Cheap food is misleading

Here on Vancouver Island we have the second most expensive farm land in Canada, next to the Fraser Valley.

As a local farmer, food producer and farm market operator (all products of our own production or 100 per cent Island grown or produced) I could not agree more with 99.9 per cent of reporter Auren Ruvinsky’s recent Thursday Spotlight article about food security.

A statement in the story (“which will make it (food) easier and cheaper to buy”) is totally misleading.

Here on Vancouver Island we have the second most expensive farm land in Canada, next to the Fraser Valley. The only place in Canada with higher input costs is likely Haida Gwaii and farm labour, probably the most important input with food crops, nearly non-existent without importing Mexican workers.

The only real support and encouragement the agricultural industry has received from the federal and provincial governments in the last 50-60 years has been to the large commodity groups for export and the implementation of supply management which over the years has provided stability within those segments of the industry and for those farmers to at least receive their cost of production and hopefully a profit.

Because of an unwritten cheap food policy they (the government) have proven themselves impotent in protecting the Canadian farmer from the ravages of cheaply produced food from the U.S. and other countries, most often dumped onto our markets below our cost of production.

Local food production comes only from the hard work and sweat of totally dedicated farmers, that to a greater degree are quite idealistic and do it as a calling. To say it will come easier and cheaper is misleading.

Colin SpringfordNanoose Bay