Farms 2 Chefs event key economic booster

Showcases like Farms2Chefs are a window of opportunity for improving domestic economies, the NDP's agriculture critic said Sunday.

Lana Popham, a former farmer, was in Kamloops Sunday to attend the event at Thistle Farm in Westsyde.

She said agriculture faces a variety of challenges, including climate change and volatile world markets, and events like this are a way to overcome that.

A similar chefs' collaborative on Vancouver Island provided her and other farmers with a stable marketplace that aided in planning and selling crops, she said.

"It was also a really great way for the consumers, who are demanding local food, to see a relationship building that they wanted to buy into as well," said Popham. "It encompassed everybody in the food movement."

Industrial farming brought society to a point where food was produced outside of communities, she said. Now the world is reverting to an era where people want to eat what is grown locally.

Farms2Chefs is also representative of the Grow B.C., Feed B.C., and Buy B.C. concept that Popham and NDP leader Adrian Dix are advocating. The plan includes proposals to have the Interior Health Authority purchase food for hospitals from local farmers and growers, and revitalizing the Buy B.C. program.

"People don't just want to know where their food is coming from, but who is growing it," said Popham.

Hosted by the Thompson-Shuswap Chef Farm Collaborative, Farms2Chefs is a "grazing event" featuring small dishes prepared by 19 different restaurants, with the opportunity to find pairings with local wines, beers and mead.

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