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Food and sustainable food systems

Creating a system for producing, processing, distributing, and consuming food that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable is a City priority.

In fact, one of the main goals of the Greenest City initiative is to become a global leader in urban food systems by 2020. 

To achieve this goal, we have started a number of major food initiatives. Council is working to:

  • Establish partnerships with private businesses, non-profit groups, and volunteers
  • Develop innovative new policies and regulations to create a sustainable food system
  • Increase public awareness of the link between local food and a healthy environment
  • Invest in urban food projects through grants and funding
  • Increase city and neighbourhood food assets by 50%

You can help, too. Learn how to create a healthy, sustainable food system that benefits people, the local economy, environment, and development of our city.

Vancouver Urban Farming Census

The Urban Farming Census provides a unique study of the growing urban farming sector in Vancouver. The in-depth research shows the growth of land in production, employment, and food sales from 2011 to 2016.  

Highlights of the study include: 

  • 13 self-identified urban farm operations
  • 7 acres of urban land under food production
  • $750,000 in food sales in 2016
  • 35 FTE jobs created by urban farms in 2016
  • 15,000 residents involved in farming and food activities on just 4 farms 
  • 0 complaints from Vancouver residents about negative impacts of urban farms

Read the full Urban Farming Census PDF file (3.18 MB)

Building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system

Farmers market shopper and vendors

Vancouver Food Strategy

The Vancouver Food Strategy is a plan to improve our food system, making the city more equitable, sustainable, and economically healthy. Learn more, and get involved.

Eating locally and well

city hall community garden

Growing food

Vancouver supports and promotes growing local food, through community gardens and other urban agriculture initiatives, promoting sustainability, and building stronger communities.

A group making food together

Buying and sharing local food

You can reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy fresher foods when you shop local. Find farms, stores, markets, and restaurants that are committed to foods produced close to home.

Participants in Vancouver Food Strategy consultation

Getting involved with local food issues

Find out how you can get involved in improving your community's food system, and help shape the City of Vancouver's food policies.

city hall community garden

Finding places to grow, buy, and learn about food

Vancouver Coastal Health has led the development of this food asset map to highlight places where people can grow, prepare, share, buy, receive, or learn about food.

Keeping your food and drinking water safe

Local squash

Food and your health

Find out how the City of Vancouver and other organizations work together to ensure the food we eat and Vancouver's drinking water supply are safe.

Managing food waste

A group making food together

Prevent food waste

Get tips to prevent food waste at a food-related business and for donating food to charitable organizations.

Man emptying a container into an on-site composting system

Recycle food scraps at your building or business on-site

Recycling food scraps at your multi-unit residential building or business can save you money on disposal fees and create compost for landscaping. Find out if on-site organics management systems suit your needs.

News from the Vancouver Food Policy Council


The Vancouver Food Policy Council is a citizen committee working to help improve food sustainability in the city.

Visit their blog to learn about their latest work.

Read the blog 

What feeds us: Vancouver Food Strategy

Read the Vancouver Food Strategy, and learn how Vancouver is building a healthy, accessible, sustainable food system.

Download the pamphlet

Download the strategy

National Food Policy

In September 2017, we submitted a response to the National Food Policy consultations.

Read our submission  (500 KB)

Read the Federal Government's response  (115 KB)

Finding places to grow, buy, and learn about foodVancouver Food StrategyGrowing foodBuying and sharing local foodStreet food vendingGetting involved with local food issuesFood and your health