Why New York City and San Francisco are focused on local food manufacturing and distribution

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…from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City:

Record amounts of snow have depleted Boston-area grocery shelves of many food items in recent weeks. Snow-clogged streets and loading docks have resulted in delayed or erratic deliveries, making it difficult for grocery stores to replenish their stocks. In light of these recent events and the fear of future natural disasters, some cities, such as Boston, are giving increased attention to food as part of their resilience planning. Food resilience is concerned with how a community’s food system would recover from a shock such as a natural disaster. A vulnerable or disrupted food processing and distribution industry directly impacts food resilience and inhibits a community’s ability to return to normal functions.

Read more

Seed Saving in Northern Ontario

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Workshop Series – Sault St. Marie & Sudbury

(La version française suivra)

The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security the Sault Ste. Marie Horticultural Society and FarmStart (with funding from FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation) are pleased to bring Michelle Smith of Northwind Farm all the way from Cape Breton to Sault Ste. Marie to offer an in-depth seed production workshop series for farmers and gardeners. These workshops are offered in conjunction with Seedy Saturday in Sault Ste. Marie– come early to take part in the seed exchange, tradeshow, and other seedy activities!

Local food should come from local seed. But what are the challenges of producing high quality local seed in Northern Ontario? How can we overcome those challenges? Most seed-saving resources do not offer tips on how to grow seed in marginal climates or regions that experience shorter growing seasons. Learn how to push the limits of your region, from market gardener and seed-saver, Michelle Smith of Northwind Farm. Michelle has been growing vegetables and open-pollinated, heirloom seeds in the challenging climates of Cape Breton for 30 years. Check out this excellent series of workshops we have put together to save seed in Northern Ontario:

Sault St. Marie information, dates, descriptions & registration

Sudbury information, dates, descriptions & registration

*Veuillez noter que ces ateliers sont seulement offerts en anglais.*

L’Initiative de la famille Bauta sur la sécurité des semences au Canada, la Société d’horticulture de Sault Ste. Marie et FarmStart (avec l’aide financière de FedNor et de la Société de gestion du Fonds du patrimoine du Nord de l’Ontario) sont fiers d’accueillir nul autre que Michelle Smith de la ferme Northwind, qui se déplace du Cap-Breton jusqu’à Sault Ste. Marie pour offrir aux fermiers et fermières une série d’ateliers approfondis sur la production de semence. Ces ateliers sont offerts dans le cadre de la Fête des semences de Sault Ste Marie, samedi le 7 mars 2015 – arrivez tôt pour profiter de la table d’échange de semence, des expositions, et des autres activités spéciales de la journée!

Notre nourriture locale devrait provenir de semences locales. Par contre, au nord de l’Ontario, il y a plusieurs défis à relever afin de produire des semences viables. Comment pouvons-nous les surmonter? Les ressources qui nous sont présentement disponibles ne nous donnent malheureusement aucune directive en ce qui concerne la production de semences dans un climat marginal ou dans une région ayant une courte saison de croissance. Apprenez comment profiter pleinement de ce que peut offrir votre région avec l’aide de Michelle Smith, maraîchère chevronnée et experte en conservation de semences. Depuis plus de 30 ans, Michelle cultive une vaste gamme de semences patrimoniales à pollinisation libre dans les conditions climatiques rudes du Cap-Breton. Elle est donc fière de pouvoir vous partager ses connaissances dans ces prochains ateliers :

Sault St. Marie information, dates, descriptions & registration

Sudbury information, dates, descriptions & registration

 

Growing Together

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Ensuring healthy food, viable farms, and a prosperous Buffalo Niagara

After nearly three years of research, community engagement, partnership building and planning by over 5,000 citizens and more than 700 local organizations, One Region Forward released its Regional Plan for Sustainable Development entitled “A New Way to Plan for Buffalo Niagara”.

Growing Together report is a technical document that supports a larger regional sustainability planning effort, labeled locally as One Region Forward. For the first time in the history of the Buffalo-Niagara region, a formal planning process has explicitly addressed our region’s food system. Read more

 Download the Plan Summary

Who are the New Farmers?

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The National New Farmer Coalition and the University of Manitoba have put together a survey to assess the needs of new farmers in Canada where it concerns policy and educational opportunities. If you are intending to farm, are currently farming, or have recently exited farming, we want to hear from you! The results from this survey will be used to develop a National New Farmer Policy Platform that we aim to share with all levels of government. It will also document the sources of new farmer learning and make suggestions on how to improve this training in Canada. In order to give weight to our recommendations, we need as many farmer voices as possible.

La Coalition pancanadienne pour les nouveaux fermiers/nouvelles fermières et l’Université du Manitoba ont développé un sondage dont l’objectif est de cerner les besoins des nouveaux fermiers au Canada en matière de politique et d’offres de formations. Les résultats de ce sondage serviront au développement d’une plateforme politique servant les nouveaux fermiers/nouvelles fermières à tous les paliers gouvernementaux. Le sondage documentera l’offre de formation existante et présentera des pistes de solutions pour améliorer la formation au Canada. Pour donner du poids à nos recommandations, aidez-nous à recueillir le plus grand nombre de réponses possibles.

Go to the survey / compléter le sondage

More detail from Broadfork Farm

 

Ontario’s Regional Food Hub Development

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Co-op Food Hub Discussion in Guelph

Changing the Way We Do Local Food

February 24, 2015
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Chapel, Loyola House, Ignatius Jesuit Centre of Guelph

Public Forum, Panel Discussion and World Café

Facilitated by Sally Miller, LOFC Network Food Hub Project Manager

Come participate in a robust discussion about how co-operative food hubs are offering Ontario communities viable, democratically driven business options for local food aggregation and distribution. Guests from the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network’s Regional Food Hub Expansion project will share their experiences before the audience has a chance to participate in small table discussions on Financing, Marketing, Governance, and Logistics for Distribution.

Special guests include Peggy Baillie, Eat Local Sudbury, Devorah Belinsky, Ottawa Valley Food Co-op, Kelly Skinner, True North Community Co-op, Jeff Pastorius, On the Move Organics, Alison Blay-Palmer, Wilfrid Laurier University, Jodi Koberinski, Canadian Council on Food Sovereignty and Health, Glenford Jameson & James Patterson, West End Food Co-op, Glenn Valliere & Randy Whitteker, Ontario Natural Food Co-op.

Tickets are $20 at the door, or included with registration at the Dan Kittredge farmer training (Feb. 23 & 24) or at Building the Soils of a Co-operative Food System, our 6th Annual Assembly (Feb. 24-6).

Food Policy and Regional Food Systems

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Opportunities for Networking across Jurisdictions

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

1:00 – 2:15 PM EST

REGISTER for the Webinar

Where does your local food policy council fit within the regional food system? Would you like to play a stronger role in both your locality and at a regional level but not sure how? Functioning with limited resources and volunteer members, it can often be easiest for a food policy council to concentrate locally. By understanding the role of local food policy councils within the context of a regional food system, groups can network across geographies to maximize impact and effectiveness of policy changes.

During this webinar, expert panelists will address a number of big picture questions local food policy councils have about regional food systems, including:

  • The role of local food policy councils within a regional network
  • When is it beneficial to connect across a region
  • How to determine your “region” and what to do when definitions vary
  • Best practices and challenges to organizing and building regional networks, including resources and infrastructure needed

These issues will be addressed to show participants how networking across jurisdictions can positively influence food system change. The webinar will also include time for participant Q&A.

Suggested participants: Food policy council coordinators and members, policy-makers, members of the local and regional food system and food system advocates.
This event is sponsored by the Institute for Public Health Innovation and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
Register here

Food for Health Research Forum

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SAVE THE DATE!

April 9, 2015
Conference Centre, 1 Stone Road, Guelph, ON
8:30 AM — 3:30 PM

OMAFRA — UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH
Food for Health Research Forum

  • Learn about Food for Health research
  • Discuss links between research, industry applications and improving the health of Ontarians
  • Connect with researchers, industry and government
  • View grad student posters in the Food for Health Student Poster Competition

Food for Health is a research theme under the OMAFRA – University of Guelph Partnership. This event will be free. Further details about in-person and webex registration will be sent out soon.

Jen Weston
jen.weston at ontario.ca or
Sara Fisher
sfishe01 at uoguelph.ca

UPDATE: Ontario Regional Food Hub Survey

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(Feb. 9, 2015) Those who visited the Ontario Regional Food Hub survey before today—from a link sent via email or on our food hubs survey page—might have landed on a page containing the message ”Thank you for taking the survey”. This error has been corrected. Please revisit the survey using the links below, and thank you for your patience!

_________________________________________
For Ontario’s local and regional food producers, processors, distributors, and food service procurers: This is your chance to make your needs clear!

OMAFRA-sponsored Ontario Regional Food Hub Survey

This survey will help us to report on the current capacity of food hubs in Ontario, and recommend improvements for farmers, processors, distributors, retailers and restaurants. The ultimate goal is to help funding agencies to understand community and business needs, where funding/resource gaps exist, and how to effectively support operations such as yours. We very much appreciate the time you will take filling out the survey and hope that we can receive your input by Family Day February 17.

For technical issues or questions about filling out the survey please reply to Mike Nagy nagym@uoguelph.ca. For questions about this project, please contact Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer: ablaypalmer@wlu.ca.   Thank you!

Follow this link to the Survey:
New Directions Food Hub Survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bP1JYQMeBNU8iDH

 

Public Consultation on Chicken Allocation and Northern Ontario

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From Sustain Ontario’s Flocking Options campaign:

All interested parties, farmer, processors and consumer are invited to join a consultation about the chicken quota allocation in Ontario. The purpose of this consultation is to solicit input, feedback and advice on how future growth should be distributed to farmers and processors (farmer-member allotment and processor supply distribution) so as to position the chicken industry for economic growth and success. The Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) and the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission are hosting a special pan-northern consultation to hear the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in Northern Ontario.

This is your opportunity to give voice to your vision of the future of the chicken industry in Northern Ontario.

10:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 10, 2015

See the list of locations and local contact information across Northern Ontario

 See the background information provided by the CFO 

Building a Wellington-Guelph Food Strategy: Movie Screening and Discussion

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The Guelph-Wellington Food Round Table invites you to the second in a series of events focusing on farming, the regional food system, and a Food Strategy for Wellington County and Guelph. Join us for this free event*, to help determine our regional food policy, investment and development priorities with a diverse group of stakeholders—including public officials, community organizations, farmers, restaurateurs and engaged citizens—as we begin the process of developing a community-led Food Strategy for Wellington County and Guelph.

This event will take place at the Erin Legion, 12 Dundas St E, Erin, ON 

Friday, February 13, 2015 from 6:45 PM to 9:45 PM (EST)

In a rapid-fire format, a handful of presenters will answer the challenge question “Why do we need a regional food strategy?” — including speakers from Everdale Environmental Learning CentreFriendly Chef AdventuresOntario Farmland Trust; and Zócalo Organics.

This will be followed by the Erin premiere of the year’s hottest new documentary The Family Farm, in conjunction with Transition Erin’s Environmental Film Series. See the trailer for the documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t60xMswH9n0

Refreshments will be provided.

The next event in the GWFRT Food Strategy Engagement Series will be in Centre Wellington (3rd week of March).

Please visit the link below to register, to read a food strategy description, and for more information about the event.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/building-a-wellington-guelph-food-strategy-movie-screening-and-discussion-tickets-15623073032

*Thanks to sponsors GWFRT, OPIRG Guelph, and Foodland Ontario