Each year for the past 11 years, the Vancouver Farmers Markets Board of Directors has recognized a local citizen, business or organization that has gone above and beyond to enhance our regional food system. VFM's 'Devorah Kahn Award for Leadership in Food Security in our Region’ is given annually in honour of one of VFM’s founders and first Executive Director, Devorah Kahn, and is presented publicly at VFM’s Annual General Meeting. Past recipients of this award have included farmers Susan Davidson, Mary Forstbauer and Fred Reid, the Stewardship team of UBC Farm, Herb Barbolet, Vancity’s Community Investment team, HB Lanarc Sustainable Planning and Dr. Lenore Newman.
We were super proud to learn that our very own Rory Holland has been selected as this year’s award recipient in acknowledgement of his ongoing support for sustainable small farms and his tireless (and creative) efforts to establish Knives & Forks Community Investment Co-op which has uniquely advanced our Lower Mainland food system.
Rory and Julia met when Julia pitched at the annual Slow Money conference in Vancouver back in 2014. Julie had this crazy idea that folks producing food in a manner that is environmentally sustainable and ethical should also be able to earn a living and that got Rory's attention. They teamed up and thanks to Rory, they were able to turn the 3 acre urban farm Julia and her partner Ludo were operating on their own into an almost vertically integrated food business that encompasses a 21 acre ranch and a full service artisanal butcher shop and employs 7-10 full-time employees.
Rory works hands on, pitching in wherever he is needed at Urban Digs while still continuing to work on and support a larger number of local food businesses and organizations.
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