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Food Supply Chain and Year 2000; two other events!

The Food Supply Chain and the Year 2000 problem

What: a one-day forum
When: Sat 10 April, 9am to 5pm (detailed program to follow) 
Where: University of Ottawa, Lamoureux Building, Room 122, the Auditorium
(map will be provided)
Price: FREE, donations appreciated. We want this a wide-open event (please
register in advance)

Also! (same place, details to be confirmed)
Fri 9 April, evening, watch Resilient Communities teleconference video from
8 April
Sun 11 April, full day, followup activities on food and community
preparedness (we have free access to a small auditorium and four classrooms)

Why this forum?
Food transported from other countries, even other provinces, is already
environmentally unsustainable. Soon it may become scarce and expensive, due
to the year 2000 computer problem (y2k). There is risk of hunger and
economic dislocation triggered by y2k, climate change, global economic
problems and fuel shortages. Food production and transport could be
profoundly affected if fuel becomes scarce and expensive. According to
Lawrence K. Gershwin, a U.S. National Intelligence Officer, "the [oil]
industry is fraught with potential Y2K problems... We are [also] concerned
about the shipping of oil products, because ocean shipping and foreign
ports have both been flagged as among the least prepared sectors." 

What can we do?
We need to strengthen the food supply chain in the Ottawa Valley, bring the
food producer and consumer closer together, localize food production and
distribution, and ensure successful future plantings, harvests, processing,
bulk storage and delivery of food under rapidly changing and challenging
living conditions.

How can we do this?
We can propose a food taskforce, and agree upon a public statement on what
first steps Ottawa Valley residents should take in 1999. To get this change
started right away, we could encourage: 

- more urban food gardening this spring
- planting more food throughout the Valley 
- institutions buying locally produced and processed foods
- planting and stocking up on non-hybrid seeds which breed true year after
- creating Regional and Neighbourhood Preparedness Groups to support these
- individuals, families and food banks stocking up NOW while prices are
low, "stressing the system" into producing more food, to reduce the chance
of shortages as more and more people decide to stock up.

Who should come?
We are looking for participants from all over the Ottawa Valley and beyond: 
- farmers and community garden groups
- public institutions such as governments, hospitals and schools
- food bank, social service, food advocacy and other public interest workers
- community associations and y2k preparedness activists
- food distributors/wholesalers and food buying groups
- grocers and restauranteurs

Join us in making this Forum a success. Please see
http://y2k.inode.org/p-bioreg.htm for a Supporting Statement, updates on
this Forum, other citizens groups engaged in sustainable food production,
and an Official Statement on y2k endorsed by attendees of the 19th Annual
Ecological Farming Conference: "Y2K and the Food Supply: A Message from
Concerned American farmers."

Please register in advance, space limited! 
Let us know if you're in Ottawa area and can volunteer! 
Thanks to OPIRG-Ottawa for invaluable assistance.
For more information contact: 

Terry Cottam, President
Y2K Regional Preparedness Group (a citizens group)
y2k-ottawa@inode.org, (613) 236-6433
1004-218 MacLaren St.
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0L7

Visit the Ottawa-Carleton Community Preparedness website 
http://y2k.inode.org (a project of OPIRG-Carleton and OPIRG-Ottawa)
Join email lists for discussion, news and events. See:
http://y2k.inode.org/discuss.htm for archives and subscribe info

Related links:

Notable/Quotable on Agriculture and Food:
Agriculture and Food -- You Are What You Compute

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