Survey says — Kamloopsians want to buy, eat local food
A year-round farmers’ market and changes to zoning regulations for urban farms are two of the suggestions to come out of the city’s first survey for its agriculture-area plan.
The results, released on kamloops.ca last week, look at what food producers, retailers and customers want when it comes to local agriculture.
For all three groups, a year-round market was a key goal, said city planning technician Maren Luciani.
“That was one of the items that seemed to come up time and time again,” she said.
Luciani said the survey showed the city needs to give farmers within its boundaries more flexibility when it comes to zoning regulations.
“We have the zoning bylaw and it doesn’t necessarily meet the needs of the local agricultural industry,” she said, adding some land uses allowed by the province’s Agricultural Land Use Commission aren’t supported by the city’s bylaws.
One way to change that might be to bring in a special farm bylaw that could deal with issues like seasonal housing, water management and buffering between farm and non-farm properties.
According to the survey, which was filled out by more than 400 people, there’s plenty of support in the Tournament Capital for local food.
Of the 298 people who filled out the consumer portion of the survey, almost 80 per cent said they try to buy local and frequent farmers’ markets.
Only half of respondents said they try to eat organic.
Kamloops eaters said they’d also be willing to pay more to eat local, with most willing to pay between five and 20 per cent more for the privilege.
Only 18 per cent of those surveyed said they wouldn’t shell out more for food produced here.
Local farmers, meanwhile, said they’re mostly being supported by their neighbours and 70 per cent of growers feel their farming business is successful.