CSF operations in the country, in part because there has been little information and technology to support this style of producer-to-consumer retail system. Until now. This year, Skipper Otto received a B.C. Agritech grant to build a unique software platform to help connect food producers and consumers using the Skipper Otto model. Strobel says she will roll out the software in early 2022, “to proliferate our model for building innovative, just and equitable food systems throughout Canada and around the world.” The software was created by developers in Vancouver, based on the system the Strobels created for Skipper Otto, but with much more efficiency and ease of use. Strobel says the “buy down” model can be used by other seafood and meat producing groups who want to grow direct sales. “We’ve had great talks with folks in local B.C. farms and ranches, CSFs in the U.S., Inuit hunters in Nunavut, as well as folks in Europe, Nicaragua and beyond about how our model and our software might help them innovate food security solutions in their communities,” she says. One of the first organizations they’ve chosen to “on board” with the new software is the Hunters and Trappers Association of Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay) in Nunavut, which is working to provide wild harvested “country food” to the community’s 1,100 residents. “They won a $500,000 innovation prize this year to help them develop a more efficient way to share traditionally harvested meat within their community — so that’s caribou and whale and muskox and things like that,” says Strobel, explaining that the prize will fund a small processing facility to cut and package the locally harvested food, while the software system will let community members “prepay into a pot to help fund those hunters and fishers, to go out and harvest these culturally relevant meats.” To infinity and beyond Skipper Otto is growing exponentially — the number of members more than doubled in 2021, with pickup spots as diverse as Victoria and Edmonton and Canmore, Alberta, and Estevan, Saskatchewan. As the membership grows, Skipper Otto will be able to buy a larger share of its harvesters’ catch, improving wages and working conditions for fishing families of all kinds. The price for this direct-to-consumer Canadian seafood is not low — you may find better bargains from large-scale fishing companies, wholesalers and supermarkets — but because the supply chain is short, more of the money you spend ends up with the fishers. “The goal is not to grow Skipper Otto to be the biggest fish company in the world,” Strobel says. “The goal is to proliferate the model in other communities so people can be connected to their local producers, wherever they are.”
DOWNTOWN MAPLE R I DGE BREAKFAST LUNCH D I NNER TAKE -OUT DEL IVERY
Skipper Otto 202 – 1965 West 4th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. skipperotto.com | 604.790.1215 | @skipperotto
Cinda Chavich thinks knowing where her food comes from— and having a story to tell about it —makes cooking and eating more fun.
edibl e VANCOUVER & WINE COUNTRY
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