Greenbelt Offers Canada’s First Food Hub Management Training

…from the Greenbelt Fund website

Training for Tomorrow’s Food Hub Leaders

The first of its kind in North America, now in its third year and first time being offered in Canada, this program is an innovative blend of hands-on, community-based online and on-campus learning to prepare you for managing food hubs. The program provides the tools you need to advance your career in food systems.

Highlights

  • Taught online with in-person sessions held in Southwestern Ontario – with a plethora of businesses leading the local food movement
  • Syllabus includes: Business Formation, Food Hub Fundamentals, Business Planning, Marketing, Sales, Finance HR & Staffing, Risk Management, Food Safety, Product Development and Knowledge, Supply Chain Management, Storage and Warehouse Management, Distribution, Processing, Technology, Value Chain Facilitation

Who Should Apply?

  • Individuals exploring the feasibility of starting or expanding a food hub
  • Emerging leaders in organizations advancing the feasibility of regional food systems
  • Food Hub practitioners focused on ‘the next ten years’
  • Professionals seeking to develop their career in the local and regional food market

For more details, see the Greenbelt Fund site

Workshop Report

This spring, the Nourishing Communities Research Group hosted a one-day workshop in Ottawa which brought together researchers and community partners who were working on diverse food initiatives with a social or informal purpose, in diverse communities from Atlantic Canada to the Northwest Territories.

The purpose of the workshop was to think about evaluation, indicators, and metrics—ways of measuring and reporting that are useful and relevant for social and informal economy projects. These indicators would help researchers do comparative work while identifying commonalities and gaps, and help everyone to communicate outcomes in a way that would be intuitive to those without food systems background; useful to other social and informal food initiatives; and useful to influence policy-makers and funders.

Read more, and access the report

Nourishing Communities: The Book!

We are excited to announce the release of our edited collection that reflects on nearly a decade of Nourishing Communities research network’s collaborations.

Nourishing Communities: From Fractured Food Systems to Transformative Pathways 
Edited by: Knezevic, I., Blay-Palmer, A., Levkoe, C.Z., Nelson, E., Mount, P. (Springer)
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-57000-6

From the publisher:

This edited volume builds on existing alternative food initiatives and food movements research to explore how a systems approach can bring about health and well-being through enhanced collaboration. Chapters describe the myriad ways community-driven actors work to foster food systems that are socially just, embed food in local economies, regenerate the environment and actively engage citizens. Drawing on case studies, interviews and Participatory Action Research projects, the editors share the stories behind community-driven efforts to develop sustainable food systems, and present a critical assessment of both the tensions and the achievements of these initiatives.

The volume is unique in its focus on approaches and methodologies that both support and recognize the value of community-based practices. Throughout the book the editors identify success stories, challenges and opportunities that link practitioner experience to critical debates in food studies, practice and policy. By making current practices visible to scholars, the volume speaks to people engaged in the co-creation of knowledge, and documents a crucial point in the evolution of a rapidly expanding and dynamic sustainable food systems movement.

Entrenched food insecurity, climate change induced crop failures, rural-urban migration, escalating rates of malnutrition related diseases, and aging farm populations are increasingly common obstacles for communities around the world. Merging private, public and civil society spheres, the book gives voice to actors from across the sustainable food system movement including small businesses, not-for-profits, eaters, farmers and government. Insights into the potential for market restructuring, knowledge sharing, planning and bridging civic-political divides come from across Canada, the United States and Mexico, making this a key resource for policy-makers, students, citizens, and practitioners.

For more information, please contact irena.knezevic@carleton.ca

Kudrinko’s: Independent Grocery as Food Hub

A new Food Hub case study of Kudrinko’s is now available.

Figure-1

This case study examines the roles that a successful food hub must play to bridge gaps in local food distribution. Two key strategies for success, diversification and the cultivation of personal relationships, align across different points in the supply chain – from production to retail. Many of the challenges raised in studying Kudrinko’s point to distribution issues in which bricks-and-mortar style food hubs primarily for distribution can be effective in solving. These include issues of: ensuring consistent supply, easing transportation and logistics, educating consumers on seasonality and the growing process, and protecting against the negative impacts of climate change and international trade. Read more

Food Counts

A Pan-Canadian Sustainable Food Systems Report Card

NEW! from the FLEdGE research team, Food Counts brings together already existing measures of social, environmental, and economic well-being to help researchers, policy makers, and practitioners examine food systems at the national level. The report card uses a food sovereignty framework to reframe food within an integrated systems perspective and makes connections to a global movement focused on food as a means for collective social change. As one practical tool for reimagining Canadian food systems, the Food Counts Report Card acts as a benchmark, identifies gaps in data and where case studies can elaborate on successes and limitations, and informs policy making at all levels of government. Read more

How Green is My Alley

…from Wayne Roberts:

Why the Low-Hanging Fruit of Food Security, Urban Agriculture and Community Development Can Be Found in Parks, Boulevards, Alleyways, Schoolyards and Institutional Lawns

I remember when my food career was just beginning during the 1990s, and urban agriculture was considered radical and weird because so few people thought of cities as places with enough space to grow food.

Today, urban agriculture on public land seems just as radical and weird, because so few people have even thought about how much land governments own, how much could be made available for food production, and how many public benefits could be harvested from that decision.

Read more

Ontario Campus Food Report Card

Student Feedback Survey
Are you a student at a university in Ontario? Here’s your chance to tell the world how you feel about campus food!
When we talk about sustainable food, we mean food that “does not compromise the environmental, economic, health or social well-being of present and future generations” (Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy Group, 2017)
When we talk about local food, we mean food produced or harvested in Ontario, including forest or freshwater food, and food and beverages made in Ontario if they include ingredients produced or harvested in Ontario. (Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 2013)
Brought to you by the Campus Food Report Card, a project by Meal Exchange with support from the Greenbelt Fund and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Read more, or take the survey

Recorded webinar presentations now available online

Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy:

Relocating social and ecological values in food systems

The Nourishing Communities research group is conducting community-based research investigating food initiatives that operate within the social or informal economy, intended to address food security and community development; benefit marginalized communities, including low-income groups, Aboriginal people, youth and women; and provide important environmental stewardship services. We presented initial reflections and case studies from regions across Canada in three 90-minute webinars, available as recorded webinar presentations now through these links:

March 1, 2017 – Eastern Ontario [recorded webinar]

March 14, 2017 – Northwestern Ontario [recorded webinar]

March 15, 2017 – Atlantic Canada and the Northwest Territories [recorded webinar]

 

 

 

 

The Social Economy of Food and the Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy

The webinar Strengthening Ontario’s Food System: A Collaborative Approach (March 9, 2017) is now available online (YouTube). The webinar summarizes the Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy (OFNS), and presents the rationale and evidence for 25 priority policy options within three strategic directions: healthy food access, food literacy and skills, and healthy food systems. The webinar also provides a snapshot of programs and policies currently underway that support the OFNS, including a summary of the case studies from the Nourishing Communities research into Social and Informal Economies of Food.

 

Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy of Food – Atlantic Canada and Northwest Territories Webinar

Wednesday March 15 at 12:00 EST

Join us for reports from four unique community-based research cases in Atlantic Canada and the Northwest Territories, where the most prized goals challenge the accepted wisdom of economic primacy.

Seed Saving in Atlantic Canada (Seeds of Diversity and partner organizations)

  • Conserving seed resources and related skills/knowledge
  • Preserving endangered local varieties of seed
  • Strong collaboration among seed savers, seed banks and libraries, and local seed companies
  • Contributions to biodiversity, knowledge conservation, social capital and food security

FarmWorks Investment Co-op

  • Investing in local food economy
  • Provincial policies both make community investments possible and pose barriers to local food business
  • Strengthening economic and social sustainability
  • Mentorship and preserving/sharing food and business skills/knowledge

JustUs! Centre for Small Farms

  • Farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing
  • Preserving and sharing food skills and knowledge
  • Engagement of marginalized groups
  • Urban-rural and global north-south connections

Kakisa, NT

  • Building a community garden
  • Sharing traditional knowledge
  • Fostering Food sharing networks

ACCESSING THE WEBINARS

The webinars are facilitated through Carleton U, using the ‘Big Blue Button’ platform:

(Platform opens at 11:30 am on March 15, webinar starts at 12:00)

Accessing the webinar:

  1. Go to: http://edc.bigbluebutton.org
  2. Enter your full name
  3. Select the room: Big Data and Agriculture
  4. As a Viewer please use the password: participant
  5. To join the voice bridge for this meeting: click the headset icon in the upper-left (please use a headset to prevent noise).

To join this meeting by phone, dial:

(613) 317-3321 (1-855-215-5935 toll free)

Then enter 29302 as the conference pin number.

Facilitator: Irena Knezevic, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

For questions of additional info, please contact pmount@wlu.ca

For more details on the project and webinars