Local Food Security Act
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:
PURPOSE AND INTERPRETATION
Purpose of Act
1 The purpose of this Act is
(a) to strengthen and ensure a sustainable local food economy in New Brunswick;
(b) to promote local food procurement in New Brunswick;
(c) to improve the health of New Brunswickers through increased availability of fresh local food; and
(d) to provide New Brunswick students with food, agriculture, and garden-based education in school.
2 The following definitions apply in this Act.
“Council” means the Advisory Council on Local Food Security established under section 5. (Conseil)
“farm” means premises the whole or part of which are used for agricultural purposes and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes premises used for
(a) the production of plants for the purpose of the sale of such plants, or any part thereof; and
(b) the production, including breeding, rearing, or fattening of animals for the purposes of the sale of such animals, or any part thereof. (ferme)
“food, agriculture, and garden-based education” means curriculum that conveys an understanding of local food systems by way of direct educational experiences, including local food tasting and sampling, participation in school gardens, composting programs, food preparation, and farm tours. (éducation en matière d’alimentation, d’agriculture et de jardinage)
“healthy food education” means curriculum that conveys an understanding of local food systems, including food-related life skills, and the impact of food system practices and food choices on health, the environment, and the economy. (éducation nutritionnelle)
“local food” means
(a) food produced or harvested in New Brunswick, and
(b) subject to any limitation in the regulations, food and beverages made in New Brunswick if at least 80% of their ingredients were produced or harvested in New Brunswick. (aliments locaux)
“local food assessment” means an assessment of local food systems that provides an inventory of food resources available at the community level, and an investigation into the scope of, barriers to, and opportunities for, local food production and distribution with the goal of increasing food availability. (évaluation de l’alimentation locale)
“local food system” means a chain of activities and processes related to the production, processing, distribution and consumption of local food. (système alimentaire local)
“local organic food” means food that is local which meets the Canadian Organic Certification Standards. (aliments biologiques locaux)
“Minister” means, unless the context requires otherwise, the Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries or such other member of the Executive Council as may be assigned the administration of this Act. (ministre)
“public body” means
(a) a department, secretariat or office of the Province of New Brunswick, including but not limited to those portions of the public service specified in Part I of the First Schedule of the Public Service Labour Relations Act;
(b) a government body, board, Crown corporation or commission listed under Part IV of the First Schedule of the Public Service Labour Relations Act;
(c) a regional health authority as defined in the Regional Health Authorities Act;
(d) a District Education Council established under the Education Act;
(e) an institution as defined in the Adult Education and Training Act; and
(f) a nursing home as defined in the Nursing Homes Act. (organisme public)
“sustainable development” means development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (développement durable)
“vulnerable populations” means persons who, because of age, sex, health, disability, socio-economic status, or other circumstance, whether temporary or permanent,
(a) are in a position of dependence on others; or
(b) are otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by diet-related illness or environmental contamination of food sources, and includes, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, pregnant women, infants, children, women, seniors, and individuals that are immuno-compromised. (populations vulnérables)
Powers and duties of the Minister
3 In the administration of this Act, the Minister shall
(a) establish an interdepartmental committee to coordinate the establishment and implementation of a local food security strategy for New Brunswick, consisting of the Minister of Healthy and Inclusive Communities, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, and the Minister responsible for the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation;
(b) advise the government on issues concerning local food systems;
(c) develop measures to achieve the purposes of this Act, including, but not limited to, establishing a strategy and targets;
(d) develop recommendations to advance the following food system goals:
(i) increased production, sales, and consumption of New Brunswick foods;
(ii) development and promotion of programs that deliver healthy New Brunswick-grown and
-processed foods to New Brunswick residents, including, but not limited to:
(A) increased public procurement of local products;
(B) improvement in the availability of healthy New Brunswick-grown food products, particularly to low-income and vulnerable populations;
(C) food and agriculture-based education for students that stresses the connection between farming, food, and health;
(e) submit to the Legislative Assembly an annual report on the findings of the Minister regarding progress achieved, and progress expected, with respect to local food systems in the province;
(f) investigate and recommend standards relating to local food systems in the province;
(g) conduct studies and prepare statistics relating to local food systems in the province to ensure that an adequate information base is available for the purposes of developing and implementing targets, programs, and policies under this Act and the regulations.
4 The Minister may enter into agreements with such persons, entities, including the Council established under section 5, as well as governments, as the Minister considers appropriate for the purposes of this Act.
Advisory Council on Local Food Security
5(1) The Minister shall establish an advisory body known as the Advisory Council on Local Food Security.
5(2) The members of the Council shall be appointed by the Minister and shall consist of 14 individuals as follows:
(a) four individuals who are active farmers or who represent agricultural organizations;
(b) one individual representing sustainable or organic food farming;
(c) one individual representing urban and community supported agriculture, or community gardening;
(d) one individual representing immigrant and refugee farming;
(e) one individual representing food distribution;
(f) one individual representing food processing;
(g) one individual representing marketing interests;
(h) one health care provider, or one individual representing a community-based coalition, addressing obesity and chronic disease;
(i) two individuals representing low-income or vulnerable populations; and
(j) one individual representing a non-profit environment organization.
5(3) The purposes and duties of the Council are to make recommendations to the Minister to advance the purposes of this Act.
5(4) The Council shall advise the Minister on all aspects of the local food economy in New Brunswick, including with respect to
(a) the development of the New Brunswick Local Food Security Strategy;
(b) a local food assessment;
(c) a survey of best practices and innovative local food system activities, including an assessment of the capacity of New Brunswick to replicate these activities across the province;
(d) the identification of strategies to increase local food access;
(e) increased collaboration and communication between government departments and agencies;
(f) increased collaboration and communication between provincial and local governments; and
(g) institutional procurement agreements and targets.
5(5) The Minister may, at the request of the Council, establish one or more technical advisory committees to assist the Council in the performance of its duties under subsections (3) and (4).
LOCAL FOOD SECURITY STRATEGY AND TARGETS
6(1) Within 12 months of the coming into force of this Act, the Minister shall, to further the purposes of this Act and in consultation with the interdepartmental committee, the Council, and such other groups and individuals as the Minister considers advisable, establish targets in relation to:
(a) local food procurement;
(b) local food distribution; and
(c) local food education.
6(2) To achieve one or more purposes of this Act, the Minister shall, after undertaking the consultation outlined in subsection (1), establish qualitative and quantitative targets relating to local food.
Amendment of targets
6(3) The Minister may from time to time amend the targets established under this section after consultation in accordance with subsection (1).
New Brunswick Local Food Security Strategy
7(1) Within 18 months of the coming into force of this Act, the Minister shall, in consultation with the interdepartmental committee, the Council, and such other groups and individuals as the Minister considers advisable, develop a New Brunswick Local Food Security Strategy.
7(2) The New Brunswick Local Food Security Strategy shall include
(a) a vision for achieving the purposes of this Act, and
(b) the targets established under this Act and how those targets assist in achieving the purposes of this Act.
7(3) The New Brunswick Local Food Security Strategy shall be reviewed every 5 years and, where appropriate, amended to reflect new and improved targets and developments in New Brunswick in respect of health, environmental protection, access and education in relation to local food.
7(4) The Minister shall, after consulting with the interdepartmental committee, the Council, and such other groups and individuals as the Minister considers advisable, table a report with the Legislative Assembly on the New Brunswick Local Food Security Strategy every 5 years, with the first report to be tabled by December 31, 2020.
Annual progress reports
7(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), the Minister shall provide annual progress reports to the Legislative Assembly, with the first being due no later than December 31 of the year following the coming into force of this Act.
Contents of reports
7(6) The contents of reports referred to in subsections (4) and (5) shall include a description of actions taken to support the New Brunswick Local Food Security Strategy and progress made in achieving targets established under section 6, and such other matters as the Minister considers advisable.
LOCAL FOOD ASSESSMENT AND PROCUREMENT
Local food assessment
8 Within 12 months of the coming into force of this Act, the Minister shall undertake a local food assessment that shall consist of
(a) examination of a baseline for agricultural production output in New Brunswick, including data on
(i) the amount of food produced annually within New Brunswick,
(ii) the amount of food that is purchased and consumed by New Brunswick residents and the extent to which the food produced in New Brunswick is processed, distributed, and marketed locally, and
(iii) the amount of New Brunswick produced food that is purchased by public bodies,
(b) identification of barriers that limit the access of the food and farming sector to production, distribution, and consumer markets within New Brunswick.
Local food procurement
9(1) The Minister shall direct public bodies to increase the percentage of their food budgets spent on local or local organic food, annually, until such local food procurements constitute a significant percentage of their overall food budgets specified through relevant targets.
9(2) To meet the goals set forth in this section, a public body contract for the purchase of food may give preference to an otherwise qualified bidder who provides local or local organic food, provided that the cost included in the bid is not more than 10% greater than the cost included in a bid that is not for local or local organic food where that food will enhance the security of the local food system in New Brunswick and will contribute to the sustainable development of New Brunswick.
Procurements subject to trade agreements
9(3) This section does not apply to procurements that are contrary to national or international trade agreements to which New Brunswick is bound by agreement with Canada.
LABELLING OF LOCALLY PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FOODS
10 The Minister shall establish a labelling system to identify food produced and processed in New Brunswick, in consultation with the Council.
HEALTHY FOOD EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
11 In this Part, “ministers” means the Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Healthy and Inclusive Communities.
Food, agriculture, and garden-based education
12 The ministers shall promote food, agriculture, and garden-based education in schools maintaining kindergarten, or any of grades one to 12, inclusive.
Professional development for teachers and education staff
13(1) The ministers shall assist schools and District Education Councils to incorporate food, agriculture, and -garden-based education into their curriculum and to develop related programming for the professional development of teachers and education staff.
13(2) The ministers shall provide information to schools on how the policy on healthy food education will improve the implementation of curriculum guidelines and policies mandated by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
13(3) Professional development provided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development shall provide instruction to teachers and education staff on how to deliver healthy food education, including food, agriculture and garden-based learning opportunities to students.
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
14 Every public body that contravenes a direction issued under subsection 9(1) is guilty of an offence.
15(1) A public body that is guilty of an offence under section 14 is liable, on conviction,
(a) in the case of a first conviction, to a fine of not more than $5,000 for each day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues, and
(b) in the case of a subsequent conviction, to a fine of not more than $10,000 for each day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues.
15(2) A proceeding under this section shall not be commenced more than 2 years after the later of the following days:
(a) the day on which the offence was committed;
(b) the day on which evidence of the offence first came to the attention of the Minister.
16 If there is a conflict between this Act or regulations and a provision of another Act, regulation, or municipal by-law dealing with local food, food education, organic food, food production, procurement, or distribution, the provision that is the most protective of human health or the environment prevails.
REGULATIONS AND COMMENCEMENT
17 The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) clarifying any definitions included in section 2;
(b) governing and clarifying any powers and duties of the Minister under section 3;
(c) governing the terms of any agreements entered into pursuant to section 4;
(d) governing the administration and operation of the Council under section 5;
(e) governing the development of targets under section 6;
(f) governing the development of the strategy under section 7;
(g) governing the development of local food assessments under section 8;
(h) governing the direction, development and implementation of local food procurement measures under section 9;
(i) governing the development and implementation of a labelling system for food produced and processed in New Brunswick under section 10;
(j) governing the development of educational and professional development programs under sections 12 and 13; and
(k) respecting any other matter the Lieutenant--Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for the purposes of this Act.
18 This Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.