KPU sustainable agriculture project receives $75,000 enviroFund grant

Tue, Sep 17, 2013

Metro Vancouver, BC – Local support for Kwantlen Polytechnic University's (KPU) research project is no small potatoes.

Last Tuesday, Vancity presented Dr. Kent Mullinix, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS), with an enviroFund grant for $75,000 at the North Delta branch. The donation – supported by proceeds generated through the credit union's enviro Visa credit card – will go to produce the institute's Sustainable Agriculture Enterprise Budget Series.

Over the course of the next year, the series will assess the economics of small-scale agriculture production to supply a sustainable food system in southwest BC through alternate marketing channels. The ISFS will produce 30 production budgets that small-scale, direct-market farmers can use for effective farm business planning. These basic up-to-date farm planning tools represent a broad range of crops and are directly applicable to southwest BC, but are not currently available locally. These production budgets are part of a larger ISFS project to design and plan for a sustainable, regional food system and to create a methodology for food system design and planning that can be adopted and applied to other regions around the world.

"Vancity's commitment to regional community vitality and sustainability is an inspiration to the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems team," says Mullinix. "We are extremely grateful to Vancity for this support and endorsement of our southwest BC bio-regional food system design and plan project and its goals. It is our hope that these production budgets, and the bio-regional food system design and plan, will provide powerful information and tools that support us all working together to create a sustainable food system future that contributes much more substantially to the economic, social and environmental vitality of our region's food system."

The Vancity donation is the latest institution to show its support for the KPU research project: To date, the endeavour has received endorsements and financial support from North Vancouver, Maple Ridge, Burnaby, Squamish, the Township of Langley and the City of Langley.

"Vancity is excited to fund KPU's Sustainable Agriculture Enterprise Budget Series project which will be a valuable business planning resource for small-scale local farmers," says Moira Teevan, Community Investment Associate. "Vancity is pleased to invest in initiatives such as this, in order to grow and promote a viable and sustainable local food system and a more resilient local economy."

Mohamed Ladak, Vancity's Vice President of Payment Solutions and the Member Services Centre adds, "We're thrilled with the momentum that is building around sustainable food production as a healthy food system is vital in building healthy and financially viable communities. Through the enviroFund program, we are proud to support Kwantlen's Sustainable Agriculture Budget Series project, which represents another step in the right direction towards achieving sustainability and ensuring our local communities thrive."

This year, the Vancity enviroFund is supporting the development of an ecologically sound, viable and resilient local food system through this year's grants. For information on KPU's ISFS sustainability initiatives, visit:

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 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, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 18,000 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. Learn more at


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Hayley Woodin
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