FREDERICTON – Green Party Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries critic and MLA for Kent North Kevin Arseneau released the following statement today on the government’s new “Local Food and Beverages Strategy: 2021-2025.”
“This is the first time New Brunswick has had a concrete local food strategy, so it’s a good first step. It comes after Greens have been pushing for a strategy for six years, since Green Party leader David Coon first tabled his Local Food Security Act bill in 2015. I am pleased to see that the strategy finally includes a definition for local food and that the government is admitting that there are economic opportunities in increasing food self-sufficiency.
However, ultimately the merit of the strategy will be judged on how it is implemented. The Minister must set concrete targets and timelines for government procurement of local food, increasing the area of production for fruit and vegetables, and expanding the number of and distribution of abattoirs.
Food sovereignty in New Brunswick cannot happen if we continue to hand over our food system to corporate monopolies and encourage industrial practices. Instead, the government must support small and medium-scale farmers and encourage cooperatives and local autonomy over our food systems.
I look forward to working with the Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries to ensure that this strategy is implemented in a way that benefits New Brunswick farmers, harvesters and consumers.”