Local and sustainable foods for City facilities

Kids eating locally-made popsicles at a park concession stand

Purchasing local and sustainable food supports the City's and Park Board's 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
  • 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

Buying, sharing, and accessing food

Learn about options for accessing food at markets, free or low-cost food programs, and community kitchens or starting programs in your community.

On-street and park recycling

Where to find zero waste stations in the West End, Downtown, and at City parks and beaches, and how to use them.