Atlantic Canadian groups have come together to draft a "just recovery" vision for our region, focused on food sovereignty, food security, and strong, vibrant, local food systems. It launches today at You may wish to join as a signatory, either representing an organization or yourself.

FEBRUARY 10th, 2021 - A group of food-focused nonprofit organizations and networks from across Atlantic Canada has developed a shared vision of how our region’s recovery from COVID-19 could strengthen our food systems.

The vision statement is built around ten priorities that address both our region’s pervasive challenge with household food insecurity and the many opportunities for food systems to play a leading role in economic development, community development, and reconciliation. The full statement and the current list of signatories is now available at

This vision statement grew from a series of online conversations between food organizations in the region, facilitated by Inspiring Communities’ “WeavEast” initiative. Through these conversations, it became clear that there are many shared priorities across Atlantic Canada.

“We see a huge potential for our food systems to emerge stronger on the other side of the pandemic,” says Joshua Smee, CEO of Food First NL, a provincial nonprofit organization working on food security issues in Newfoundland and Labrador. “The past year has shown us how quickly change can happen, and we hope to see that flexibility continue.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that actions to build food sovereignty are within our reach”, says Ann Wheatley of Cooper Institute in Prince Edward Island. “Over the past year, we have seen clearly the benefits of localized supply chains as smaller-scale producers found new ways to get food to people. As governments reacted quickly to compensate people who suddenly lost their jobs, they demonstrated both the benefit and feasibility of providing a Basic Income Guarantee. This Food Vision for Atlantic Canada provides a framework for a food system that puts the wellbeing of people and the environment ahead of corporate profits.”

“COVID-19 has exposed the fragility of the globalized food system like never before”, says Justin Cantafio, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia, a non-profit cooperative of over 35 farmers’ markets. “We have a massive opportunity to build vibrant local economies and promote economic recirculation throughout Atlantic Canada, and our local food systems can and should play a critical role in a just recovery”.

“Heading into the COVID-19 crisis, Atlantic Canada held the highest household food insecurity rates among Canadian provinces. We are now forced to deal with both problems at the same time,” says Laura Reinsborough, Network Director with Food For All NB | Aliments pour tous NB. “What lessons can we learn right now? How can we come out of this with a more resilient social system that doesn’t leave so many Atlantic Canadians in a state of constant vulnerability? The Atlantic Food Vision represents a shared understanding and alignment on the issues we're facing, and I'm thrilled to see food organizations across Atlantic Canada putting their heads together to offer solutions.”

Now that the vision statement is posted, other organizations from the region are welcome to add themselves as signatories to it. A form is posted on the website to allow that, and signatories will be added to an informal group that will continue to share ideas in the months ahead.

For more information or to schedule interviews, contact:

Laura Reinsborough
Network Director
Food For All NB
(506) 459-7773 ext. 207

Justin Cantafio
Executive Director
Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia

Ann Wheatley
Cooper Institute

Joshua Smee
Food First NL
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