Road Map Action 32

Advance the development and stability of local food system providers through access to appropriate business skill training, mentoring, and capital sources (both for start-up and to scale).

Road Map Timeline: Years 2 - 5

EPE Strategy priority alignments: #21 - Invest in food security-oriented enterprises aimed at increasing food access and gainful employment.

Initiative Name:

Initiative Lead Organization:


Before specific planning for food enterprise supports can begin, there is a need to better understand the nature of Edmonton’s food system: who are the relevant actors; how are the network of actors connected; how the network behaves; what are current barriers preventing progressive development; and opportunities for action.

A Food Systems Mapping Workshop, bringing together a group of people who do not usually collaborate, was held on June 1, 2018 and included participants from:

  • Northlands Agriculture Department

  • The Food Bank

  • Edmonton Community Development Company

  • Chocolates with Flair

  • EPE Indigenous Circle

  • Agricultural Food Council

  • Honest Dumplings

  • E4c

  • Sage

  • Jasper Place Wellness

  • Food4Good

  • City of Edmonton

  • University of Alberta Community University Partnership


  • Edmonton Social Planning Council

  • Indigenous and Global Health Research Group

System mapping is a process that allows groups of individuals or teams to visualise the complementary nature of different perspectives and build clarity and shared understanding of things that are relatively intangible, such as food systems.  

The workshop focused on four areas:

  1. Food Production: focused on the growth and creation of food in Edmonton. The group discussed agricultural production including relevant knowledge advancement, literacy, community development, and government oversight.
  2. Food Processing, Distribution, and Storage: focused on the transformation of raw products into value-added products both at a commercial and community scale. The discussion included storage and distribution.
  3. Food Access: focused on the selling of food, including structures such as restaurants, grocery stores, food markets, etc.
  4. Food Waste and Recovery: focused on the management of the waste that results from overall food systems. This included discussion of organizations that look at creating more efficient packaging processes, managing the waste of food prior to pre-consumption, and managing organic waste.

Areas to explore for enterprise solutions concluded from the mapping process include:

  • Create business development supports for local food entrepreneurs;

  • Develop an Edmonton food hub;

  • Create value out of food waste;

  • Create bridgers/system navigators for small-medium based actors in the local food system;

  • Educate and advocate for local food development;

  • Pursue disruptive distribution pathways;

  • Distribute, market, and promote culturally appropriate food;

  • Incubate technology production that benefits local food system actors.

Specific actions have also been suggested, so further community conversation will be held to aid further progress.

Further conversations to identify where EndPovertyEdmonton, Community-University Partnership (CUP) and other collaborators can provide critical support will be forthcoming.


Public and MEDIA INQUIRY CONTACT: info@endpovertyedmonton.ca

Last Updated: August 8, 2018