Toronto, Ontario Food Policy Council

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Toronto, Canada

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


Toronto has long been at the forefront of public health initiatives and food security research. Toronto was one of the originators of, and among the first world cities to sign onto, the United Nations' Healthy Cities movement. In 1991, in the absence of federal and provincial leadership on food security, the City created the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC).

Our Mission:
The Toronto Food Policy Council partners with business and community groups to develop policies and programs promoting food security. Our aim is a food system that fosters equitable food access, nutrition, community development and environmental health.

How We Work:
The TFPC operates as a sub-committee of the Toronto Board of Health. Our members include City Councillors, and volunteer representatives from consumer, business, farm, labour, multicultural, anti-hunger advocacy, faith, and community development groups. As one of the few urban-rural policy development bodies in Canada, we try to bridge the gap between producers and consumers.

The Toronto Food Policy Council has a small staff and modest budget. It has no authority to pass or enforce laws. It's the power of ideas, inspired individuals and empowered communities that gives us influence.

The Council is free to make its own decisions on food policy issues. Staff working with the TFPC are employed by, and responsible to, Toronto Public Health. This innovative and effective arrangement has gained international respect from public health, community food security and sustainable agriculture organisations.

Together, staff and council members serve as catalysts and brokers. We bring people from different organisations together and help them find new ways to solve old problems. The Council is a forum for discussing and integrating policy issues that often fall between the cracks of established departments and research specialities.

Council staff collect hard-to-get information and make it available to students, researchers and community developers. Staff and council members increase public awareness of food policy issues through public lectures and workshops. Staff and members advocate for policy change at the municipal, provincial and federal level.

Over the past 10 years (pdf file size=29KB) the TFPC has been instrumental in putting Food Security and Food Policy development squarely on the municipal agenda in Toronto.