Join us

Local and Organic Food - Partnerships

Vancity partners and invests in programs and initiatives through not-for-profits, business associations, educational institutions and governments that:

  • Encourage and support a new generation of farmers
  • Support local food processors grow and develop
  • Support infrastructure, market development & awareness to build a sustainable local food system

Some of our current partnerships include:

Kwantlen Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

  • Farm Schools – The Farm Schools offer practical training programs focused on training new farmers. The programs prepare people with any background for a career in farming. The Tsawassen Farm School, opened in 2015, is a partnership with the Tsawwassen First Nation. First of its kind, the school fuses sustainable agriculture and traditional indigenous food systems as tools to build community and create dialogue around land stewardship for the future.
  • Food Systems Project work – Vancity has supported a number of important projects including the Southwest BC Bioregion Food System Design Project and Best Practices for Farmers' Market Farmers

Foodlands Cooperative of BC

  • Provides resources and support to community groups seeking to place land in trust and/or form land cooperatives to access farmland
  • Establish and manage long-term secure lease agreements with people who commit to active and sustainable food production on the land

Small Scale Food Processors Association – Vancity partners with the SSFPA to provide the Advance Payments Program, a federal government guaranteed loan program that provides cash advances to farmers which allows them the flexibility to base their sales decisions on market conditions rather than their short term cash flow needs. At this time they administer the program for British Columbia vegetable producers, greenhouse operators and fruit growers and Alberta Greenhouse Operators.

Sustain BC - This initiative aims to foster sustainable food systems in BC, using a collective impact / multi-sectoral governance model. It brings food systems leaders together, aligns priorities and coordinates action towards this goal.

UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems – Located at the UBC Farm, this unique research centre aims to understand and fundamentally transform local and global food systems towards a more sustainable, food secure future. Vancity is partnering with them to produce Feeding Growth, an initiative that supports progressive, BC-based food brands and entrepreneurs, nuturing the local food processing sector. Vancity is also supporting the development of a new food & beverage pilot processing facility in the new Centre for Sustainable Food systems building. This project provides critical food science infrastructure, research, and teaching support, ensuring that BC’s sustainable food and beverage entrepreneurs will be able to start and grow their businesses.

Vancouver Farmers Market (VFM) – Vancity worked with FarmFolk CityFolk and the VFM to develop and establish VFM Direct, an online marketing tool to support local farmers sell their produce and enable local businesses to buy local food directly from local producers. VFM-Direct is now working out of the Valley Food + Farm Collective, a not-for-profit organization in Abbotsford working to build a strong local food culture and build direct connections to agriculture.