Impressions from Canada’s conference on Climate Action in Food Systems

Date:  10/31/2019

Last week, I attended an interesting conference in Kelowna, British Columbia, in support of our Canadian distributor which was one of the conference sponsors.

Kelowna is in BC’s Okanogan valley, a region of beautiful orchards and vineyards. Though it might seem rather far north – they produce some fabulous red wines in the Okanogan.

But what most fascinated me about this conference was that farmers and chefs and others interested in food production came from all across Canada to learn about regenerative farming practices.  Celebrity chefs from Kelowna and Toronto and a restaurant farm manager from Prince Edward Island explained why they appreciate the quality of food from local farms and that they support farms that practice regenerative and organic farming.

Capturing carbon from the air and returning it to soil is an important solution for climate change.  Sustainable Grain organized the conference to advance the knowledge of "the vital link between soil health, human wellness and climate change."  Regerative farming practices have great potential.  For example, we learned that decaying roots add more carbon to the soil than crop residues.

One theme was that government should offer incentives to encourage a transition to farming that replenishes soil organic matter and otherwise improves the soil. And that’s starting to happen in the US and Canada. 

Dave DeVries of Ag Solutions and I agree that’s helpful.  But we also believe that farmers appreciate the benefits of better farming practices even without incentives. Farmers will adopt regenerative practices when they see the benefits in soil quality, crop quality and also profitability.  He’s shown that at scale on huge farms in the prairies and also in Ontario – with programs that include Pacific Gro, SeaCrop, humic acid, microbes and soil nutrient correction.

Warren Shoemaker, Marketing Director