SeedChange, a non-profit that works with farmers in Canada and around the world to save seeds and grow food sustainably, is launching a campaign for a more resilient post-COVID Canadian food supply.
“It’s no secret that the coronavirus is impacting Canada’s food supply,” said Jane Rabinowicz, executive director of SeedChange. “Covid-19 has revealed the importance of being prepared for crisis, and we need to learn from this – and the time to start is now.”
Canadians have seen evidence of this challenge as farmers are forced to dump product, euthanize animals and grocery store shelves sit empty as the distribution system struggles to adjust.
To this end, SeedChange is rolling out its programming with farmers coast to coast to continue improving Canada’s seed security during the pandemic. The organization is enlisting more than 200 farmers across the country this summer to grow sustainable local vegetable seed crops, save seeds at risk of extinction, promote biodiversity, and breed new seed varieties best suited for local climate and soil conditions.
Rabinowicz emphasized that there are also actions Canadians can take to contribute to a more secure and sustainable food system, from supporting local farmers to planting their own vegetable gardens.
To jump-start the process, SeedChange and its partners have made a SeedFinder database available to help the public purchase locally adapted vegetable seeds from farmers in their region.
It can be accessed online at seeds.ca/seedfinder.
The response to date has been explosive, Rabinowicz said, with the organization and its partners receiving hundreds of public inquiries daily.