Fall Reflection; Summer Success
As we get into the chilly fall season, we'd like to take a minute to reflect on our successes of the summer. One unprecedented success was the first-ever B.C. Summer Retreat. With support from the Underwater Harvesters Association, the City of Nanaimo, the B.C. Dairy Association, the Real Estate Foundation of B.C., Vancity and the Vancouver Foundation and many other supporters, Meal Exchange hosted the B.C. Summer Retreat this past August in Nanaimo, B.C. for post-secondary students passionate about working for just, humane and sustainable food systems through the Real Food Challenge.
Meal Exchange is so thankful for the support of the Underwater Harvesters Association
The Underwater Harvesters Association (UHA) is a non-profit organization aligning geoduck clam license holders across the BC coast. As an indigenous species with slow maturation rates, special care must be taken to maintain the sustainability of the geoduck fisheries. The UHA, and its members, work hard to meet and succeed standards. Divers do more than simply harvest geoduck; in conjunction with the Canadian government, and important stakeholders, contractors conduct regular testing of water quality, surveys of wild populations, and collect data to analyze and determine the most sustainable practices. The UHA is also actively seeking to supplement the geoduck population by seeding appropriate habitats. They set precedent with their innovative approach which holds the viability of the ocean as paramount, while ensuring the security of their partners, and the safety of their customers.
Meal Exchange and the UHA: Partners in Creating Sustainable Food Systems
Meal Exchange and the UHA were first introduced back in 2009 when Celia White, now a Meal Exchange employee, began working with the UHA as a deckhand on a geoduck boat. She saw first-hand how dedicated the industry is to creating sustainable seafood systems and working with First Nations to co-manage the geoduck resource.
The UHA and the B.C. Summer Retreat
The Underwater Harvesters Association has been indispensable in the planning of the first-ever B.C. Retreat. Through their support, Meal Exchange was able to make the Retreat accessible to dozens of participants across B.C. and include content on sustainable seafood, including a hands-on workshop about aquaponics greenhouses. Meal Exchange is so grateful to partner with organizations that share our values, such as the UHA, to shape the future of sustainable food systems in Canada.