We envision a vibrant, just and sustainable food system* where:
- all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, nutritious and culturally-acceptable food for an active and healthy life;
- the principles of ecological sustainability, sustainable livelihoods for food providers, and social justice for all are upheld;
- the local population actively participates in the decision-making processes related to food at a municipal, regional, and national levels;
- people have the desire, opportunity, and means to actively engage in all aspects of the food system; and
- food is celebrated as central to both culture and community.
* The food system consists of all processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population: growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food and food-related items. It also includes the inputs needed and outputs generated at each of these steps.
Just Food’s mission is to work towards vibrant, just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region*.
* The bulk of our work is in the City of Ottawa and through partnerships expands to include our buy local region of Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec, and beyond.
Our mandate includes the following goals:
- To enhance ongoing access to healthful food, for everyone in the Ottawa region.
- To increase access to locally, ethically, ecologically grown, harvested, raised, and processed food for all
- To support the localization of the food system in partnership with existing and new food providers, producers, processors, etc.
- To nourish partnerships between and amongst individuals, community organizations and others across the food system. In particular, we work to serve the interests of:
– Eaters, with an emphasis on people marginalized by poverty and/or other factors* and;
– Rural and urban food providers.
- To develop, link, promote and support local food and food-related initiatives (including health, agriculture, environmental sustainability, social justice, youth, climate change, and biodiversity initiatives, amongst others) in the Ottawa region.
- To act as a community food hub, actively engaging individuals and communities in working and creating a space where people can build knowledge and skills related to food.
- To engage the broader community and decision-makers in food issues, in order to promote linkages between all partners in the food chain, from field to table.
- To produce public information and educational materials on food issues.
* These might include gender, race, ethnicity, age, ability, etc., and the unique ways in which they combine.
Statement of Values
The following values guide our decisions, actions and behaviours. We strive to:
- Promote a view of food as key to human identity and community and that advocates localized food systems as key to achieving environmental sustainability and social justice.
- Base our work in a systems approach that recognizes the interdependence and equal importance of working towards a local food system and healthy food access for all.
- Respect the mutuality and diversity of interests of the people and groups with whom we work.
- Work from a basis of trust, mutual understanding and respect, cooperation, equity, integrity, transparency, reliable information and visionary leadership.
- Use consensus-based decision-making processes.