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A place to grow | TechAlliance

“We are firm believers in both food security and food sovereignty – it’s all about choosing what you want to eat, and then it’s our job to help people have access to the fresh, nutritional food that they need.” – Kim Parker, President, CEO and Co-founder of Food Security Structures Canada.  

The inflation of the cost of living has not gone unnoticed by any Canadian. Finding fresh produce in your grocery store has become not only more expensive, but also more difficult. As much as this effect is seen in every corner of our country, it is important to note that sky-high costs and inaccessibility have been an ongoing issue for many Indigenous communities across the country, specifically in Northern Canada, and they are continuing to see the worst effects of our post-Covid economy. Standing firm in their belief that access to fresh, quality produce is essential, Co-founders of Food Security Structures Canada, Kim Parker and Greg Whiteside set out to bring their low-tech, high-reward produce growing structures into the communities that benefit the most during a time when it is needed more than ever.  

Specializing in controlled environment agriculture, the products offered by Food Security Structures Canada vary in size and scalability, starting from something as small as a home-grown indoor plant wall to large-scale structures for community growing or entrepreneurial businesses. Allowing users to grow fresh, nutritious, and delicious food anywhere in the world all year round, regardless of climate or location changes, these systems create opportunity for a myriad of uses that all result in the expansion of food accessibility and knowledge globally.  

The Food Security Structures Canada systems are intelligently integrated into the lives of the growers, and prioritizes the needs of each system user which helps create a data-based, cost-saving growing solution for each use. They have created a unique spectrum recipe for growing lights to ensure maximum harvest and offer growers food security knowledge and data, such as regional cost of each plant type and whether the self-sufficient growing of those plants would be lucrative in the geographical area. Each small detail combines to create a well-thought-out connection between the humans and the plants, which creates irreplicable value as the food begins to nourish the communities it grows in.  

One of the core pillars of the business is ensuring accessibility, so the systems can be built quickly and easily, without heavy equipment or complex building materials, meaning remote Canadian communities don’t have to struggle through building hurdles to create their growing systems. Things like low use of electricity, and water resources are taken into consideration, as these details make the difference when it comes to providing food for families and businesses. “This is the technology that we can take into an underserved community so that they can create hope for their youth, entrepreneurial opportunities, and the ability to be self-sufficient” says Parker, “My rural and Indigenous background has taught me the importance of human connection with plants and growing food, which makes this business my driving force to share with others the importance of having a relationship with your plants, and nurturing them so they can nourish you in return”.   

Parker’s strong connection with her own Metis heritage connects herself to the plants she cultivates and connects her business to the land she brings life to. She speaks on the experience of working alongside Indigenous communities through Food Security Structures Canada and the importance of following the guidance of each individual community when facilitating the building of growing structures. Navigating the roadmap of truth and reconciliation alongside an Indigenous-led and Indigenous-centered business, Parker states, “As a country, we are still in the process of finding truth, and only then can there be true reconciliation. We need to situate ourselves in a place where the truth is understood and acknowledged, Indigenous communities are respected and supported, and then we will be on the path to reconciliation.” Being a pillar in the process of bringing resources and access to Indigenous communities across Canada, Food Security Structures Canada is only a few years into what is bound to be a lifetime of entrepreneurial success and social impact. 

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