Feature Article
  • The ICDA supported Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) workshops were held on September 1, 2020 in a virtual mode, sharing and releasing the beta-version of the ICDA Sustainable Food Systems Toolkit: Supporting Sustainability in Nutrition.  The response to the workshops was overwhelming from the ICDA member associations and the registrations closed within 2 days. 
    The workshops were presented by –
    Liesel Carlsson, dietitian and Assistant Professor in the School of Nutrition and Dietetics at Acadia University, Canada.  She has been working on the ICDA Food Sustainability Initiative since 2017.
    Edith Callaghan, Professor of Business Strategy at the School of Business at Acadia University, and the Coordinator for the Acadia Environment & Sustainability Studies Program. She has been working on the ICDA Food Sustainability Initiative since 2017.
    Haley Jenkins, a recent graduate of the School of Nutrition and Dietetics at Acadia University, and Dietetic Intern at Eastern Health. Haley has been actively working on design and content for the ICDA SFS Toolkit since 2018, through coursework and as a Research Assistant.
    The workshop was moderated by Sheela Krishnaswamy, Member, Board of Directors, ICDA, who is also a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant in India. 
    Liesel, Edith and Haley took turns to explain the results of research that led to this web-based toolkit, and reviewed aspects of the Toolkit itself (https://icdasustainability.org).
    Currently, the beta-version of the Toolkit offers users: Resources, Community of Practice, and Professional Development. The Resource section holds case studies, SDG briefs, links to useful infographics, and relevant reports and resources that have been developed around the world. Most resources are searchable by nutrition and dietetic roles, activities, and regions. If you have suggestions for resources, please let us know! We believe that you will find the resources useful, but the real strength and value of this tool will likely be in its ability to help you learn from each other. The Community of Practice section is where you, the ICDA membership, share stories with each other about your successes and challenges. Our team will moderate the Discussion Forum and will read all of the stories shared in the Share your Story section to see if any of the stories should be further developed for Case Study material. We look forward to reading about your initiatives!
    The Professional Development section of the Toolkit offers Learning Modules that guide you through the Toolkit to answer a series of practical questions, existing Workshops & Webinars, and the existing Sustainability Courses. If you have specific suggestions for a webinar, learning module or course, please let us know.
    As a beta-version, this web-based Toolkit is still under development, but we feel ready to share with our users!  We will be continuing to add resources and professional development materials with a focus on more geographic diversity, interactive opportunities.  During the webinar, once the review of the Toolkit was finished, there was ample opportunity for participants to ask questions, give comments and share their experience on sustainability projects in their countries. Our team is deeply thankful to all those participants who shared their stories and enthusiasm with the rest of us.
    The workshop ended with a request to fill out the feedback form through a Google link.  The workshop was highly appreciated by the participants and majority of them said that they would use the Toolkit to support them in their practice. 
    Do visit the website https://icdasustainability.org to use the Toolkit. While on the website, please complete the Sustainability Self-Assessment Survey, this information will be valuable for us to improve the website to suit your needs, and please share your stories and questions regarding sustainable food systems. 
    We look forward to hearing from you. 
    Liesel Carlsson
    Edith Callaghan
    Sheela Krishnaswamy