fossil fuel calories to produce only 1 calorie of food in a typical meat-based North American diet (Pimentel & Pimentel, 2003).   Industrial agriculture began only recently- in the 1930's, when synthetic fertilizers and pesticides were first invented (Fogelson, 2003; Mackenzie, 2007). These chemicals have increased crop yields, decreased crop competition, and reduced pests and diseases. Moreover, driven by the push to increase production efficiencies and free people from labour, the principles, strategies and technologies of industrialization were applied to farming (Mackenzie, 2007). This meant that farms were treated as factories. Each farm produced a single crop type, on a large scale, intensely using fossil fuels in the form of agrochemicals (Figure 3) (fertilizers and pesticides) and mechanized work (farm machinery, such as tractors) (CAEEDAC, 2000; FAO,   15 2011; Gomiero et al., 2008; Pimentel et al., 1983; UK Ministry of Agriculture [UK MA], 2000; Ziesemer, 2007). They became dependent on external inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides that are made with large amounts of fossil fuels in order to produce a high abundance of cheaply made outputs. With this, economies of scale were achieved and the external costs of producing food with the industrial model were ignored (the cost of environmental damage, loss of food security, loss of traditional farming communities, etc.).    Figure 3. Distribution of energy input by fertilizer, pesticide, machinery and other energy users on conventional and alternative operations in MJ/ha (adapted from UK MA, 2000).  Agrochemicals Monocrop systems, growing the same crop year after year in a field, easily deplete the soil of its fertility and are susceptible to plagues of weeds, insect and fungal pests. In conventional agriculture, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers replenish the nutrients and keep yield reducing pests at bay. These anthropogenic chemicals utilize 50-66% of the total energy in the production of field vegetables, depending on crop type and growing conditions (Lynch et al., 2011; Gomiero et al., 2008; Pimentel et al., 1983; UK MA, 2000). The majority of the fossil fuels embodied in these chemicals come from energy intensive manufacture and transportation. In order to maintain fertility and control pests, alternative agricultural practices, such as biological pest control, cover crops, crop rotations, manure, compost and waste recycling will need to be implemented to ensure productivity.  Mechanized work  The use of machinery and other farm equipment can use up to 16-29% of the total energy input on farms, depending on agricultural practices (Gomiero et al., 2008; Pimentel et al.,   16 1983; UK MA, 2000). In many North American farming operations, tractors, other equipment and irrigation pumps are integral to farm operations in order to perform mechanical weeding (tillage), seeding, harvesting, chemical applications, and irrigation (CAEEDAC, 2000; FAO, 2011; Gomiero et al., 2008; Pimentel et al., 1983; UK MA, 2000; Ziesemer, 2007). The loss of fossil fuels could halt food production, as machines do most of the work. Without another source of energy to power the machines, assuming no electric or biofuel machinery are used, it will be important to reintroduce human and animal labour as the main work force on farms, as non-conventional methods will result in an increase in 30-35% labour needs (Soil Association, 2006).     17 Additional Information…  The Impacts of Industrial Farming: Contributing to climate change:  In addition to being affected by climate change, agriculture contributes significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. In British Columbia, agriculture accounts for 3.3% (2,001 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalents) of total greenhouse gas emissions of the province (British Columbia Ministry of Environment, 2012). Livestock, fertilizer use, and soil management practices are the most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions in BC agriculture. Industrial agriculture practices, specifically annual tillage and deforestation, also negatively impact the ability for plants and soil to act as carbon sinks, resulting in the net release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (Lal, 2004).  Land Degradation:  Though the key to agriculture lays in fertile soil, industrial agricultural practices can degrade the physical, chemical and biological quality of soil, resulting in decreased productivity (Bruinsma, 2003). Annual tillage, intensive monocropping, and use of machinery are harmful industrial agriculture practices used in the BCLM that has lead to high rates of soil erosion (loss of soil), the loss of soil organic matter, soil infertility, and destruction of soil structure (Coote et al., 1981)  Chemical Pollution of Fertilizers and Pesticides:  As mentioned above, industrial practices often decrease soil fertility, resulting in the necessity of, and often over-application of fertilizers. Excess nutrients often leach into surrounding waterways, changing the balance of nutrients in natural ecosystems. Industrial agriculture is, in fact, a major cause of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and the resulting alteration of species compositions and habitat conditions (Rockstrom et al., 2009). In extreme cases, the alteration of nutrient levels can lead to ‘dead zones’ in aquatic habitats, areas of increased microbial activity that results in decreased oxygen for other organisms, resulting in the loss of species and diversity (Rockstrom et al., 2009). Pesticides, likewise, can be translocated off farms via wind and water, resulting in the exposure of pesticides to non-targeted species (Aktar et al., 2009). The leaching of these chemicals also have implications to human health. For example, nitrate pollution of groundwater due to agriculture in the Abbostford area is a health concern, as high levels of nitrate in drinking water reduces the ability of blood to transport oxygen (Golder Associates, 2012)  Loss of Ecological and Biological Diversity:  Direct loss of biodiversity has resulted from the loss of natural landscapes to monoculture crops, which has decreased the spatial habitats for wild animals, insects and plants, and the decreased biodiversity within farms, as cultivation has decreased the genetics (Bruinsma, 2003). Indirect causes of biodiversity loss can be attributed to pollution from the three topics discussed above: climate change, land degradation and chemical pollution- all of which degrade habitat quality, resulting in the loss of biodiversity (Rockstrom et al., 2009).   The loss of biodiversity, especially those that help to sustain food production by providing ecosystem services, is dire- as these species are the life support system for agriculture. For example, bees are responsible for the pollination of many crops, yet their populations are declining (Brown & Paxton, 2009; Goulson et al., 2008). This is primarily due to the loss of floral abundance and diversity as a result of agricultural intensification (Brown & Paxton, 2009; Goulson et al., 2008), but also from pesticide use, diseases, and climate change (Brown & Paxton, 2009).   18 Transport and Imports  In the Lower Mainland, at least 42%6 of total food sold is imported from outside the region (Ashmead & Zbeetnoff, 2009). The study by Ashmead and Zbeetnoff (2009) assumes that imports must account for at least the difference between local production and demand in the BCLM (Figure 4). Only about 20% of the vegetables consumed in the Lower Mainland are produced locally (Hild, 2009). This means the region is extremely dependent on imports, and most of these imported foods travel great distances to reach the Lower Mainland. Around 67% of B.C.’s vegetable imports and 44% of its fruit imports came from the U.S. in 2010 (Mansfield, 2014). In fact, more than half of the region’s total imports come from California (Ostry et al., 2011). Because of the BCLM’s dependence on transporting food over long distances, food security is particularly vulnerable due to decreasing fossil fuel supplies. For instance, the inevitable fluctuation in fuel prices due to peak oil will likely impact the economics of long-distance food transport and greatly impede the globalized distribution system that we are so used to today (Curtis, 2009). Assuming fossil fuel based transportation becomes unaffordable, 42% of the region’s food, including the majority of vegetable and nearly half of fruit demand in the region, would be jeopardized (Ashmead & Zbeetnoff, 2009; Mansfield, 2014).    Figure 4. Food demand, local supply and food gap in the Lower Mainland in metric tons in 2006 (Adapted from: Ashmead & Zbeetnoff, 2009)                                                      6 Of the total demand of 2,000,000 tonnes of food in the Lower Mainland annually, at least 834,000 tonnes of food are imported.   19  Storage   Cold storage is an essential element of the BCLM’s food system because it allows surpluses of perishable products to be stored for later consumption after the primary growing season has ended. However, food storage via refrigeration requires large amounts of electrical energy; in fact, it has been estimated to consume between 1-3 MJ per kilogram of retail food product (Smil, 2008). For every kilogram of food stored, this is equivalent to powering 21-63 LED light bulbs for an hour7. Therefore, it is important that the total electricity required for this aspect of the food system is reduced significantly so that the food system can withstand effects caused by a decrease in fossil fuel supplies.  Processing  Food processing, which is the process of washing, sorting, and transforming raw ingredients into other forms, also consumes large amounts of electrical energy. In Canada, the                                                      7 This was calculated by converting megajoules into watt/hours (1MJ=277.8W/hr)  Additional Information…  The Link Between Fossil Fuel and Electricity Prices  Shortages in fossil fuel based energy will cause a shift of demand to other energy sources, causing the average retail price of electricity to increase (Figure 5; Annual Energy Outlook [AEO], 2015; Pacific Analytics, 2015). In the BCLM, high fossil fuel prices are expected to result in an increase in the demand for electric vehicles (Pacific Analytics, 2015). As the number of electric vehicles increases, pressure on the region’s power generation sources is expected to increase. For example, it has been projected that by 2040, electric vehicles in Vancouver will demand up to one-fifth of the electricity generated by the Site C Dam (Pacific Analytics, 2015). Therefore, it is projected that higher demands on electricity will ultimately lead to higher electricity prices.   Figure 5. Average retail electricity prices in six projected scenarios from 2013-40 (value of US cents per kilowatthour in 2013). The highest electricity price occurs in the High Oil Price scenario, which is likely to take place after peak oil occurs (AEO, 2015).  US  cents (2013) Year   20 food processing industry consumes around 92 billion MJ of energy every year; this is approximately enough energy to heat all homes in Alberta for a year (Norup, 2007). In North America in general, food processing is extremely pervasive; around 80-90% of food sold in the United States has been processed (Pimentel et al., 2008). Around 16% of the total energy used in the U.S. food system is used for food processing, and an additional 7% is used for packaging alone (Pimentel et al., 2008). The nature of Canada’s food system is very similar to the United States’ food system, so it can be assumed that similar proportions of energy are required Canada and the BC Lower Mainland. Also, such a large portion of BC’s food is currently produced in the U.S. that these statistics apply to some degree to the food consumed in the BC Lower Mainland.  Summary  In summary, the four main aspects of the BCLM’s food system (production, transportation, storage, and processing) are highly dependent on fossil fuels. Due to issues such as fossil fuel depletion, we can no longer assume that fossil fuels will continue to be as cheap, or easily-accessible as they are today. In order to shift away from this dependency, we will have to transition our current food system to become more resilient. The lag in time to achieve a significant transition is on the order of decades (Hirsch et al., 2006), and should be initiated as soon as possible to avoid interruption of food supply.       21 Challenges Facing the BCLM Food System  Local Processing and Distribution It can be difficult for local food producers in the BC Lower Mainland to sell or process their products locally. This is because local food processing operations have had to compete with larger, more distant food processors that buy food in bulk and sell for cheap (Ashmead & Zbeetnoff, 2009; Metro Vancouver, 2011). The majority of food processing facilities in the Lower Mainland are small businesses which generally have higher per unit costs than larger processing facilities; therefore, small, local processing facilities must sell their food products for higher prices than larger processors in order to stay afloat (Ashmead & Zbeetnoff, 2009; Metro Vancouver, 2011).   In addition, there has been a trend towards increasing consolidation of distribution companies in the Lower Mainland (Metro Vancouver, 2011). In fact, the distribution sector of the food system in the Lower Mainland is dominated by only two large companies, which also prefer to purchase from farmers or processors in large quantities at low prices (Metro Vancouver, 2011). Because small farms and small processors alike have higher per unit costs than large farms or processing companies, it is difficult for them to sell their products at these low prices. Not only does this impede the ability of the local processing industry to support local farms, but it also means that any increase in electricity prices could threaten the local processing industry.  Population Growth  As of 2015, the BCLM population was estimated to be 2.8 million (BC Statistics, 2015). The Lower Mainland’s population has been increasing almost linearly, with an average increase of around 35,000 individuals a year this past decade (BC Statistics, 2015). A linear projection for BCLM’s population in 2040 is estimated to be 3.8 million individuals, a predicted 1 million total increase from 2015 (Figure 6; BC Statistics, 2015). With increasing population, the pressure on food demand from local farmers is expected to increase as well (Ostry et al., 2011).     22 Figure 6. Population size of the BC Lower Mainland (Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley), from 1986-2015, along with the population projection for 2015-2040. Red line represents 2015 (B.C. Statistics, 2015).   Although BC’s total population has increased, the number of farmers has not increased in proportion to the rest of the province’s population. This has lead to a per capita decrease in BC farmers (Figure 7). The current average age of farmers in 2011 was 56 years of age, and has been increasing since 1991, while the number of young farmers (under age 35) has been decreasing (Figure 8; British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture [BCMA], 2012). The increasing age of the farmer population and the declining number of farm operators is due in part to the negative views associated with, or lack of interest in, working in food production among young people (Labour Task Force, 2013; Dennis & Wittman, 2014). There has also been a lack of education in schools about agriculture and career options (Labour Task Force, 2013; Dennis & Wittman, 2014).    Figure 7. Farmers per capita in BC from 1991 to 2011 showing the decrease in farmers per capita (B.C. Statistics, 2015; Statistics Canada, 2011).    23  Figure 8. Total number of BC farm operators, categorized by three different age groups (under 35, 35-54, 55+) from 1991-2011 (BCMA, 2012).       Table 3. The barriers to establishing a new farm operation in BC expressed by study respondents. They are listed in order of most to least significant, with the percentage in brackets denoting the number of respondents who considered the barrier as ‘extremely’ or ‘highly’ significant (Dennis & Wittman, 2014).   For prospective farmers, the high cost of land and low profit margins of start-up farms act as a barrier to a career in farming (Table 3; Dennis & Wittman, 2014; Miller, 2010; Sussmann & Feeney, 2015). For current farmers, the commoditization of food drives food prices down and operational costs up, resulting in less profits (Miller, 2010; Organic Council of Ontario, n.d). These barriers are the primary reasons for the decline in new farmers.  As current farmers retire, the overall number of skilled farmers will decline if there is no increase in young farmers to offset the retirees, potentially threatening our food security. This is   24 partially due to the expected increase in food demand from increased population (Ostry et al., 2011). To meet these demands with local food, the BCLM will require more local farm operators.  Development Pressure on Agricultural Land The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), was established in 1973 as a response to the growing pressure of urban sprawl and development on agricultural land (Androkovich, 2013; Provincial Agricultural Land Commission [ALC], 2014). The ALR prioritizes agricultural use use, but allows some other uses, such as greenhouse production of non-edible vegetation, golf courses, and housing (ALC, 2014; Eagle et al., 2015). As a result, only 36% of the ALR within the BCLM is used for fruits, vegetables, cereal, and field crops (ALC, 2014). In fact, agricultural land within the ALR has declined by a total of 7.7% (from 143,642 ha to 132,617 ha) in 2014 compared to 1973 due to development pressures (ALC, 2014).  To provide a healthy diet to the BCLM’s population with local food in 2036, Briggs et al. (2013) estimated a total of 244,651 ha farmland would be needed. Even without produce exports, BC’s farmers only produced roughly 56% of foods consumed in the province in 2001 (BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, 2006). Therefore, the preservation and expansion of the ALR will be key to the transition to a more resilient food system.   What We Currently Grow in the BCLM   The variety of fruit and vegetable production is largely unreflective of what is consumed in the BCLM, as it is largely destined for export. In fact, within the province of British Columbia about half of what is produced is exported (Ostry et al., 2011). This is a result of farmers opting to grow higher priced commodity foods for export rather than staple crops due to land costs, competition with cheaper produce imports, and local growing conditions (Sussmann & Feeney, 2015). In particular, the British Columbia Lower Mainland has been increasing its production of blueberries and raspberries for export (Figure 10; Mansfield, 2014). It is estimated that in 2011, blueberries consisted of 33% and cranberries consisted of 27% of total tonnes of fruit and vegetable production, and in 2013, potatoes accounted for 19% of total production8 (Figure 9; Statistics Canada, 2011). Beans, corn, lettuce, squash and zucchinis, pumpkins, cabbage, mushrooms, greenhouse vegetables, apples, other fruits and nuts, and other vegetables contributed only 12% of total produce within the BCLM (Statistics Canada, 2011). However, because of the need to transition away from relying on global trade, the distribution of food grown within the BCLM will have to change. Instead, production will have to better reflect what is consumed or demanded of by the population.                                                            8 Using 2013’s crop yields and 2011’s BC Agricultural census of BCLM’s land usage (Statistics Canada, 2011).    25  Figure 9. The current distribution of fruit, vegetable, and berry production in the BCLM (Statistics Canada, 2011).     Figure 10. Decreasing trend of vegetable and tree fruit area (ha), and increasing trend of berry area (ha) in British Columbia from 1970-2011 (BCMA, 2012).     26 Climate Change Climate Change Impacts in the BCLM Climate change impacts to local agriculture create additional complications. In the BCLM, the consequences of changes to climate are expected to intensify despite possible mitigation strategies (Bernstein et al., 2008). Projected consequences specific to the BCLM include rising sea levels and flooding of agricultural land (Shaw et al., 2009; Spittlehouse, et al., 2008), temperature increases of 3-5ºC by 2050, droughts, and changes to precipitation and weather patterns (Perez et al., 2015; Spittlehouse, 2008).  As agriculture is climate-dependent, its sensitivity to changes and variability in climate is expected to have an impact on production yields (Perez et al., 2015). For example, in a business-as-usual scenario, warmer summers and springs are expected in the BCLM, with summers experiencing increased precipitation (Perez et al., 2015). As a result, crops such as barley, oat, wheat, and blueberries are expected to increase in yield by 2050 while raspberries are predicted to decrease. In British Columbia, extreme weather events such as increased precipitation intensity and frequency have already caused significant losses in revenue for the province  and this trend is expected to continue (Murdok et al., 2007)    Climate Change Impact in California  Due to our high dependence on California grown crops, food security in the BCLM is particularly vulnerable to food shortages resulting from climate change. Already, California has experienced droughts linked to climate change, putting a strain on food production and raising the cost of food for BCLM residents (Mansfield, 2014; Swain et al., 2014). For instance, between 2013 and 2014, imported produce prices increased by 5.7%-9.6% in B.C. due to droughts in California; at this rate, the price of produce can be expected to increase by 25% to 50% in the next 5 years (Mansfield, 2014). This price hike would cause the average household grocery bill in B.C. to increase by an additional $30 to $60 in five years (Mansfield, 2014). Therefore, if B.C. continues to rely on food imports, prices may eventually increase beyond what’s affordable (Mansfield, 2014). Droughts of equal severity may continue to occur in the future, potentially exacerbating the predicted increases in B.C. food prices, particularly in the BCLM (Swain et al., 2014).  Other areas of the BCLM food system  It should be noted that additional aspects of the food system are important to the BCLM’s food security. In particular, salmon and coastal shellfish, meat production, and other animal products such as milk and eggs (Briggs et al., 2013). Especially due to British Columbia’s ethnic make-up, certain foods are in high demand in the BCLM. However, due to constrictions of time and the requirements of this course study, these areas of the food system have not been covered in this report. Further analysis into these areas is recommended in order to understand what changes need to be made in order to make the BCLM’s food system more resilient.       27 In Summary The combination of peaking resources, weak local processing and distribution networks, population increases, lack of farm operators, decreasing available agricultural land, and limited crop types produced in the BCLM, climate change impacts, suggest that the BCLM’s food system is not resilient. It is unlikely, that the food system will be able to meet local food demands, leaving the population dependent on an uncertain and challenged globalized import system. Transforming the current export oriented, import dependent food system for the BCLM will require time and a strategic focus to address critical challenges to establishing a local and sustainable agricultural production that increases the resilience of BCLM to future food shocks.   Will humanity survive? It’s purely up to people- if they want to, they can, if they don’t want to, they won’t” – Bill Mollison   28 Village Vancouver’s Vision of 2040: Towards a More Sustainable Future   It is hard imagining an agricultural system in 2040 after the decline of fossil fuel production. A technique often used by transition initiatives is to imagine a news story from a particular time that describes some of the dimensions and ideas of how a transition might come about. Here is the frame used for the present project:   The transition away from fossil fuels was not smooth or controversy free. The ‘early adaptors’ – urban farming enthusiasts, permaculturists, and slow food /food mile conscious consumers – grew to a significant, but still minority position after the widespread famine of the early 2020s, which was felt across the world, even in the developed countries like Canada. The famine came on the back of another critical shift in main stream consciousness brought about by the fossil fuel companies being criminally convicted for their campaign of undermining the science of climate change to protect their business model, dating back to the 1980’s. This, combined with the second Great Depression in the late 2010’s, exposed capitalism’s fundamental role in environmental destabilization. A new relationship with the planet began to gain momentum as many of the world’s religions began to stress the importance of caring for the living planet and its future rather than the predominant 20th century model of exploitation for today’s benefit. Often uncoordinated and desperate efforts began to appear to reverse some of the worst ravages against the ecological damage accumulated during the era of fossil fuels. By 2040, a semblance of coordinated response to adaptation was beginning to emerge.     In the Pacific Northwest, a significant move to a more local and regional food system began to consolidate. BCLM farmers transitioned away from large-scale, non-renewable energy-intensive agriculture, to smaller-scale farms with holistic practices using ecologically sensitive farming techniques.   Farming once again became a profession of choice for young people. Local land banks, cooperatives and other creative financing and land access tools emerged that allowed young farmers the opportunity to create satisfying and economically sustaining careers in agriculture. Food and land system programs become increasingly popular areas of study and research in the local universities.   By 2040, most of the population became actively involved in food production, from small back yard gardens, pollinator corridors and backyard chickens to larger scale farms or food businesses. Most people were buying locally or regionally produced, in-season food. The amount and variety of food types planted in the BCLM changed significantly to reflect the move away from imports, both rural and urban areas of the Lower Mainland were converted to food production. Campaigns similar to the 2nd world war Victory Gardens, became common and over time, achieved a significant impact (in the summer season producing 25% of local consumption). Local distribution networks became more effective at supplying the region, with some distribution by truck but most via rail or barge (Fraser River). Home food preservation (canning, cold storage and others) once again became common practice and was taught in elementary school to both sexes along with garden ecology.    Farming became an important component in the local economy. Small local food processing businesses grew substantially and became more capable of supporting local farmers in the Lower Mainland.  Fisheries and other coastal related food production also grew, large scale fish farming either adapted more sustainable models or shut down. First nations played a   29 significant role in reestablishing healthy coastal harvesting, contributing traditional knowledge that supported human and ecologically sustainable harvesting practices.  In addition to the jobs created by local food activities, regional trade of foodstuffs provided opportunities to small and mid-size companies and cooperatives, mostly owned by local business owners.  Key produce from the Lower Mainland and BC interior in excess of local needs provided the means for a lively regional trade to subsidize food stuffs that did not readily grow in the area with regional trade occurring mostly by rail and marine (Cascadia region to California).  With the sharp decline in fossil fuel use (including fracked gas), BC hydropower became the primary energy source for all energy needs of the province. This influenced all aspects of life and stringent energy efficiency measures were mandated to allow the hydropower produced in BC to cover the primary energy needs of the province.  The food production sector was likewise affected, and storage and processing facilities adapted to utilize energy efficient technology in refrigeration and processing.   The vision expressed above reflects a possible future, not a certain one, and relies on a positive shift in community, government, and industry attitudes towards achieving a sustainable food secure future. This future is one that is significantly less dependent upon fossil fuels and that works to reverse the ecosystem damage inflicted by years of profit driven exploitation. It also assumes that environmental collapse is minimal.       30 List of Possible Interventions to Transition to a More Resilient Food System   The Transition Initiative movement is based on permaculture principles9 - earth stewardship, people care and regenerative action for future resiliency – and these principles permeate the following initiatives. Particularly relevant principles are mentioned in each objective. Crop Production   Introduction  Conventional agricultural practices should shift away from the industrial model and its heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Farmers should begin using permaculture principles to ensure farming techniques are holistic, ecologically sensitive and sustainable. An increase in helping hands needs to be seen on farms, as more people becoming involved in food production will be necessary for a transition away from fossil fuel dependence. Both financial support and education should be made available to help current and prospective farmers transition to less fossil fuel dependent agricultural practices.  Objectives: 1. Decrease the amount of fossil fuel consumed in food production 2. Increase the number of people involved with food production  Objective 1: Decrease the Amount of Fossil Fuel Consumed in Food Production    Non-conventional, fossil fuel free methods of farming will be necessary as the price and supply of fossil fuels becomes too volatile to be relied on for use in food production. Farms should focus on enhancing ecological processes in order to maintain soil fertility and control pests while people and draught animals10 should be the muscle and                                                      9 Special thanks to Delvin Solkinson of, for the fine collection of open sourced principles 10 Draught animals are domestic work animals, such as horses, ox and buffalo. Urbanize food production Produce less waste Slow food Everything gardens Get creative Reduce, rethink, recycle Intensive small scale system Permaculture principles 1 "Permaculture gives people a place to be part of the solution.” Rosemary Morrow, Permaculture pioneer    31 power behind the work. However, it is unlikely that the transition to non-conventional methods will be successful without research to demonstrate the viability of these methods, financial incentives to offset transition costs, and easily accessible information on how to transition.  Interventions: Transitioning to Non-conventional Production Methods  To consume less energy, farming should evolve, or in this instance, revert from its extreme dependence on machinery back to a more balanced work performed by human labour and animal labour. Non-conventional farming methods should be adopted in all areas of food production, from the agricultural sector to backyard gardens. There will not be, however, a one-size fits all solution; the non-conventional methods used will vary by crop type and location. Permaculture principles can be used to guide farmers on how to reduce synthetic agrochemicals and mechanized work, the two biggest users of fossil fuels used on farms.  Reducing Inputs of Synthetic Agrochemicals:  Eliminating synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers could potentially reduce 50-66% of the total energy of food production. In order to maintain soil fertility, productivity, and control pests while reducing external inputs, low input and closed-system agricultural practices should be adopted.  To achieve this, understanding ecological principles (both science based and from First Nation’s traditional ecological knowledge) can help us manipulate ecological processes to improve production while using fewer external inputs (Altieri & Nicholls, 2005; D’Annolfo et al., 2015). To lower inputs, organic practices should be used such as increased soil and water conservation, cover cropping, crop rotations, diversifying crops, using compost and manure, and others (Altieri & Nicholls, 2005; D’Annolfo et al., 2015). Organic crop production has been shown to require 73% less energy input than conventional methods, while the productivity of organic systems is only 20% less productive (Lynch et al., 2011; Ponisio et al., 2015). Closed systems place emphasis on reducing nutrient losses from systems. They can involve capturing and applying outputs back into the system, such as recycling wastes like compost, manure and biosolids, rotating crops, and maintaining soil biota (D’Annolfo et al., 2015). Closed systems can also involve animal integration, where animals and crops are rotated in order to optimize production efficiencies and nutrient cycling. Studies have shown that the nutrients locked in vegetation are released back into the system as feces from grazing animals, which fertilizes the land (Devendra & Thomas, 2002).  Using ecological concepts and permaculture principles will be key to help us understand ecological processes and how to utilize them to create a sustainable, low-input and productive agricultural system. Moreover, these processes can be used to restore and maintain soil health, reduce chemical pollution, enhance biodiversity of natural areas, and maintain ecosystem services, such as nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration (D’Annolfo et al., 2015).   Reduce the Amount of Mechanized Work Replacing mechanized work by reintegrating human and animal labour on to farms can result in a 16-19% decrease in the total energy of food production. Though it is hard to imagine in this mechanized world, farming is not impossible without machines. In sub-Saharan Africa, humans do 65% of farm work; this involves weeding, tilling and preparing the land for seeding (Sims & Kienzle, 2006). Also, animals continue to be the muscle and power behind 52% of cultivated lands across the globe (Ramaswamy, 1994). They are especially prevalent on small-  32 scale farms in regions of Asia, Africa and South America (FAO, 2010; Ramaswamy, 1994). Reintroducing draught animals to do landscaping and plowing can provide renewable energy suitable for small-scale farming. Integrating livestock into cropping fields, as mentioned in the section above, can also help to perform some of the mechanical labour on farms, such as sowing seeds (Devendra & Thomas, 2002).   Strategies to reduce the total amount of work required on farms should also be considered. Conservation and no tillage practices (methods in which the intensity and frequency of tillage is reduced) can reduce the amount of energy associated with mechanized work by 77% (Luna, 2009). Planting perennial crops could also reduce the amount of work, as annual cultivation of soil that is associated with annual crops is not necessary (Batello et al., 2014; FAO, n.d.)  Research and Dissemination of Information of Non-conventional Farming Methods Governments and organizations should fund more research focusing on sustainable, fossil fuel independent food production methods. Currently, government departments like Agriculture and Agrifood Canada and organizations like Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, BC Agriculture Council, and others conduct or fund research and disseminate results, leading to the innovation of more economic and efficient farming practices that have had widespread benefits to many farmers. Current areas of research pertain to farm management practices that reduce the usage of fossil fuels, such as organic practices, cover cropping and no tillage. However, the use of these strategies together with a focus on creating a low input farm system has rarely been addressed. Channeling more funding into fossil fuel independent food production methods and sharing the results may be the strongest method to innovate a new path toward to long term benefits, as research results could show the economic and ecological viability of transitioning to these methods. The research conducted to help transition our farming methods to fossil fuel free practices could also help us to become climate resilient and climate solution oriented agriculture.   Providing Support for Farmers to Transition to Less Fossil Fuel Dependent Methods The biggest challenges to transitioning to more sustainable farming methods are financial barriers, maintaining profits, and lack of knowledge in sustainable farming methods (Drost et al., 1996; Kheiri, 2015; Sussmann & Feeney, 2015). Financial support should favour the transition to small-scale, sustainable farms instead of large-scale conventional farms. Instead of subsidizing the use of chemical fertilizers, financial support from the provincial and federal government should favour the use of sustainable practices, such as cover cropping and applying manure, amongst many others. Subsidies to help recover from yield losses, such AgriStability, AgriInsurance, and AgriInvest from Agri-food Canada, should also favour small scale farms instead of large-scale farms. Organizations such as Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC and BC Agriculture Council have recognized the importance of environmentally sensitive farming techniques and have begun to distributing financial incentives for farms to become more environmentally sustainable.  “Letting pigs do the digging, [and let the] chickens do the scratching.” – Joel Salatin, a non-conventional livestock farmer and lecturer    33  Educational institutions, agricultural sector organizations, government, and NGOs should educate food growers how to farm sustainably. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that education has a significant positive effect on the adoption of alternative farming methods (Caswell et al., 2001). In BC, educational institutions, agricultural sector organizations and NGOs (such as the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust Fund, and BC Agriculture Council) are already teaching and doing outreach to educate and promote sustainable farming methods.  Objective 2: Increasing the Number of People Involved with Food Production   The decrease in mechanized work and increase in alternative farming methods will lead to the need for more farm workers. However, due to the decrease in farmer population, many people are unskilled for this type of work. Government education programs will need to be implemented to equip people the appropriate skills needed to succeed in this sector of work. In order to increase the number of people involved with food production at the ownership, operator, and worker levels11, barriers such as financial and social challenges will need to be removed.  Interventions: Government or institutional educational programs In response to the deficit of skilled workers in food production, government and educational institutions should implement educational programs to teach current and prospective farmers how to produce food. In order to increase the number of people involved with agriculture and give them the basic skills needed to succeed in growing food, it will be                                                      11 Farm ownership, operator, and workers include individuals who own farms, individuals that are responsible for the management of farms, and individuals that are employed to work on farms.  Permaculture principles 2 “From zoning to labor to food safety to insurance, local food systems daily face a phalanx of regulatory hurdles designed and implemented to police industrial food models but which prejudicially wipe out the antidote: appropriate scaled local food systems.” – Joel Salatin  “I cannot save the world alone. It will take at least three of us” – Bill Mollison  Integrate, rather than segregate Value People Co-operation not competition Plan for disaster   34 important for the government to expose students to food production in primary and secondary school. Another important avenue is apprenticeship and practice, either at individual farms, farming operations at universities, or in community farming operations. Organizations like Young Agrarians, Vancouver Urban Farm Society, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and the University of British Columbia already have resources and networks implemented to connect people looking for farming experience with apprenticeship programs on local farms. Government should provide technical and financial support for these apprenticeship programs. The Vancouver School Board has committed to connecting elementary school children to their food through community garden programs at school (City of Vancouver, 2013). Classrooms plant, grow, and harvest vegetables and fruit in order to learn how to grow food and learn about healthy eating. Two-thirds of Vancouver schools, and a small number of schools in other municipalities, have chosen to implement school gardens (City of Burnaby, n.d.; Delta School District, 2016; Vancouver School Board, n.d.). Organizations like Healthy Eating at School and Growing Young Farmers are also dedicated to incorporating agriculturally focused education into classrooms. To ensure individuals are exposed to agricultural education at a young age, these programs should be integrated into the standard curriculum at all primary and secondary schools.  For current farmers that need information to transition to more sustainable methods, it will be important for research and agricultural sector organizations to collaborate to ensure information is released, disseminated, and made easily accessible for self-study or in workshops (Labour Task Force, 2013). Several institutes are already retraining farmers and ranchers to rebuild healthy ecosystems (Holistic Land Management International, n.d.). Hands on programs that integrate research into farming operations are demonstrating impressive results in increasing biodiversity, improving soils, and managing water, while providing improved profits.  Government agencies should support the collaboration of local agricultural organizations to ensure information is released and made more accessible through self-study programs and workshops (Labour Task Force, 2013). Currently, government, agricultural sector organizations and NGOs, such as BC ministry of Agriculture, Young Agrarians, Smart Farm BC, and BC Farm Fresh, provide resources and share information, and host workshops to teach farmers skills ranging from farming techniques to business management.   Improving Financial Viability of Small-Scale Farming In order to increase the number of people involved in food production, it must be a financially viable and satisfying career. Financial support should be put in place to lessen financial burdens associated with access to land, farming equipment, and operational costs of small-scale stakeholders. This is especially important for the BCLM, as most farms in the region are small to medium scale. Government investments, specifically AgriStability, AgriInsurance, AgriRecover and AgriInvest, banks, and agricultural term lenders must favour these small-scale stakeholders over large scale operations. Currently, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and Farm Credit Canada offer loans, advance payments, and subsidies to farmers under 40 years of age, allocating specific funding for entrant farmers to mitigate the financial burdens of start-up costs (Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, 2014; Farm Credit Canada, 2015).  Incubator farms, such as Farmstart in Ontario and Barrowtown Incubator Farm in Abbotsford, could also help to increase the viability of starting a farming business (Abbotsford Food and Agriculture Connection Table, 2010). The purpose of an incubator farm is to host new businesses that share equipment and resources, reducing the cost of the start-up and allowing businesses to establish a customer base and gain experience in farming. These programs allow   35 farmers to develop viable businesses before moving to permanent locations, thereby reducing risks and large investments into the business.  Shifting Social Paradigms: Farming is an Attractive Career Farming will once again be viewed as a viable and rewarding career. Through government and agricultural sector promotion and outreach, residents of the BCLM can be shown the number of employment opportunities that exist in agriculture. In addition, outreach programs can help demonstrate that each of the opportunities allows individuals to make an acceptable wage, and that work in the agricultural sector fosters growth and development in employees’ careers.   Organizations such as Young Agrarians, BC Young Farmers Association and Vancouver Urban Farming Society have been changing this social stigma and advocate for getting younger people involved with farming. They host networking events, attend community events to raise awareness, provide useful resources on their web page, share employment and volunteer opportunities, and have active social media presences. These organizations also highlight the inspiring tales of farming: the dedication and love farmers have for their work, the ability to apply one’s self and use problem-solving skills, and the perks of being your own boss. Continuing to support and increase the efforts of these organizations can encourage others to get into farming. “Too often, parents whose children express an interest in farming squelch it because they envision dirt, dust, poverty, and hermit living. But great stories come out of great farming” – Joel Salatin    36 Transportation  Introduction Fossil fuel use for transportation could be reduced significantly by taking measures to reduce the region’s dependence on transportation. Any disruption to the ability to transport food will threaten the 42% of the BCLM’s food supply that is imported (Ashmead & Zbeetnoff, 2009). Therefore, reducing the region’s reliance on imports is imperative to making the food system more resilient to the effects of decreasing fossil fuel availability. The most important changes that need to be made in order to significantly reduce the region’s dependence on fossil fuels for transport are efforts to grow food closer to its location of consumption, a subsequent improvement of local distribution networks, and a reduced reliance on inefficient trucks and aircraft used to transport any food that cannot be produced locally.  Objectives: 1. Raise awareness about local food production. 2. Shift consumption to local food 3. Strengthen local food distribution 4. Decrease imports arriving via inefficient transport.  Objective 1: Raise awareness of the benefits of localizing food production    It is unlikely that major programs to increase local food consumption and production in the Lower Mainland will be successful without the widespread support of the region’s inhabitants. Therefore, any substantive moves towards localization will likely be preceded by an increased awareness among the residents of the Lower Mainland about the importance of eating locally produced food. The main objectives of these programs should be to encourage more people in the Lower Mainland to buy locally produced food whenever possible. Once there is increased demand for local products, policies that help make local food an easy and convenient choice for consumers will become easier to implement.   Reduce your ecological footprint Food kilometers Develop perennial systems Protect and regenerate landscapes Everything gardens Relative location  Permaculture principles 3   37 Interventions: Initiatives to Encourage “Buy Local” Awareness Programs to educate residents of all ages in the Lower Mainland will need to be developed by municipal governments and NGOs. These programs should seek to educate people on the effects of decreased oil production on the food system, and consequently the importance of supporting local farmers by buying locally produced food. In addition, these programs should emphasize the beneficial effects of purchasing locally produced food on the economies of municipalities in the B.C. Lower Mainland. Educational programs should target youth and university students, while local supermarkets should promote the benefits of buying local produce. The promoted benefits could include an emphasis on the freshness of local produce compared to imported produce in addition to the benefits of reducing import dependence.   In B.C., “farm-to-fork” educational programs for youth already exist, many facilitated by local farmer’s markets (Shore, 2013). These programs help garner support for urban farms; Vancouver has more urban farming projects per capita than any other major Canadian city (Shore, 2013). Currently, the Vancouver School Board is working to increase the amount of urban school food gardens throughout Vancouver. Many other organizations, such as the Young Agrarians society and Farm Folk City Folk, offer programs to teach the principles of sustainable agriculture. Studies have found that education programs that connect children with agriculture have observable positive impacts in their attitudes towards local food (Meehan et al., 2008) The provincial government of B.C. has also spent over $8 million on its Buy Local program, which aims to increase demand for local food products to support local farmers and processors by funding in-store promotions, social media or web campaigns, traditional advertising, or other ideas (BC Buy Local Program, 2016).   Objective 2: Shift Consumption to Local Food    The inevitable increase in fuel prices after peak oil will likely reduce the long-distance transport of food and greatly impede the ability imports to meet local demand (Curtis, 2009). With the proliferation of awareness of the benefits of buying locally, it will become feasible to implement policies to ensure the progress of localization in BCLM. In addition to protecting land dedicated to food production in rural areas, we could use food grown in urban areas, which can come in the form of urban farms, community gardens, and backyard gardens to meet the additional 112,034 ha needed.  Embrace change Zone consciousness Value people Regenerate, redesign, remember Permaculture principles 4   38 Interventions: Protect Agricultural Land: Stricter Regulations on Developing Land in the ALR  As the population of the BCLM increases and land development continues to compete with food production for land, our ability to produce food faces strong socio-economic pressures. In light of the findings that current agricultural land base needs to be expanded (Briggs et al., 2013; BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, 2006), land must be set aside for agriculture and protected in order to increase local food production. The provincial government must renew its commitment to ensure the protection of the ALR by making existing ALR development policies more stringent.   Surveys have found that current and prospective farmers in BC identify the lack of available land as one of the most prohibitive factors to engaging in agriculture in the region (Dennis & Wittman, 2014; Sussman & Feeney, 2015). In addition, it has been found that BC residents largely support the protection of agricultural land in the province to ensure the region has the capacity for local food production (Androkovich, 2013). The same study also found that BC residents strongly support efforts to make laws protecting the ALR stricter and more explicit (Androkovich, 2013).  Increase Urban Agriculture  The dedication of urban spaces to food production and the involvement of residents in food production will be important in increasing the local agricultural land base. British Columbia Lower Mainland municipalities should implement policy infrastructure and provide financial aid to foster and support the growth of urban farming, community gardens, and backyard gardening. A Vancouver inventory project for urban agriculture involved a detailed analysis of potential urban agriculture sites and an analysis of related municipal policies and initiatives. This inventory project identified 77 potential sites for urban agriculture within Vancouver, as well as an additional 639 sites that still need further analysis to determine suitability (Mendes et al., 2008).  Though the total area of these sites is unclear, this indicates that there is significant potential for the expansion of urban agriculture in Vancouver. The project’s conclusions recommended that the city provide support for urban farms, review zoning and policy regulations to help improve the prospects for urban farming, and develop institutions to promote cooperation between relevant city departments (Mendes et al., 2008). As one of the mandates of the Greenest City Action Plan, Vancouver has taken the lead in supporting agriculture in urban areas and has made local food a centerpiece of the economy (City of Vancouver, 2013). In doing so, the city has 114 urban farms and community spaces as of 2013 and is anticipating significant continued expansion (City of Vancouver, 2013). Following Vancouver's example, the BCLM municipalities should use systems thinking and collaboration to expand upon their regional urban agriculture plans. The City of Vancouver has already created guidelines for how to move forward with expanding urban agriculture, as well as policies outlining the approval and licensing process (Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, 2015).          39 Objective 3: Strengthen Local Food Distribution    Currently there is a high demand for local food in the BCLM, but the flow of products from suppliers to retailers is constrained by the inadequate local distribution system, especially for small and medium-sized farms (Stott et al., 2014). The current food distribution system is dominated by large wholesalers and distributors who promote imported foods; in fact, restaurants and hotels in the BCLM are supplied almost exclusively by two large food distribution companies (Hild, 2009). Both local retailers and local farmers have expressed frustration with the lack of an adequate distribution system for local food in the Lower Mainland (Stott et al., 2014). Current problems that retailers face in attempting to supply local food include a lack of communication between farmers and buyers, occasional “shorts”12 buyers having to place orders from a high number of farms, and an inability of local farmers to provide the variety and volume of ordered products year-round (Stott et al., 2014).  Interventions: Create a Central Organization Representing Local Suppliers in the BCLM In order to address these problems, wholesale buyers of local food need easier access to local suppliers, which could be provided by a central organization representing local suppliers (Stott et al., 2014). Ideally, such an organization could eventually compete with the large distributors that currently dominate the supply of food in the BCLM. Therefore, municipal governments should help facilitate the formation of such an organization. This could help farmers coordinate what they are growing so they can meet buyers needs and therefore avoid “shorts”, and allow farmers to manage orders so that shipments can be made with less vehicle trips in total (Stott, et al., 2014).   A survey of local food retailers in the BCLM that have made connections with small to medium-sized local farms found that these retailers are more effective at preparing for the coming growing season than local food suppliers working through the mainstream distribution network. This is because retailers with direct connections are able to better coordinate food production with their specific business needs (Stott et al., 2014). Therefore, if an organization could be created that helps local food suppliers establish closer relationships with local farms, similar results could be expected.                                                       12 A “short” is when buyers order more than farmers can supply. Relative location Co-operation, not competition Zone consciousness Fair share Plan for disaster Integrate not segregate Permaculture principles 5   40 Promote Geographic Clustering of Local Food Suppliers   Municipal governments should promote geographic clustering of businesses that supply local foods by developing institutional frameworks that strengthen links between such businesses (Beckie et al., 2012). Though the government of BC has shown interest in the development of regional food clusters, this interest has largely been aimed at large-scale producers and distributors (Beckie et al., 2012).   There is evidence that geographic clustering of retailers of local food could help scale up alternative food distribution networks that support local farmers (Beckie et al., 2012). Through collaborative and competitive forces, clustering can help individual firms and markets grow and give retailers of local foods a collective competitive advantage (Beckie et al., 2012). It has been observed that clustering of local food suppliers is already occurring to some degree in the BCLM, especially among farmers markets (Beckie et al., 2012).   Objective 4: Decrease Imports Arriving via Inefficient Transport It will not be possible to entirely eliminate all imports, as there are important elements to a healthy diet, like carbohydrates from wheat and grain, which cannot be supplied locally. Therefore, efforts should be taken to reduce the percentage of imports arriving to the BCLM by inefficient modes of transport. In addition, efforts to reduce the BCLM food system’s dependence on inefficient local food transportation could also play a significant role in further reducing the system’s fossil fuel consumption.  Interventions: Decrease Air and Truck Transport of Imported Food The provincial government should implement policies to increase the proportion of imports arriving to the BCLM by marine and rail shipments as these methods of transport are significantly more energy efficient than air or truck transport (Curtis, 2009). Funding should be directed towards increasing the capacity of rail and marine transport between the BCLM and nearby regions. By increasing the proportion of imports via rail and marine shipments, the BCLM’s dependence on energy-inefficient transport can be reduced. In addition, subsidies should be given to local distribution companies to aid in the purchase of energy efficient trucks, as local shipments via truck will still be necessary.  The inefficiency of truck and air transport is well documented. It has been observed that truck transport requires 13 times more energy than marine or diesel rail transport and that air transport requires at least 50 times more energy than marine or diesel rail transport (Curtis, 2009). In addition, truck transport consumes 0.34 kcal/kg of food per kilometer and air transport consumes 6.61 kcal/kg of food per kilometer (Pimentel et al., 2008). For imports to the BCLM from southern California13, this would translate to approximately 580 kcal/kg of food for truck                                                      13 Approximately 1700 kilometers from Central Valley to the BCLM Decreasing food miles Design innovation Urbanize food production Food zones Permaculture principles 6   41 transport and 11,000 kcal/kg of food for air transport. Therefore, a reduction in these two modes of fossil-fuel intensive transportation should be made.    Storage  Introduction  Another way that fossil fuel dependence could be reduced in the BCLM’s food system is through a reduction in total energy consumed for food storage. Because electricity prices are expected to rise with fossil fuel prices, a reduced dependence on electricity use could allow food storage facilities to more easily withstand an oil crisis. One of the most important ways to reduce energy use for food storage would be through a reduction in the overall need for food storage. This could be accomplished by increasing demand for products when they are in-season, so as to reduce the need to store food for months beyond its harvest time. In addition, there is a great potential for reducing total energy use in food storage through emerging energy efficient technology.   Objectives: 1. Increase in-season consumption. 2. Reduce energy in food storage.  Objective 1: Increase In-season Consumption  Energy is used for the refrigeration of foods that are transported long distances. These foods are often transported long distances because they cannot be grown at a particular time of the year in the region to which they are shipped. Therefore, initiatives to increase the consumption of certain foods while they are in-season could greatly reduce the amount of energy required for refrigeration of out-of-season foods.  Interventions: Incentivize In-season Consumption Municipal governments should implement policies that direct subsidies to local food producers to decrease the price of in-season crops, therefore increasing the consumption of these crops. Such subsidies should be especially generous for crops produced through the winter in the BCLM, as the variety of winter crops is relatively low compared to crops that can be grown in the summer. Therefore, maintaining local consumption in the winter will require winter crops in the Lower Mainland to be especially price competitive with imported foods.  Embrace change Value culture Conscious of patterns Slow food Urbanize food production Permaculture principles 7   42 A study in Indonesia that examined the effects of programs to increase “lean-season14” consumption had encouraging results. The study looked at the effects of credit programs that effectively acted as subsidies for in-season consumption during the “lean season” and found that these programs were fairly successful at increasing in-season consumption (Basu & Wong, 2015). This study could serve as an example for implementing similar programs in the British Columbia Lower Mainland.  Objective 2: Reduce Energy in Food Storage  Because the British Columbia Lower Mainland cannot produce enough variety of food to sustain its population throughout the year, a considerable amount of out-of-season and imported foods will still need to be stored. There are many measures that can be taken to make cold-storage facilities in the BCLM more energy efficient. Since the 1950s, the energy efficiency of refrigeration systems has improved dramatically (Garnett, 2007). Further technological advances and the re-introduction of traditional practices of passive cold storage could be utilized to maintain the adequate shelf life of produce.  Intervention:  Incentivize Adoption of Energy Efficient Cold Storage The provincial government should incentivize the adoption of energy efficient and passive cold-storage technology. In addition, research and development in refrigeration efficiency, particularly passive cooling systems, should be promoted; passive cooling systems have been used around the world for centuries and can often keep buildings significantly cooler than the outside environment with no external energy use (Bahadori, 1978). Subsidies should be given to cold storage facilities as well as food retailers that depend on cold storage for utilization of the most efficient refrigeration technology at home and in refrigeration facilities.   One study investigating the energy saving potential of seven cold storage facilities in California found that upgrades to refrigeration systems could have major implications for energy efficiency. The study determined that a combined total of 1,441,000 KWh (about 1.2 million kcal) could be saved per year for each large food storage facility if energy-efficient systems and technology were implemented (Hackett & Chow, 2005). The study also found that these systems would have a maximum payback time15 of only 6 years (Hackett & Chow, 2005). This relatively short payback time should help to encourage storage facilities to invest in these energy-efficient systems.                                                      14 “Lean season” is analogous to the winter season in the BCLM. 15 Payback time is the amount of time it takes to obtain the total return from investments.  Smart energy planning Urbanize food production Relative location Get creative Permaculture principles 8   43 Processing  Introduction  The use of electricity could also be reduced significantly in the food processing industry. Promising technological innovations are being developed to increase the energy efficiency of food processing. An additional processing goal is to strengthen the local food processing industry to support local farmers and reduce the dependence on non-local food processing. This could increase the overall resiliency of the BCLM’s food system forging closer relationships between food producers and processors.  Objectives: 1. Increase energy efficiency in food processing 2. Increase cooperation between food processors and small-scale, local farmers  Objective 1: Increase Energy Efficiency in Food Processing  By increasing the energy efficiency of food processing in the BCLM, the energy involved in this part of the food system can be reduced. Many advances have been made in recent years in food processing operations that have significantly increased efficiency, but further optimization is feasible. Some examples include energy efficient blanching, pulsed electric field pasteurization (PEP), radio frequency drying, and evaporator fan controllers for cold storage (Lung et al., 2006). It is estimated that emerging technologies such as these could reduce annual energy consumption in the U.S. food processing sector by up to 500 billion kcal (Lung et al., 2006). Using the same energy savings that have been accomplished in the US, the 1,200 food processing facilities in the BCLM could collectively save up to 19.2 billion kcal (Ashmead & Zbeetnoff, 2009; Lung et al., 2006).  Interventions: Incentivize Energy Efficient Food Processing Systems In order to facilitate the progress of technological advancement in the food processing industry, the provincial government should give grants to researchers and engineers in the field. In addition, policies should be created that establish subsidies for food processors that implement energy efficient systems in their facilities and manufacturers of the materials required for these systems.  It is important to note that even though there are upfront costs to switching to more energy efficient food processing technologies, these investments will be paid back relatively quickly in most cases, and the energy savings they provide will save food processors large amounts of money. For example, energy efficient blanchers have shown energy savings of 30% - Produce less waste Conscious water use Each function supported by multiple elements Catch and store energy Use waste as input for another process Permaculture principles 9   44 70% of conventional systems, PEP systems have shown 10% - 18% electrical energy reductions, radio frequency drying has been demonstrated to reduce natural gas consumption by 29%, and fan controlled coolers can reduce electrical energy consumption by up to 50% (Lung et al., 2006). The energy savings offered by each of these systems could result in equivalent financial savings, which could encourage businesses to make the transition to these systems. Objective 2: Increase Cooperation Between Food Processors and Small-Scale, Local Farmers  Small, local food producers face difficulties selling their products to local processors due to a lack of cost competitiveness (Metro Vancouver, 2011). If local food processors in the BCLM could be more profitable, they could afford to buy from small, local farmers and offer lower prices to distributors. This, combined with the aforementioned efforts to break up the distribution oligopoly, would allow for more local food to be produced and sold in the BCLM.  Interventions: Lower Barriers for Small Food Processors  Municipal governments should implement policies that support small food processors and entrepreneurs interested in founding small food processing businesses in the BCLM. Currently, 75% of food processors in the region are small, with less than 50 full time employees (Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation [CEPC], 2010).  As these small food processors grow, they are more likely to purchase products from local farmers at higher prices than large geographically diverse processors, potentially enabling them to be more competitive with these larger processors. (Ashmead & Zbeetnoff, 2009). Currently, the Government of Canada is funding a food processor training program to help increase the workforce in this industry (CEPC, 2010). Ideally, an increase in the number of workers in this industry would help small firms operating in the industry scale up their operations to be more competitive with large food processors.  Incentivize Cooperation Between Processors and Local Farms The federal government and provincial government of BC should make tax credits available to food processors and related businesses that support small to medium sized local farms (Hild, 2009). This would help incentivize local food processors to buy from local farmers, and potentially increase the viability of community and restaurant supported agriculture. Such tax credits could thereby increase the availability of locally grown food in retailer stores. Start small Co-operation not competition Integrate, rather than segregate Regenerative design Get creative People care Permaculture principles 10   45 An urban food hub is being established in Vancouver to support local farmers and processors. This urban food hub provides facilities and educational programs to support small-scale farmers in value added processing and marketing (City of Vancouver, 2013). Many organic food distributors throughout the BCLM support direct sales to consumers by informing small-scale farmers how to best prepare their products for processing or for direct sales to consumers (Hild, 2009). Pioneers like Discovery Organics help small-scale farmers get their products to market, either through food processing companies or through community and restaurant supported agriculture programs (Hild, 2009). Studies have found that farmers who have CSA contracts generally have significantly higher returns per acre than those that do not (Hild, 2009). Therefore, Discover Organics is a good example of a business supporting local farms; such businesses would ideally become much more commonplace with the advent of tax credits for these sorts of efforts.      46 Timeline   By implementing the interventions for the four main sections of the food system, it is possible to overcome the challenges facing the BCLM and obtain a resilient food system outlined in the vision for 2040. Although it is difficult to predict the exact timing for the interventions to take place, categorizing them in short-term, mid-term, or long-term can help visualize the steps and milestones during the transition. The following timeline is an aid to help envision how the transition to a more resilient food system in the BCLM will occur by 2040.    Measures are implemented to strengthen ALR protection. Studies are initiated to expand and preserve more arable land.      Short term  Educational programs enhance awareness about local food production and climate change  Urban agriculture initiatives incorporate financial support and facilitate implementation and expansion of a broad variety of urban endeavors. Research and development is conducted for local alternative farming methods applicable to local conditions, and more efficient transportation, storage, and processing  Local farmers markets increase in number and produce available      Reskilling and outreach programs to encourage and support new farming models.       Mid term Interest and involvement in farming increases An urban processing hub opens in Vancouver, allowing farmers and local food businesses additional opportunities to add value and partner Storage and processing locations increase and are evenly spread in the BCLM More people are involved on farms and in urban gardens In-season consumption increases Increases in local production reduces reliance on imports 2030 World oil production reaches peak  Farming is a financially viable and rewarding career  2030 2020 2016   47     Long term Increased local production and regional trade reduces food vulnerability Production in the ALR depend less on fossil fuels and more on intelligent design and human input  A majority of agricultural practices in the BCLM reduce emissions & help mitigate climate change      2040   48 Conclusion   It is clear that the BCLM’s food system must transition away from fossil fuels in order to become more resilient as our food security is threatened by peak oil and other challenges. The food system will need to be altered substantially by 2040 to avoid a food crisis. This report outlined a possible pathway to transition the BCLM to a more resilient food system by reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.  The Most Important Areas in Which Changes Need to be Made in Order to Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence:   Crop production  The heavy dependence of fossil fuels in conventional crop production is due to the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and fuel for machinery, which account for 50-66% and 16-29% of total energy used on farms, respectively. By reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and fuel for machinery, a large reduction of fossil fuel used in food production can be achieved.    Transportation  Because of the BCLM’s reliance of food imported from long distances, at least 42% of food we consume will be in jeopardy in the event that fossil fuels can no longer be used for transportation. Reducing our reliance on imported foods by increasing local production can strengthen our food system against external shocks.    Storage  Refrigeration in food storage consumes large amounts of energy (1-3MJ/kg of retail food) and is required for each leg of the supply chain for many foods. With rising oil prices, electricity prices are also projected to rise, which can push operational costs up and threaten the viability of businesses. A reduced dependence on storage and electricity use will allow the food system to more easily withstand an oil crisis.  Processing   Like storage facilities, local processing facilities are also vulnerable to increases in electricity costs, as large amounts of electricity (16% of the total energy used in a food system) are also used in food processing. Reducing electricity use in processing will allow processing facilities to be more resilient to peak oil.   Evidence Presented in this Report Indicates that the Suggested Interventions are Feasible  Crop Production  Scientific evidence shows that organic production, as well as human and animal power, can be used to produce food without being dependent on fossil fuels. Support in the research and dissemination of information pertaining to agriculture is already occurring. Many educational institutions, government organizations, agricultural sector organizations, and NGOs   49 are already providing financial support and education in order to encourage farmers to adopt sustainable farming methods, which can extend to decreasing fossil fuel use in agriculture. Interest in increasing the number of people involved with food production has been shown. For example, current agricultural education programs, such as school gardens implemented by the majority of schools in Vancouver with the help of NGOs, show that governments and communities are interested in reskilling students to have basic food production knowledge. In addition, the existence of incubator farms and community supported agriculture, as well as financial incentives from government investments, banks, and agricultural term lenders have been set up to make farming more economically feasible. Agricultural sector organizations are also combatting the negative social stigma around farming as a career, showing that there is support for increasing the number of people involved in food production.   Transportation There is also evidence suggesting that reductions in fossil fuel dependence can be achieved in the BCLM’s food system through interventions focused on decreasing food transportation. For example, current trends towards greater “buy local” awareness in the BCLM through school programs and supermarket promotions suggest that taking further steps to raise awareness of the importance of local food production is possible. In addition, current attitudes towards the ALR in the BCLM suggest that implementing policy to more strictly protect agricultural land is feasible. The increasing popularity of urban agriculture and studies that have sought to assess the potential for increasing urban agriculture in the BCLM indicate that efforts by municipal governments to further facilitate urban agriculture will be well received. In addition, the clear need for a central organization of local food suppliers and the proven benefits of clustering shows that efforts to strengthen local food distribution in these ways could be successful. Finally, it is clear that efforts to reduce the BCLM’s reliance on truck and air transport would greatly reduce the food system’s dependence on fossil fuels based on evidence for the inefficiencies of these modes of transport relative to marine and rail transport.  Storage There is also reason to believe that significant reductions in the vulnerability to fossil fuel scarcity can be achieved in the BCLM’s food system through a reduction in energy consumption for food storage. First of all, evidence from a study in Indonesia suggests that subsidizing in-season produce can be an effective way to increase relative in-season consumption. In addition, studies examining the energy-saving potential of certain emerging systems for food storage indicate that each cold storage facility in the BCLM could significantly reduce their electricity dependence through the adoption of these systems.  Processing Lastly, there is evidence that the effects of fossil fuel scarcity in the region’s food system could be minimized through efforts to reduce energy consumption in the food processing industry. As with food storage, there is evidence that food processing facilities could reduce their energy consumption significantly by using to more efficient technology. Additionally, efforts by the BC government to increase the workforce in the processing industry and efforts to increase cooperation between local farmers and processors show that incentivizing support for local processors is a feasible way to strengthen the industry.    50 There is a need for urgency in the near future as we approach peak oil. Strategies to avoid a food crisis should be implemented as soon as possible to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead. It will require the collaboration of government, industry, communities, and individuals. This will be no small feat, but this report is a starting point.   Limitations and further research  This report is the first step towards planning and transitioning to a more resilient food system in the BCLM. However, further work must be done. In order to make decisions that will create significant and meaningful change, the impacts of each intervention should be quantified in order to prioritize efforts. In addition, other important aspects of the food system, such as meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood should be addressed in order to create a comprehensive transition plan. Working together with Village Vancouver, industries, government, and communities must collaborate and continue to develop this report in order to create a strong plan to build a resilient and just food system.                                    51 Acknowledgements   The authors would like to offer Ann Pacey of the Village Vancouver Transition Society, Professors Sara Harris and Tara Ivanochko, and Teaching Assistant Bernardo Ranieri our sincerest thanks for all their guidance, feedback, critiques, and support throughout this project.      52 References Abbotsford Food and Agriculture Connection Table. (2010). Supporting new small scale farmers   in Abbotsford. Retrieved from Food Secure Canada website: rd.pdf.  Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. (2014). Young and Beginning Farmers. Retrieved 22 March   2016 from: armers/?id=1391690826829  Aktar, W., Sengupta, D., & Chowdhury, A. (2009). Impact of pesticides use in agriculture: their   benefits and hazards. 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