The People's Food Commission

Publisher:  Edmonton Learner Centre, Canada
Year Published:  1977
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX429

Connexions has published numerous abstracts on the People's Food Commission.

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1977:

On September 17, 1977, a network of groups concerned about the issue of food from a variety of prespective met in Regina, Saskatchewan. At this meeting, the People's Food Commission was conceived as a vehicle for furthering and maximizing the effectiveness of work done in past years on the food issue. The commission will stress the impotance of input from ordinary people. The public will be asked to voice their concerns and contribute their research related to food problems and alternate ways of organizing the economy to meet the needs of people.

National commisssioners will provide continuity by representing the commission in all areas of Canada and regional commissoners will be selected for their experience in a particular region or expertise in a particular aspect of the food issue. The commission will travel to communities across Canada where national and regional commissoners will hear evidence on the experience of Canadians with the food system as it operates nationally and internationally.

The Commission will encourage evidence in the form of written and verbal presentations as well as slide-tapes and pamphlets. The hope is to make the commission easily accessible to the public and to draw on the experience and creativity of people who are concerned about food issues.

From the evidence presented, the commission will produce a report in popular form, systhesizing the inputs they have received. This might later be presented to the government as a "People's Food Policy." In any case, it will be circulated among the participating groups, thus broadening the understanding of each contributor. As the Commission travels, there will be a major effort to gain press coverage and public interest.

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1978:

Page one of this tabloid invites all Canadians to participate in a Cross Canada inquiry into the food system which began in October. This particular inquiry differs from the many government inquiries and commissions in the past, inasmuch as it will examine areas of common interest that can serve to unite, rather than divide, farmers, fishermen, workers, consumers and third-world people (CISS 429) .
The people's food Commission (PFC) aims at allowing those directly involved in the growing, processing, transporting, selling and eating of food to share their experiences. As the 65 or more hearings among the local working groups across the country progress, areas of common concern will be identified and work will begin on resolving these issues by means of specific follow-up actions.
This tabloid describes what will be happening at the hearings and how the reader can participate. The names and addresses of contacts in each major region of Canada are listed .There is also a sketch of the commissioners who will be conducting the hearings. The piece concludes with a list of supporting organisations and resource materials.

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1980:

This regional tabloid is based on the Ontario hearing of the People's Food Commission (PFC). It includes impressions of the process highlights from the hearings, examples of follow-up action, a book review, and a current up-date on food issues as they surfaced in the press over the summer of '79.

There were about 200 organizers working to make the PFC a reality in Ontario. Over 320 submissions were made and over 1600 attended the hearings. A sampling of highlights from several Local Working Groups follows below.

In Toronto, many of the briefs echoed themes brought up at other hearings across Canada. Junk food and the impact of the food-industry technology on nutritions were common concerns, as were skyrocketing food prices, the disappearance of farm lands, and the manipulation of consumers by food advertising. It became clear that food production is dominated by the economic power of agribusiness. Profit, not people's needs, is the organizing principle.

In Kingston it was noted that unless we make self-sufficiency a priority we will find ourselves in a position of dependence on products and prices outside our country and control; self-sufficiency helps our local economy, provides fresher and more nutritious food and makes us less vulnerable to supply problems.

In Sudbury, action rising out of the hearing included the investigation of food at local nursing home and the creation of a food committee by the group, Women Helping Women.

The London Group is following up the hearings with a number of "food fairs" that will include displays of local produce, methods of preserving, natural food cooking and tips on finding your way through a modern supermarket. A main theme of this effort will be directed buying from local producers.
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