The L in LOFT is not always easily accomplished and can get even more complicated when you add sustainability to the mix.
Local Food Plus (LFP) is a Canadian non-profit aiming to educate consumers, producers, and distributors about the benefits (and standards) of local and sustainable foods. LFP developed criteria to certify local sustainable foods so that consumers know, and understand, exactly what they’re purchasing.
The definition of local is often ambiguous ranging from 100km radius to within a province or group of provinces. Likewise, sustainable is overwhelmed with limitless conditions. LFP seeks to amalgamate the two concepts identifying local sustainable food as:
- being grown or caught, processed, and marketed locally
- financially viable for all stakeholders (not just chain retailers/distributors)
- ecologically responsible
- meat from producers who treat animals with respect and without reliance on artificial hormones or drugs
- socially responsible workplaces (fair wages, fair treatment)
- energy conservation (low reliance on fossil fuels)
- water conservation (low water waste)
- stewards of the environment (biodiversity and protecting wildlife)
- helping to grow a resilient food system
The LFP label is subject to independent third party expert inspections. And unlike organic labelling systems, LFP does not charge farmers for the entire cost of certification but charges a minimal fee while the rest of the expenses are paid through LFP fundraising (reducing the burden on small-hold farmers).
LFP got its start on the University of Toronto campus proving that the differences students make in their community can extend to the entire food system.