Information Collected and How It Is Used
The information collected through the questionnaire on this website is used for two distinct purposes.
The first section of the questionnaire creates information of use to those seeking to connect with area food producers and to purchase those products. There are core obligatory questions and many that are optional. For instance, a farm or food processor who sells at their place of business will want their physical address listed, while those who only see wholesale will not. The answers to this set of questions will generate the information for both the print and the online version of the Directory. For the Directory, the information provided will be publicly connected to your farm name. The print version of the Directory will be published each spring by the Pennywise Publications, based in Kaslo.
The Central Kootenay Food Systems Assessment
The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council seeks to better understand the production successes and challenges of the farms and food processors in the region. This questionnaire will allow us to obtain a level of detail to complement the other sources such as the Agriculture Census. The information gathered in the second section of the questionnaire will serve multiple purposes:
- to understand the range and volume of food being produced in the area (primary production and processed);
- to assess the market growth opportunities that exist within our region.
- to understand how much of the food produced here remains in the region and what gaps and opportunities exist for local product;
- to understand the regional food systems infrastructure that exists and what is needed;
- to understand economic development opportunities for the agri-food sector;
- To assess opportunities for increased regional food supplies for the region’s emergency food services.
When farmers and food processors complete the questionnaire and update their information annually, it will help us better understand the viability and contributions of our region’s food producers. Knowing how many acres are in field crops or grazing land does not enable us to understand if the particular farms are viable year on year. The annual update of the data sets will also allow us to monitor the health of agri-food businesses in our region and contribute to an analysis of what is necessary to enhance the business opportunities for agri-food entrepreneurs in our region.
Before any analysis will be undertaken, all identifying characteristics will be removed from individual businesses. We will retain, however, the ability to group data by area within the Central Kootenay, such as the Creston Valley, North Kootenay Lake or Nakusp and area.
The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council will collaborate with partners such as Kootenay Employment Services, the Rural Development Institute, Community Futures Central Kootenay, and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University to undertake the analysis and develop appropriate responses. Such responses could include reports highlighting particular needs or opportunities, policy advocacy at the level of the local government or province, or fostering economic development targeted to identified needs.