Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik December 11, 2012 - 11:00 am

Nunavik orgs ponder local food production

Regional meeting looks at meat production, greenhouses, bio-food, fish and marine species

SAMANTHA DAWSON

Nunavik’s business community wants to encourage the production of more local food in the region, a Kativik Regional Government news release said.

About 35 participants met in Puvirnituq Dec. 7 to discuss ways to produce “bio-food” – or food that is produced locally and organically, such as community greenhouses or the domestication of animals.

The meeting included participants from Nunavik’s business community, landholding corporations, the Kativik Regional Government, the Makivik Corp., the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, the Quebec ministry of agriculture, Rebecca Veevee, host of the APTN cooking show Niqitsiat, and Hélène Raymond, host of Radio-Canada’s Bien dans son assiette.

The meeting, organized by the regional and local development department of the KRG, “provided the participants with an opportunity to increase their knowledge and communicate their expertise on bio-food production,” the release said.

The three-day meeting was split into five themes: fish and marine species, animals for meat, commercialization, greenhouses and starting a bio-food business.

The meeting also covered a range of topics such as aquaculture, caribou ranching, greenhouse development and operation, and the health benefits of country food.

Currently there is a greenhouse pilot project underway in Kuujjuaq, and two facilities that produce smoked arctic char: Isirisivik Smoked Fish in Kangiqsujuaq and Pitsituuq in Puvirnituq.

“The presentations gave the participants much to consider and the round table discussions allowed for exchanges on ideas as creative as Nunavik-produced prepared meals,” it said.

Overall, there was a discussion of available services, and programs that underlined the necessity for support of local businesses.

The goal of the meeting was for Nunavik businesses and community organizations to use the information they received to introduce healthy products to local markets, and to turn people’s food needs into business opportunities.

That would create more jobs, the release said.

“Networking opportunities facilitated by this conference will help to make new projects possible and foster growth within those already underway.”

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