Upcoming Events

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Organic Seed Workshops

As part of their work for The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, Everdale is offering a special series of organic seed production workshops in 2014 across Ontario! Coming soon:

Field Day: Fundamentals of Seed Production
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Time: 1:00pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming
Cost: Pay what you can

Seed Saving and Seed Production Workshop
Date: Saturday, Sept. 27th, 2014
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: $85/person
Location: Everdale Farm

Read more

 

The Harvest Table Fundraiser Dinner

Saturday October 4th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Please to join FarmStart to celebrate the fall harvest and support a new generation of ecological farmers at the 3rd Harvest Table Dinner, at Earth to Table Farm in Flamborough, Ontario on Saturday, October 4, 2014. The crisp fall evening will be filled with charm and delectable things to taste! Join us for a farm tour and hors d’oeuvres, a four course family-style Harvest Table dinner, live entertainment, silent auction and more. Executive Chef Jeff Crump of Earth to Table (and the Ancaster Mill) will prepare the delicious meal featuring the farms fresh organic vegetables and pastured chickens, along with other locally produced organic meat, cheese, beer and wine. Read more

 

Food Secure Canada Assembly

Food Secure Canada has announced the full programme for its bi-annual assembly, Waves of Change: Sustainable Food for All, which will take place at the Halifax Habourfront Hotel from November 13th to 16th.

With more than sixty workshops, plenaries, and working groups, these three days of action-packed learning by Canada’s food movement will provide an unique opportunity to tackle a broad range of food issues and to create effective, collective responses to current challenges of sustainability, hunger and health. Read more

 

 

Upcoming Webinars

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Collective Impact and Community Economic Development
September 23, 12 pm Eastern

Canadian Community Economic Development Network
Increasingly, community organizations are engaging in collaboration as a means to try and solve some of the most complex issues that they face. But these challenging issues require a new approach, a new framework.

Join internationally recognized trainer and community builder Liz Weaver for a workshop that provides participants with an overview of collective impact and how this approach can enhance the impact of community change efforts. Read more

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: CHOOSING THE RIGHT SYSTEMS FOR YOUR FOOD ENTERPRISE

September 24th at 2PM Atlantic / 10 AM Pacific

Food Business Bootcamp - Food Secure Canada
Choosing a mobile device these days can be overwhelming, never mind selecting the best information technology system for your food business. Yet understanding both your needs and the range of options to meet them can save you critical money in both the start up and ongoing phase of your operation.
Saloni Doshi, Strategy Consultant with New Venture Advisors.
Read more

 

Food Hub Benchmarking Study 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM ET

The NGFN Food Hub Collaboration
Food Hubs are delivering on their promise of enabling identity-preserved, primarily local and regional food to enter the wholesale market, enabling small and mid-sized farms access to buyers that would otherwise be unattainable. But aggregation and distribution of food is a very thin-margin business, and hubs take on additional expense working with smaller farmers, providing technical assistance, and other grower and community services. Are food hubs able to support themselves with their operations? What are industry-standard financial and operational benchmarks for food hub businesses? Read more

 

Measuring Your Local Impact

September 25th at 1-2 PM Pacific

BALLE (the Business Alliance of Local Living Economies)
Place matters, people matter, ownership matters… and how we measure them matters.
Local leaders are constantly asked to quantify their impact on their communities for funders, partners and standard reporting. The challenge is knowing the right questions to ask and having useful, accessible tools that are relevant for the New Economy.
In this free webinar, hear what BALLE is learning from our network leaders, hands-on case studies from two BALLE fellows, and an update on the Quick Impact Assessment for Localists, a new online tool BALLE is piloting in partnership with B Lab to help conveners measure outcomes among businesses in their communities. Read more

 

Communities Defining Quality Collective Impact

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014 - 16:00 TO 17:00
Over 49 communities are working together through the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network to define quality collective impact. Join this online panel discussion to learn about the proven, rigorous approach these communities are using to build civic infrastructure and hear stories about how cross-sector partnerships on the ground are implementing innovative approaches to support the unique needs of every child.

Diversity and Sustainability of Food Systems

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(Diversité et durabilité des systèmes alimentaires)

If you are in France next month, l’Institut des régions chaudes de Montpellier SupAgro will host a multi-disciplinary series of seminars on sustainable food systems from October 9 – 24. Speakers include Nicolas Bricas and Olivier de Schutter. The series is sponsored by the UNESCO Chair in Global Food Systems, Montpellier, SupAgro, member of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems International Advisory Committee.

For more information, please contact Alison Blay-Palmer at
ablaypalmer@wlu.ca

Opportunity Development Co-operatives

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Unleashing Local Capital (ULC)  has a food system connection.   ULC helps communities establish local RRSP-eligible investment cooperatives to support local economic development opportunities   One of ULC’s first investment cooperatives is described in this video:

Sangudo Opportunity Development Co-operative

Like many rural Albertan communities the hamlet of Sangudo was in a slow state of
economic decline. In this video, some of the community members who were instrumental in developing the Sangudo Opportunity Develoment Coop, discuss how they created the organization that raised the capital to invest in local businesses. Watch YouTube video

The Sangudo investment coop went on to make  additional investments in the abattoir, which has expanded from 1.5 staff at the takeover, to 20 staff at peak and it now has some of the most advanced meat processing technology in the province.  The group in Sangudo also invested in a new restaurant start up, which served a good portion of local food (including from the abbatoir).   We know have 8 communities with ODC with several are focused in investing in various links in the local food system.  Read more at the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association

Vending in Public Space: The Case of Bangkok

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WIEGO Policy Brief (Urban Policies) No 16
Gisèle Yasmeen and Narumol Nirathron

Bangkok is possibly one of the world’s “jewels” when it comes to selling goods and services in public spaces both day and night.

This policy brief examines how this situation came to be, especially given the country’s evolving political and economic agenda. It reviews cultural, economic, political and other broader social foundations of vending in public spaces in Bangkok, including the role of vendors themselves. In addition, it discusses current opportunities and challenges associated with vending in public space in Bangkok and what others can learn from the specific experience of Bangkok. Read more and download

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 24

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EVENTS

Does Toronto need a bold food strategy?

Big Ideas live chat: Tuesday September 2 at 1 pm EST
Is there a robust food strategy for Toronto that can expand access to healthy food, combat food deserts and reduce barriers to increasing urban agriculture on private and public land? The next Toronto Star Big Ideas live chat focuses on what a bold food strategy could mean for our city.

Join FoodShare Executive Director Debbie Field, and The Stop Community Food Centre Executive Director Rachel Gray, as they participate in a live chat moderated by Christopher Hume. Read More

Whole Hog! (5 Chefs, 5 Pigs and a Blues Band)

The 1st Annual Fergus Whole Hog BBQ
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Come listen to blues music, talk to local chefs about how they have prepared and cooked their heritage-breed, locally raised pigs and savour the flavours of their craft. Take a walk through the grounds where local students are learning about sustainable agriculture and visit the historic farmhouse that now acts as a school house for this innovative program. Read more

A New Way to Farm

Join Mark Shepard -restoration agriculturalist, landscape designer and agroecologist- who is coming to the Waterloo region for a series of events put on by Our Farm.
Public seminar: October 2, 2014
Perennial polyculture workshop: October 3-4, 2014
Read more

2014 Practical Farming Conference

Joel Salatin and Greg Judy coming to Ontario October 2014

Practical Advice for Practical Farming
Learn about planned grazing and planned sustainability from the renowned Greg Judy and Joel Salatin. This first annual conference series showcases two of the most successful sustainable farmers of this era, complimented by experts from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the University of Guelph. Including Large Industry Trade Show 

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will speak on October 4 at the University of Guelph, Rozanski Hall, Guelph, Ontario. Greg Judy of Green Pastures Farm will speak on October 18 at Arthur Community Centre, Arthur, Ontario. Read more and register

CAMPAIGNS

Food Spaces, Vibrant Places

Food Spaces, Vibrant Places is a community-based campaign created to support more temporary farmers’ markets and community gardens in Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo. Temporary farmers’ markets and community gardens need to be located within walking and transit access of where people live, work, and play. This will help strengthen neighbourhoods, build community, and keep families healthy. Read more

WEBINARS

Putting Local on the Menu: Five Best Practices and a Cost Calculator Training – an NGFN webinar

Thursday, September 4, 2014 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM EDT

Several institutional cafeterias and mid-priced restaurants are using clever techniques to source substantial amounts of local food, while maintaining their own affordability and profitability. This webinar, led by Anthony Flaccavento, will present the results of SCALE Inc.’s research into how these kitchens are successfully putting local on the menu, while staying within their tight budgets. Read more and register

…GENERAL INTEREST

ShelfLife Foods: Slowing the clock on time sensitive food

Our mission is to provide an online food network where local food producers can connect with buyers to market time sensitive food product. The food industry lacks a proper marketplace that can effectively coordinate and align sellers, buyers and distribution channels. Because of the time sensitivity and lack of coordination, food producers focus on larger buyers that can purchase large amounts. This is inefficient and forces food producers to focus on a select group of buyers and offer significant discounts as the product approaches its expiry. Our marketplace will seek to better align buyers and sellers to efficient distribution channels and open up the market to more buyers. Read more

News from our East Coast Partners

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Ecology Action Center’s Our Food Project

from the 2013-14 Annual Report [pdf 5.5 mB]

The overarching goal of the Our Food Project is to strengthen communities’ relationship to food by helping to build what we call “positive food environments”. Positive food environments are the physical and social spaces that help to normalize healthy eating by making it easier to grow, sell and eat good food. We work at the individual, community and systemic level to increase the availability of nutritious food as well as our access to it.In doing so, we actively involve people in the development of more localized food systems. Read more

Fortnightly Feast vol. 23

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Ontario’s Regional Co-op Food Hub Project

The Regional Food Hub Expansion project provides capacity building, business planning, regional local food forums and collaboration among four regional food hubs and associated network partners and stakeholders. The four food hubs are in various stages of development by existing local food co-ops. Funding from the Local Food Fund, Carrot Cache, The Co-operators, LOFC and ONFC is providing the financial support to develop and expand the regional food hubs. Read more

 

Talkin’ Local Food with UHN

University Health Network now has 85 ideas on their crowdsourcing project to better connect local Ontario food to the hospitals at University Health Network.
You can vote for any and all of the challenges for the next month, and until September 7, you can even add more ideas!

 

Individual diet changes can’t fix the global food system

Jennifer Clapp and Caitlin Scott on the excellent Guardian Food Hub blog

Up to this point, we’ve been fed simple messages about the scope of the problem, and we’ve been given specific advice about how we can address it individually. Simplicity and a sense of our own agency are important in communicating messages that can contribute to broader change. But, we must be wary of reducing complex problems into overly-simplified sound bites that gloss over serious aspects of the problem and place too much responsibility on those with the least leverage. Read more

 

… and for those wondering how an entire country gets ahead of the curve:

Ireland: Working with Nature through Origin Green

Ireland has always been known for its natural high quality food, drink and ingredients. Through a world first program called Origin Green, we’re aiming for Ireland to be a world leader in sustainability. See the infographic

 

What I’ve Learned about Food and Sustainability

Jason Clay at World Wildlife Magazine

…we came up with a list of 35 priority places around the world and analyzed the threats to the biodiversity in those locations. What we learned was eye-opening: the greatest pressure on those places, by far, was coming from the production of food and fiber. … 15 globally traded commodities present the most significant threats across the board to the world’s most ecologically important places.

Our research showed that 300 to 500 companies buy 70-80% of each of those 15 commodities. And 100 companies touch about 25% of that group.

Best of all, that level of influence means producers will compete to sell to those 100 companies. So we can actually impact 40-50% of global production by working with a carefully selected group. That is a strategy that changes the game. Read more

Growing the Food System in the Headwaters Region

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The Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance is pleased to release a report that is the culmination of in depth research into the challenges and opportunities of a local food system found in the Headwaters Region. The report offers 28 recommendations to HFFA and the broader Headwaters community on how to take action to support the development of a resilient, sustainable and productive local economy based on the rich agricultural resources available in this region. Read more

Access the executive summary here (pdf 607kB).

Talkin’ Local Food with University Health Network

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The University Health Network in Toronto received funding from the Greenbelt Fund to investigate short and long-term opportunities to provide more local food for in-patients in their hospital network. From interviews and an advisory panel, they have identified 3 long term challenges that they would like to submit to the community for input. They have launched an idea crowdsourcing platform where you can vote on the existing ideas, or add your own ideas for review.

Do you eat food? Then you have an opinion! Join in and unleash your ideas to better connect local Ontario food to the hospitals at University Health Network. Read more