The barriers environmentally sustainable food businesses face : a case study of Vancouver and Victoria, Canada
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The food we eat, and our food systems have a huge impact on our environment. Many food businesses have attempted to reduce the impact food has on the environment. These businesses face increased challenges and barriers to being successful while also ensuring that the environment is protected. This thesis looks at the barriers that self-proclaimed environmentally sustainable food businesses face in Victoria and Vancouver, Canada. These two cities provide a great base for environmentally sustainable food businesses as popular food retail sectors and communities in Victoria and Vancouver have shown support for environmental sustainability. By interviewing environmentally sustainable food business owners and managers, an assessment of the barriers that exist for these businesses was done. Barriers were analyzed by looking at what they mean for the broader food system and their relation to other components in the value chain and food system. To understand better what these businesses were striving for, an assessment of what environmental sustainability is was done. The data collected demonstrated a high number of financial barriers that restricted growth of the businesses. There was also a trend of social barriers restricting these businesses such as a consensus among business owners that there was customer hesitation and a lack of education towards their business model and mission. Using the data collected the findings were assessed within the broader food system and the interactions between its components. This data also provides support for the suggestions to governing bodies and businesses for environmentally sustainable food systems.