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

Sustainable Regional Food Systems Workshop Videos

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From June 25-27 the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems hosted an international workshop of researchers from the UK, Germany, South Africa, the US and CAnada, all associated with the Centre.

On June 26, many of these researchers presented their work at a public forum entitled “Sustainable Regional Food Systems”. The videos are available at the links below.
SRFS Workshop Panel 1: Flows of people, knowledge and resources

SRFS Workshop Panel 2: Social Dimensions of Regional Food Systems

SRFS Workshop Panel 3: Activating for change

SRFS Workshop Panel 4: Sustainable Regional Food Systems: Policy and Planning

New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System

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American Farmland Trust (AFT), Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) are pleased to announce the release of their new report New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System

A sustainable food and farming system in New England is key to creating a region that is resilient, just, healthy, economically vibrant, and environmentally sound. New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System identifies policies that are helping New England grow its capacity to feed itself, policies that are hindering this growth, gaps in the existing policy framework, and opportunities for new policies to strengthen our food system. Read more

Videos from Feeding Cities Conference

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Videos, presentations, and photos of the the conference “Feeding Cities: Rural-Urban Connections and the Future of Family Farming” are now available on the conference website:

The conference, held in Toronto on June 23-24, 2014, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Centre for Studies in Food Security, Ryerson University.

Special Issue on Cooperatives Available FREE in July!

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The special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) on Cooperatives and Alternative Food Systems Initiatives has just been completed and will be freely available — no subscription needed! — through the month of July. The journal is doing this to make these papers more readily available to researchers and practitioners and to extend the research on and practice of cooperatives. It also offers prospective subscribers a chance to explore the contents of JAFSD.

This issue also includes an article about our community partner: Leveraging the Local: Cooperative Food Systems and the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network in Ontario, Canada.

Please share this information with your colleagues and networks.

A Place for Food in Public Spaces

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Wisdom from community builders

Upcoming webinar: Thursday, July 3, 2014 12-1 p.m. EDT

To learn more and register, visit

Join Community Food Centres Canada for a free webinar that will explore different ways community-builders are using food programs like community gardens, markets, public suppers, and bake ovens to animate local parks. We’ll highlight how the principles of placemaking can transform public spaces by highlighting local assets and serving common needs.
On the panel are Jutta Mason, who for over 20 years has led the transformation of Dufferin Grove Park to a vibrant, community-supported park, and Sabina Ali, who alongside a Women’s Committee in her culturally diverse neighbourhood of Thorncliffe Park, started a plein air South Asian bazaar and community Tandoor oven. Moderator Liz Curran, the Manager of the Regent Park Community Food Centre at CRC, is developing a suite of food programs to animate the newly re-developed Regent Park neighbourhood, including gardens, a greenhouse, and bake ovens.
We hope you can join us! Feel free to Share it on Facebook, forward via email, or Tweet about it (we’re @aplaceforfood and you can use the #placemaking tag)

When: Thursday, July 3, 2014 from 12 to 1 p.m. EDT

Where: Your Computer

How Much: Free!


In the meantime, if you’re interested in whetting your appetite leading up to the webinar, we recently wrote a piece about how Regent Park Community Food Centre is undertaking placemaking in a nearby public park; and if you’d like to learn more about how community gardening programs work in the context of a Community Food Centre, have a look at our info-packed module on the topic.

As with all our webinars, this one will be posted to The Pod Knowledge Exchange along with a host of downloadable resources a week or so after the event. Become a member of The Pod to stay in the loop about this webinar and others yet to come.

Sustainable Regional Food Systems Workshop: Theory, Practice and Policy

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Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems

Thursday, 26 June 2014 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)
Waterloo, ON

Hosted by the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, this workshop brings together international academics, practitioners, and policy makers to share on-going research and policy initiatives. The workshop is SOLD OUT!


8:30 – 9:00 – Registration & Welcome

9:00 – 10:30


Discussant: Terry Marsden, Director, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University 

Rich Pirog, Senior Associate Director, Michigan State University, Centre for Regional Food Systems

The Michigan Good Food Charter: Using networks to create change in the food system

Juliane Brandt, Christoph Kasper and Undine Giseke, Technical University, Berlin

Urban agriculture as an integrated planning strategy – a productive green infrastructure for Casablanca

Andrew Spring, PhD Candidate, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Joe Hanlon, Sahtú Renewable Resources Board

Food security in the Sahtú Region, NWT

Charles Levkoe, Postdoctoral Fellow, Wilfrid Laurier University

The food movement in Canada: A social movement network perspective

10:30 – 10:45 – Networking Break

10:45 – 12:15


Discussant: Cornelia Flora, Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology, Iowa State University

Damien Conaré, UNESCO Chair in World Food Systems, Montpellier SupAgro

Emerging linkages in global food studies: A UNESCO Chair perspective

Peter Andree and Patricia Ballamingie, Carleton University, and Carolyn Doris

Challenges at the intersection of food and housing security with fair wages for farmers

Molly Anderson, Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine

Fostering food security through sustainable regional food system visions

Erin Nelson and Karen Landman, University of Guelph

Alternative agri-food initiatives and social capital: Learnings from Ontario and Mexico

12:15 – 1:30 – Networking Lunch

1:30 – 2:45


Discussant: Laurette Dube, Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

Connie Nelson and Mirella Stroink, Lakehead University, and community partner

Crowd sourcing and sustainable food system projects

Irena Knezevic, Research Associate, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, Su Morin and Linda Best

Innovative food initiatives in Atlantic Canada

Lori Stahlbrand, PhD Candidate, Wilfrid Laurier University

Institutional local sustainable food procurement: Building capacity

2:45 – 3:00 – Networking Break

3:00 – 4:30


Discussant: Wayne Roberts, Food Policy Consultant, Retired Toronto Food Policy Council Manager

Phil Mount, Postdoctoral Fellow, Wilfrid Laurier University

Supply management and local food: Solving chicken and egg riddles

Jill Clarke, Assistant Professor, John Glenn School of Public Policy, Ohio State University

Integrating sustainable food systems into planning

Samina Raja, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, State University of New York at Buffalo

Planning for food: Insights from the Healthy Communities Lab

Jane Battersby-Lennard, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town

Everyone’s problem, no-one’s mandate: Working towards an urban food systems approach in Cape Town, South Africa 

4:30 – 5:00 – Closing