Food System Survey Glossary

Efficiencies of Scale: Efficiencies of scale encourage an increase in output and a reduction in cost, and is associated with collaboration and coordination among similar or associated entities, specifically when combining resources or working cooperatively within similar markets.


Food Hub: A business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail and institutional demand.

Food Insecurity: the inability to acquire or consume an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so, due to financial constraints

Food Literacy: Food literacy is the ability of an individual to understand food in a way that they develop a positive relationship with it, including food skills and practices across the lifespan in order to navigate, engage, and participate within a complex food system. It's the ability to make decisions to support the achievement of personal health and a sustainable food system considering environmental, social, economic, cultural, and political components. 

Food Security: A situation in which all community residents can obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes self-reliance and social justice.

Food System: Food systems encompass all the people, institutions and processes by which agricultural products are produced, processed and brought to consumers. They also include the public officials, civil society organizations, researchers and development practitioners who design the policies, regulations, programmes and projects that shape food and agriculture.

Institutional Procurement: The procurement of an agreed upon minimum percentage of local food for use in medium to large-scale institutions.

Local Food: Products made, baked, grown, processed and sold in Alberta are supported, balanced in the context of national and international markets.

Sustainable Food System: A sustainable food system is a collaborative network that integrates several components in order to enhance a community’s environmental, economic and social well-being. It is built on principles that further the ecological, social, and economic values of a community and region.