Sunday, March 3, 2024

UC signs on to Edible Canterbury Charter

The University of Canterbury yesterday signed the Edible Canterbury Charter to support Canterbury’s food resilience.

The Food Resilience Network (FRN), which was formed after the Canterbury earthquakes at a workshop at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC), created the charter to provide guiding principles for collective efforts towards a more food resilient region.

UC Tumu Whakarae | Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey and outgoing Tumuaki | President of the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) Pierce Crowley signed the document in the presence of FRN Chairperson Hayley Guglietta, and FRN committee member Murray James.

“We are delighted to join the Edible Canterbury Charter and support the Food Resilience Network,” Professor De la Rey says.

“The University of Canterbury brings research and learning resources to the project and builds on the goals of our Sustainable Food and Drink Plan, which includes partnership with local organisations.”

Crowley says the UCSA is enthusiastic in its support of the initiative.

“For young people, food security and sustainability are always top of mind – both in terms of the lives we live, and organisations we interact with. This charter helps give effect to a collaborative vision that will empower communities in the Canterbury region to become food resilient into the future.”

Signing the charter formalises UC’s ongoing relationships with local food organisations. This year UC organised a Community Feast with FRN partners as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations, which brought together some 300 people from 60 organisations across the FRN, UC colleagues and members of the homeless community.

Tomorrow, the university will host a research symposium with Community Garden network members who will discuss research ideas with academics from UC and Lincoln University. 

FRN chairperson Guglietta commended UC on joining the charter and hosting the symposium.

“We have been working alongside people at UC for some years and look forward to more collaboration with UC as a member of the charter,” she said.

“There is much work to do to improve Canterbury’s food resilience and together we can share our strengths and make more progress.”

The principles of the charter include accessibility, ecological sustainability, food education, mahinga kai, cultural appropriateness, social enterprise and local economic development, collaboration, and community development. UC joins a large number of signatories, including Christchurch City Council and the Canterbury District Health Board (now Te Whatu Ora).

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