Real Estate Foundation of BC's $300,000 gift to Kwantlen spurs research into Sustainable Agri-Food Systems

Wed, Feb 22, 2012

For immediate release

Metro Vancouver, BC – (February 23, 2012) – Kwantlen Polytechnic University is delighted to announce a $300,000 commitment from the Real Estate Foundation of BC to support a $1.065 million, multi-year applied research project to design a Bio-Regional Agri-Food Systems Model and Plan for Southwest BC.

The project, a partnership with research scientists at other BC universities, municipalities, farmers, and community stakeholders, will develop a multi-dimensional framework to demonstrate how regional-scale, human-intensive, environmentally sound agriculture and food systems can serve the needs of the bio-region, thereby promoting greater food self-reliance and sovereignty for all British Columbians.

Such a model does not currently exist; therefore, this project creates an opportunity for BC to become a world innovator.

The project is being led by Dr. Kent Mullinix and Dr. Arthur Fallick of Kwantlen's Institute for Sustainable Horticulture. "Our goal is to develop a roadmap and plan with tools and strategies to help BC become more self-reliant in food production, processing and distribution, which, in turn, will protect and preserve farmland, connect people with the land and their food supply, enhance our communities, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, create economic opportunity, and move us further toward a sustainable food future. We are immensely grateful to the Real Estate Foundation for being a catalyst in this important work," said Mullinix.

Jack Wong, CEO of the Real Estate Foundation of BC, commented, "This innovative project has the potential to transform our food systems with economic, social and environmental benefits for all British Columbians. We are pleased to play a leadership role in advancing this critical research agenda".

Kwantlen is fully committed to supporting BC agriculture through investing in research, offering innovative education and creating a platform for stakeholder engagement. The University will also invest $300,000 in the project.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University President, John McKendry, added his own words of thanks for the partnership. "We are tremendously grateful to the Real Estate Foundation of BC for their forward-thinking decision to support this research, and look forward to working together on this innovative project."

The Real Estate Foundation of BC is considered a pivotal connector in making land use knowledge and practice in BC a model for the world. A funder of organizations doing positive work related to real estate and land use, the foundation has approved over $59 million in grants since 1988. With a bird's eye view of many initiatives across the province, and direct access to new research and case studies on progressive solutions to land use issues, the foundation has a role in being able to make connections and to share and promote their research and knowledge.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for more than 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,500 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.


For more information about the Real Estate Foundation of BC, contact:
Celina Owen
Manager, Communications & Administration

For more information about Kwantlen, contact:
Nicole Lotz
Manager, Marketing and Communications