20 Voices from 20 Years: Tom Cooper | Vice Chair for Food First NL & Associate Professor at MUN’s School of Business
Though he was initially recruited to serve on the Food First NL board because of his background in strategic planning, it was Tom Cooper’s interest in food security that kept him involved.
“I was interested because I did a study with the Harris Centre the year before that partly looked at the decline of agriculture in the province.”
The experience grew his interest in the broader area of food security and access to food, and he felt he needed to do something about it.
For Cooper, the fact that the organization has been around for 20 years is a major success. “Food First NL has been at the forefront of the discussion around food security and access in the province,” he says.
“Being on an island, in the case of Newfoundland, and with access issues in Labrador, combined with all the accompanying supply chain issues, means that food security and access should be something we are always discussing and developing strategies around.”
“Food security and access is an issue is not that going away,” says Cooper. “I hope that, as an organization, we can move forward the discussion to where we are creating sustainable (financial, social, and environmental) strategies and solutions to addressing food security and access.”
“Food security and access is a bigger risk than most people realize, and I believe that a key success for Food First NL has been discussing that risk,” says Cooper.
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