How Do We Measure Food Sovereignty?

Each piece of information measured in this Report Card is called an indicator. Indicators in this Report Card have been chosen for each of the seven pillars of the Thunder Bay + Area Food Strategy so that we can measure progress or change on issues over time, ranging from the persistence of poverty to the state of urban agriculture to the size and strength of the farming sector.

119 indicators were initially chosen which are:

  • reflective of the food system in the Thunder Bay area
  • reliable pieces of information that are accessible to the public
  • replicable over time
  • easily understood

For every Food Strategy pillar, there is information available that helps paint a picture of how the Thunder Bay area is doing in terms of working towards food sovereignty. The process of developing the Report Card has also made it clear that more information is needed to present a consistently robust understanding of how our region is measuring up.

Many organizations, schools, local governments, businesses, First Nations, and others in the Thunder Bay area have led efforts to improve food sovereignty for years. This Report Card gives an area-wide picture of how, taken together, all these efforts are making food easier to access, establishing social and environmental justice as part of food systems, building a strong local food economy, and fostering the creation of a more resilient, greener place to live.

Scope of Data

Local data comes from many kinds of sources and organizations, all of which have different scopes. For this reason, the data in some cases is only available for the Thunder Bay District and in other cases for the City of Thunder Bay. Where possible the indicators reflect the area connected with the Thunder Bay + Area Food Strategy, which includes the City of Thunder Bay, Conmee Township, the Township of Gillies, the Municipality of Neebing, O’Connor Township, the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, and the Municipality of Shuniah. These seven municipalities and townships make up the Thunder Bay Census Metropolitan Area, referred to at various points in this document as the “Thunder Bay Area.”