UBC Undergraduate Research

Local food awareness week with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm and UBC Food Services Bobb, Samantha; Lehmann, Crysta; McTavish, Justin; Mitchell, Taisha; Simon, Jaclyn; Wu, Michael


Consumers in B.C. and around the world are becoming more interested in local foods because localized food systems benefit farmers, consumers, and the environment (Weatherell, Tregear, & Allinson, 2003; Feenstra, 1997). Despite benefits and interest, there is still a need to increase awareness of food locality, especially on our own UBC campus. In cooperation with UBC SEEDS and LFS 450, our group partnered with stakeholders Shannon Lambie of UBC Farm and Leith Blachford of UBC Student Housing and Hospitality to enhance awareness of local food in general, as well as the local food grown by UBC Farm and sourced by UBC Food Services (UBCFS). We proposed signage as a way to increase awareness and campus support, and from there the project evolved into a weeklong campaign event, Local Food Awareness Week. Our campaign will be a week of promotional activity in the first year residences Totem Park and Place Vanier, and will include information booths, newsletter signups, a photo contest, and promotional visual aids around the residences and cafeterias. Using a community based social marketing approach we took the list of local ingredients sourced by UBCFS, the UBCFS and UBC Farm logos and farmer interviews, and with them we created newsletter, poster, table topper, and shelf talker mockups for our stakeholders. The photo contest will utilize twitter and instagram and involve participants posting pictures of local food related activity, tagging @UBCFarm and @UBCFood, as well as using our campaign hashtag #LocalFoodUBC. We recommend the event be carried out starting next school year in September 2015, using high quality versions of promotional markups. We also recommend future SEEDS projects be focused on following up with our project, analyzing its success and the resulting awareness level among first year students using our mockup staff evaluation and student survey questionnaires.

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