Cooper Institute is committed to education and action to promote food sovereignty.
In 2004, Cooper Institute, with the support of the Metcalfe Foundation, invited Anne Bishop to facilitate Citizens' Hearings into Food in three Island communities - in O’Leary, North Milton and Poole’s Corner. We heard from people involved in the production of food, both farmers and fishers. We heard about the challenges consumers face in obtaining healthy food, and the struggle faced by low-income families trying to access even the minimum nutrition they need. We received submissions on the environment, plant-breeders rights and seed patenting, land use, water quality and genetically modified organisms. We were given poetry and original songs; we participated in singing and reflected on our connection with the land, and we were treated to a delicious organic suppers. In November of that year, Anne Bishop presented her report at the Latin America Mission Program (LAMP) Daniel O'Hanley Memorial Lecture. You can read the report here.
In 2011, Cooper Institute, in collaboration with members of the National Farmers Union in PEI produced a brochure describing food sovereignty.
Cooper Institute identifies with the following declaration resulting from the Forum for Food Sovereignty in Mali in 2007. The forum was made up of about 500 representatives from more than 80 countries, of organizations of peasants/family farmers, artisanal fishers, indigenous peoples, landless peoples, rural workers, migrants, pastoralists, forest communities, women, youth, consumers and environmental and urban movements.
Cooper Institute was one of the key organizations involved in the formation of the P.E.I. Food Security Network in 2008. Other organizations involved in the network include P.E.I. Women's Network, the P.E.I. Healthy Eating Alliance, ALERT, P.E.I. People First, P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada, P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities. The FSN can also be found on facebook.
The PEI Food Security Network’s Mission Statement
The PEI Food Security Network is an education and action organization committed to achieving food security in Prince Edward Island. It is dedicated to changing community attitudes and public policy to promote: environmentally appropriate practices for the production and distribution of food; the availability of affordable, healthy, culturally appropriate and personally acceptable food; livable income for producers; the right to food; and PEI self-reliance in food.
Cooper Institute and the PEI Food Security Network are also members of Food Secure Canada
Seeds of Community
Seeds of community is an initiative supported by the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. Through this project Cooper Institute supports the development of knowledge and skills related to community seed sovereignty. One aspect of this work is to support the creation of a decentralized network of seed libraries across PEI. On a seasonal basis, workshops and seed shares are held at Public Libraries in Charlottetown, Breadalbane, and Summerside. For new about upcoming events, please visit the Seeds of Community Facebook page.
Resetting the Table - A Peoples' Food Policy for Canada
The People’s Food Policy Project (PPFP) was a pan-Canadian network of citizens and organizations that created Canada’s first peoples' food sovereignty policy. The document, called Resetting the Table, was updated in 2015:
Marie Burge was an Animator with the PPFP. Animators, who came from all the provinces and territories of Canada, were the face of and driving force behind the People’s Food Policy Project. As such, they were responsible for most of the grassroots organizing related to this project to gather regional interests, priorities, and visions and to represent these to the national project.