Consumers need to pay more for food

People take their food for granted, according to a panel member at the first Okanagan Meet Your Maker put on by Farm Folk/City Folk.

Donna Dennison of Little Creek Dressings on Westside Road

Donna Dennison of Little Creek Dressings on Westside Road

Farmers need more respect.

And, consumers need to be prepared to pay more for farm-fresh produce so farmers can make a living farming, according to Donna Dennison of Little Creek Dressings, on Westside Road.

She was speaking Monday as part of a panel discussion at the first Okanagan Meet Your Maker event in West Kelowna, where chefs, grocery store managers, importers and food producers spent a day meeting each other and talking about food. More than double the number anticipated by organizers Farm Folk/City Folk registered for the event, which attracted more than 100.

“People are willing to pay $5 for a cappuccino,” Dennison pointed out, yet they’re not willing to pay what a head of lettuce is worth.

“We take food for granted,” she said.

She told a story about people who came onto the farm to buy fresh produce but they wanted to get it for a lower price than the farmer was asking.

“Most often, that farmer is driving a beater and living in a run-down house, because people aren’t willing to pay him for his work.”

“Farmers need to be paid more,” she said.

Dennison first created her salad dressings for her husband Dale Ziech’s gourmet organic salad greens, but he’s stopped growing because he said people just weren’t willing to pay enough to make farming worth his efforts.

It’s important that everyone support local producers, she concluded.

Chef Roger Planiden said members of the Okanagan Chefs’ Association are huge supporters of local producers, but what’s needed is a distribution system that would more-efficiently transport products from one end of the valley to the other, and to users like stores and restaurants, without such a huge carbon footprint.

Angela Reid-Nagy of GreenStep said she believes that increasing fuel prices will eventually turn those not already embracing local, to move toward purchase of locally-grown food. “Cost is the only way we’ll convince some restaurants to go local,” she commented.

She would also like to see an agriculture land trust formed in the Okanagan, which would allow people to put land in an endowment to lease out for farming. That would provide a way for young people to get into farming, and could provide capital for farmers to continue farming, despite the development pressure on land costs.



Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
Injured mountain biker rescued in West Kelowna

The mountain biker reportedly has a hip injury about 1 km up the Smith Creek Road trail

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

Most Read