01/29/2013 09:57 EST | Updated 03/31/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver urged to adopt local food strategy

Vancouver city council opened discussion this morning on the city adopting its own food strategy.

A report was presented to council Tuesday recommending the city fast-track the opportunities for growing food locally. The plan outlines actions for the city to improve urban farming infrastructure, including creating more community gardens and improving access to locally grown food.

Planners from the project faced questions from council on issues like funding for the project and accessibility.

City social planner James O'Neil explained why council should adopt the strategy.

"It helps us become a global leader in urban food systems," he said. "It'll help us meet and exceed our greenest city action plan targets. It'll provide better integration and alignment with system goals, including building a healthier city."

Tara MacDonald with the Vancouver Farmers’ Markets is delighted the city is making local food a priority.

“We are really thrilled that the city’s vision — they are hitting it on all different levels,” she said. “They are all looking at it systematically, and how we can bring our food back home, close to home, to really make a difference?”

Speakers for the report will continue Wednesday, when council is expected to vote on the motion.