An interview with Joanne Bays, National Director, Farm to Cafeteria Canada
In May, nearly 300 leaders from across North America gathered in Victoria BC to take part in Canada’s first National Farm to School Conference – an event designed to illuminate and inspire activity to get more local healthy foods in the minds and on the plates of students. At the conclusion of the conference Joanne Bays, the National Director of Farm to Cafeteria Canada, was interviewed by Marianne Boire a journalist with 100 °. Marianne sought to capture Joanne’s reflections about the conference and plans for the coming year. A streamlined English version of the interview is available below. A fuller French version is available here.
What was your main purpose with this Conference?
What did that Conference bring to the Canadian Farm to School movement?
Why did you decide to focus on the importance to produce and use evidence? How do you think, or wish, people could use this message on the ground, in schools projects, or advocacy for the Farm to school movement?
What are the next steps for the Farm to School movement in Canada?
What can we learn from the American Farm to School movement?
I believe we should be reaching high with our ask of those in positions of power, insisting on adequately resourced transformative regional and school food systems change – because our children and our planet deserve no less.
What is your dream for the Canadian Farm to School Movement?
- Every child has an opportunity to experience the joy of Farm to School.
- Every school has a garden, a kitchen, a dining and a composting area.
- Every school affords students adequate time to eat.
- Food is acknowledged as an academic subject in curriculum across Canada.
- Every school is an oasis from corporate influence – schools are “food advertising free zones”.
- Every school has a policy to procure and serve as much healthy, local, sustainably produced, minimally processed and packaged foods as possible.
- Every community in Canada has a vibrant, thriving, regional food system that prioritizes the sustainable production, processing, and delivery of foods to schools.
- Akin to the National Health Care Act, the government of Canada works with provincial governments, territories, and indigenous nations, to develop and put in place a national Farm to School Act.