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Local and sustainable foods for City facilities

Kids eating locally-made popsicles at a park concession stand

Purchasing local and sustainable food supports City goals to reduce greenhouse gases, increase food security, improve health and well-being, and create local green jobs.

As a food purchaser, we lead by example by encouraging local and sustainable products in our food choices.

We have been learning from stakeholders, industry experts, and pilot projects about how to best define, purchase, track, and report local and sustainable food.

How we define local and sustainable food

Local food

To the City of Vancouver, local food is raised, grown, produced, or processed within BC.

Sustainable food

We define sustainable food as food that is certified and labelled as at least one of the following:

  • CFIA organic
  • USDA organic
  • Non-GMO Project
  • Food Alliance
  • Protected Harvest
  • BC SPCA
  • Fair Trade
  • Fair for Life (Fair Trade)
  • Rainforest Alliance
  • Ocean Wise
  • Sea Choice (green rated products)
  • Marine Stewardship Council (Blue Eco-Label)

This list may vary as certifications change or new certifications are created.

How we track and report food procurement

City staff track and report to Council and the public on three main metrics:

  1. Local food purchased
  2. Sustainable food purchased
  3. Local and sustainable food purchased

How we procure local, sustainable food

We evaluate food procurement proposals on three sustainability-related qualities:

  1. Reduced carbon footprint
  2. Ecological, humane, and socially responsible
  3. Healthy and fresh

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Learn about programs and incentives you can take advantage of to reduce energy use, save money, and make your business operations more sustainable.

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Learn about a local food pilot project

How you can choose local foods

A group making food together

Buying and sharing local food

You can reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy fresher foods when you shop local. Find farms, stores, markets, and restaurants that are committed to foods produced close to home.