Letters to the editor.

LETTER: Correcting the record on food production

I would like to submit a correction of my quote in the article “COVID-19 shines light on Yukon’s food insecurity issues” published in the July 15th Yukon News.

The quote reads “The Yukon only produces, being generous, about 10 per cent of the foodstuffs it needs to support the population…”

I would like to take this opportunity to correct myself, and to speak briefly on Yukon food production. Our current reports and numbers put Yukon Food Production between one to three per cent of our needs.

The Yukon Government 2020 Yukon Agriculture policy states that “achieving double digit production is seen as an achievable 10-year goal.”

We are not there yet! According to the Yukon Agriculture Association, when it comes to calculating food production, most of our numbers are drawn through registered agriculture in terms of the numbers of farms, usable acreage, and annual production/sale reports.

But not all the farmers participate in surveys, and small- scale farmers are often not even contacted even though they may produce quite a bit of food. This also does not account for the gardeners, the berry and mushroom pickers, the hunters and fisherman or people who have a small greenhouse or hens in their backyard. Painting a fully accurate picture of Yukon Food production may be tricky, but we can see across the territory that people care about and recognize the importance of where our food comes from.

With the support of everyday Yukoners as well as the hard work of our dedicated farmers, we are making a difference and will continue to do so.

According to the Yukon Agriculture Policy: “Over the last decade, the total amount of land under cultivation and number of farms in Yukon has grown, along with livestock and vegetable production…In 2016, vegetable and fruit production peaked at a 20-year high in terms of number of acres and farms in production.” To participate in the discussion or learn more, please contact us at foodnetworkyukon.ca Thank you for the opportunity to correct the record.

Chris Pinkerton,

YE Food Security Network Coordinator – Food Network Yukon

Letters to the editor