Our Food System

The Windsor-Essex Food Policy Council brings together representatives from all sectors of the food system – from “grow it” to “throw it”. It aims to connect diverse people with interests in food to work together to improve the food system.

Visit the Windsor-Essex Food Policy Council’s website for more information.

What is a Food System?

A food system includes all the structures and practices involved in feeding those living in our region.

What are the parts of a food system? 

Production is the process of growing and harvesting vegetables, fruit, and other produce, as well as raising animals and insects for food production or pollination.

Processing refers to how we turn fresh produce, meat, fish and other foods into a form that’s ready for sale.

Distribution is the process of transporting and delivering food to wholesale, institutional or other food access points.

Access includes the factors that affect people’s ability to get food. Food insecurity, transportation networks, land planning, and built environment are some examples.

Consumption is how we make food to eat.

Waste Management includes processes for food waste or food surplus. Food recovery, composting, and recycling fall under this section.

Windsor-Essex County Community Food Assessment

In 2018, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and the Windsor-Essex Food Policy Council completed the Windsor-Essex County Community Food Assessment report. This report explored the strengths and needs of the local food system. The report helped to paint a picture of the entire food system, and provides recommendations on ways to improve it. Find it here.

What can a Food Policy Council work towards?

Traditionally there have been many advocates working in silos on individual issues.  A Food Policy Council will create a framework for coordinated and integrated action around issues that affect our local food system.

Some examples of what a Food Policy Council can do in Windsor-Essex are:

  • Reduce barriers and improve access to local food.
  • Work with key partners to develop a food strategy for Windsor-Essex.
  • Provide expert advice to decision makers when food-system related decisions are made.

For more information on Food Systems and Policy, check out Food Secure Canada, an alliance of people and organizations working together to improve food security and food sovereignty.