Because it matters! The Food Hub Value Chain Survey

Food Hub Value Chain Survey…from Mike Nagy, Survey Project Manager, Nourishing Communities, Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems

Thank you to those who responded to our previous request.

We very much hope that those who have started the survey can complete it now and those who still have not had a chance to fil it out can do so as we are closing the survey on February 17th.

Receiving data for the 2015 business year and growing season would be of tremendous benefit to our study while assisting funders and policy makers to better understand the challenges that you face.   We have kept the survey open in hopes to receive much needed additional input.

Follow this link to the Survey:
Take the Survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe3/form/SV_5cmyMK6xn6wpBFH?Q_DL=6YEfstRzT4gNIYl_5cmyMK6xn6wpBFH_MLRP_6xjfdEkdAVt0qQl&Q

We have also included a link that will provide you a comprehensive summary of the 2014 survey results with easy to read Info-graphics.  We hope that you find the results helpful. Please spread widely!

https://fledgeresearch.ca/resources-results/food-hubs-in-ontario/

Thank you for your participation, your input is highly valued.

Fortnightly Feast

Sustain Ontario’s Upcoming Network Meetings: Setting Directions for 2017

Sustain Ontario’s Networks will be meeting virtually to set directions for 2017. Old and new members welcome to join  to help determine ways to achieve each network’s priorities for 2017.

Network Meetings:

To read more, or register for the meetings

The kids are not alright

The Heart & Stroke 2017  Report on the Health of Canadians  examines how industry is marketing unhealthy food and beverages directly to our children and youth, and how this is affecting their preferences and choices, their family relationships and their health. Read more

Ontario Public Institutions and On-site Food Production: Visualizing the Future for Health Care

For three years, Project SOIL has used case studies, pilot projects and visioning sessions to investigate the viability of on-site food production at public institutions, through collaborative arrangements with local food producers.

Over that time, interest in food production on public land has continued to grow, with schools and universities, health care institutions and seniors residences, community food centres and food banks, as well as public agencies—from conservation authorities to crown corporations—making land available for food production. Read more

Re-imagining sustainable food planning, building resourcefulness: Food movements, insurgent planning and heterodox economics

8th Annual Conference of the AESOP ‘Sustainable food planning’ group, 2017
Hosted by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, CoventryUK
…Planning for sustainable food production and food provision is more than ever urging us to look for more effective, equitable and just approaches that radically change not only the way we grow food, but the very core of our living space.This 8th annual conference of the AESOP sustainable food planning group is dedicated to discussing ideas, approaches and practices that can help to re-invent food planning in light of the need to build a resourceful, agroecological, urbanism. Read more

Deadline Extended to February 6: AFHVS/ASFS Annual Meeting and Conference, June 14-17, 2017 at Occidental College

The conference theme, “Migrating Food Cultures: Engaging Pacific Perspectives on Food and Agriculture,” invites us to reflect on and engage with the entirety of the Pacific region. The conference setting of Los Angeles, California, is a dynamic, diverse, and multiethnic global city that serves as a gateway, destination, and waypoint. Much of the food itself in California is produced in part by migrating workers and immigrants; indeed, the food scene in Los Angeles is the result of migrating food cultures. Read more

New Intake Added for Final Year of Growing Forward 2 Program

As the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Funding Assistance Program for producers moves into its final year, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs want to be sure there are still plenty of opportunities for Ontario producers to make on-farm improvements. GF2 is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative designed to encourage innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector through cost-share funding opportunities. GF2 is delivered to producers by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), and will start to wrap up early in 2018. Read more

Strong Public Support for the Growth Plan

A January 2017 poll by the Greenbelt Foundation and Environmental Defence shows Ontarians strongly support the Growth Plan and protection of farmland.
9 in 10 respondents agreed that new growth should be directed to already-built up areas. Read more

The Community-Focused Rural Economic Development Program is Open for Applications

The Rural Economic Development (RED) program helps rural communities remove barriers to community economic development, through support for planning and implementation projects that benefit rural Ontario.

The program is now open and will accept applications until March 31, 2017. A second intake is scheduled for July 31, 2017 to September 29, 2017. Read more

My Sustainable Canada’s Local Food and Ontario’s Long Term Care Sector Report

This report documents the current state of local food usage in Ontario’s long-term care sector. Most of the 600+ homes in Ontario do not track local food usage and many report barriers to adding these items to their menus. With an estimated annual raw food spend in excess of $210 million, Ontario’s long-term care sector represents a significant opportunity for local producers. Read more

DIG (Durham Integrated Growers for a Sustainable Community)

A new case study from our ongoing ‘Social Economy of Food‘ research highlights DIG (Durham Integrated Growers for a Sustainable Community). Compiled by Mary Anne Martin, DIG was collected through interviews with the president of DIG, the coordinator of one of its member projects and one organization that has benefitted from regular delivery of produce from a member garden. In addition, it draws on documents and observations from: DIG’s website, its member projects, its annual general meeting, an executive meeting and a meeting of the Durham Food Policy Council (of which DIG is a member). As a participatory action research initiative, this research involved a collaborative project with DIG and the Durham Food Policy Council that analysed municipal policy in Durham Region to assess its support for urban agriculture and food security. The findings from the policy research also informs this report. Read or download the report!

Make a Difference for Local Food in Ontario — the 2nd Annual Ontario Food Hub Survey!

Your 2015 food sales numbers still matter! Help us to gather the evidence of Ontario’s growing regional food markets.

Receiving data for the 2015 business year and growing season would be of tremendous benefit—assisting funders and policy makers to better understand the challenges that you face.

We need a snapshot of your 2015 regional food sector activities so that we can better provide the facts—about important growing regional food markets and hubs—to agri-food sector policy-makers and funders.

The Nourishing Communities research group is conducting the second annual OMAFRA-funded survey to identify existing and potential regional food hub demand in Ontario. We need your input so we can provide the most up-to-date summary of food hub activity in Ontario for the 2015 growing season.

The goal is to enable you to get more local and/or sustainable food into the hands of consumers, apply for loans/grants, and give you a snapshot of your local food system. The survey results will also help funders understand more about community and business needs, where funding/resource gaps exist and how to effectively support operations such as yours.

We will be grouping the survey responses by regions to get a better picture of existing food systems and where there are more opportunities.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first survey of food hubs in 2014 – we are happy to share results.

Considerations for Seed Security and Biodiversity Conservation in Newfoundland

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This research explores and assesses various perspectives on seed security issues in Newfoundland and is meant to inform the creation of an action plan for seed security work in Newfoundland in coming years. Drawing on ten interviews with individuals actively involved with seed saving and conservation, the report describes recent seed security efforts on the island and the current needs and assets. The unique conditions on the island include short growing seasons to harsh climatic conditions in the winter months, making the availability of locally adapted seed crucially important. Public interest in seed security is on the rise but local resources and funding to support seed activities is limited. The demand for locally sourced seed is significant but there are still few seed-savers. There is good seed access on the island and seeds are generally available at the quality and quantity farmers want and need, however, many seed varieties are considered to be very expensive. There is significant concern for endangered local varieties and erosion of genetic diversity, in particular with respect to Newfoundland heritage potato seed. The study could not conclusively determine the feasibility of developing a seed bank in Newfoundland.

This research was made possible by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through the Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged partnership and the support from the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security and Echo Foundation. The findings presented here do not necessarily reflect those of the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, or Echo Foundation.

Please see below the full report:

considerations-for-seed-security-and-biodiversity-conversation-in-newfoundland

Mapping Nova Scotia’s Seed Collections Systems

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The seed collections system in Nova Scotia includes people from a wide variety of backgrounds and skill-sets working toward a similar goal – seed conservation as an important element of seed security. Data from nine interviews with individuals prominently involved with the seed network in Nova Scotia provide insights into the roles of various seed organizations including seed libraries, seed banks, gene banks, and seed companies. The project explores various aspects of their form and function, including their audiences, purposes, and their interactions, and barriers to interactions with each other. The current local seed movement is attributed to growing interest in and availability of local food, and is explored here as both a result of, and a new driving force behind the local food and food security movements. Interaction between various seed organizations is limited but mutually supportive. Project findings also provide insights about future directions of seed initiatives in the province, indicating that a greater number of geographically dispersed small seed libraries is highly desirable.

This research was made possible by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through the Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged partnership, with additional support from the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network and The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. The findings presented here do not necessarily reflect those of the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network or The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.

Access to the full article report-seed-collections-systems-final

 

Agricultural / Rural-Growth Economics Study of Remaining Pickering Federal Lands

Land over Landings RFP

CLOSING DATE AND TIME:
October 12, 2016, 3:00 P.M.

Land Over Landings wants a qualified firm to undertake a comprehensive study of the maximum agricultural economic capability, the rural growth opportunities, and other economic benefits to be had from restoring permanent agriculture to the remaining Federal Lands in Durham Region — while also ensuring the preservation of the area’s existing watersheds and natural habitat.

Land Over Landings intends to use the study report’s data and conclusions in future communications strategies, to make the case to political leadership and the general public that an agricultural and rural-growth economic vision exists as a viable alternative to an airport and other economic development on the remaining Federal Lands.

Please don’t hesitate to contact landoverlandings@gmail.com for the full RFP, or if you have any questions.

Canada’s migrant agricultural workers deserve full and equal rights. Here’s why

By Janet McLaughlin

Earlier this year, a quiet decision by Loblaw to remove French’s brand ketchup from its shelves was met by an unexpected firestorm of protest from angry consumers. In the weeks following, the brand rose from relative obscurity into superhero status over its local tomato origins. Over the course of 24 hours, Canadians told Loblaw loud and clear that they wanted local Leamington, Ont., tomatoes in the popular condiment gracing their barbequed eats this summer. A surprised Loblaw management team quickly reversed its decision.

Supporting local agriculture makes sense. Buying food produced close to home generates positive ripple effects for local economies, lowers greenhouse gas emissions and promotes Ontario’s food sovereignty and security. The great irony is that often our much-celebrated local food system relies on imported labour, under conditions in which exploitation can be ripe for the picking.

I’ve been doing research and health-based community work with migrant farm workers for over a decade. Travelling alongside workers between their Ontario workplaces and their homes in Mexico and Jamaica, I have been continually shocked and saddened by the long-term challenges they face as they spend their adult lives living between two countries.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, a specific stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which was originally designed to help employers fill staffing gaps when local labour supply is not available. While the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has seen some turbulent times as of late, its agricultural branch has more or less remained consistent over the half century of its existence.

The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program involves workers (mostly, but not exclusively, men) from Mexico and the Caribbean coming to Ontario for up to eight months a year to work our farms. Some come for decades in a row, returning home to visit family for a few months each winter but never bringing them along to Canada. Children grow up viewing their migrant parents as occasional visitors. Unsurprisingly, depression, family strain and breakdown are common consequences of this type of arrangement.

Read more……

Job Vacancy: Research Associate, Food System Policy

The Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) is seeking applications for a one-year Research Associate position focused on food system policy.

About ISFS

ISFS is an applied research and extension unit at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). We investigate and support regional food systems as key elements of sustainable communities, focusing predominantly on British Columbia but also extending our programming to other regions. Our applied research focuses on the potential of regional food systems in terms of agriculture and food, economics, community health, policy, and environmental integrity. Our extension programming provides information and support for farmers, communities, business, policy makers, and others. Community collaboration is central to our approach.

ISFS employs a multidisciplinary team of agriculturists and researchers with expertise in food systems, agriculture, economics, farm business management, ecology, and public health. Our office is on KPU’s Richmond campus, located at 8771 Lansdowne Road, Richmond BC. The campus is served by rapid transit (Canada Line – Lansdowne Station), by which downtown Vancouver can be reached in about 30 minutes.

Position Overview

  • Contract:  35 hours/week for one year, with possibility of renewal
  • Salary: $25-27/hour dependent on qualifications and experience
  • Position start date: July 5th, negotiable for the right candidate
  • Application deadline: June 5th, 2016

Responsibilities and Tasks

The primary responsibility of the research associate will be project management and execution of the ISFS project: Building an accessible food system policy database for B.C. communities (please see the project overview below). This project has been conceptualized and initial work has been undertaken. The research associate will develop and execute a one-year work plan to achieve project goals and deliverables, which are:

  • An online, open access searchable bank of B.C. municipal policies related to food systems.
  • A report on findings from interviews with planners about what makes food system policy effective.
  • A set of indicators municipal governments can use to monitor their progress in advancing local food systems and policy development.
  • Workshop or webinar with planners, community groups, food policy councils etc. to launch/share the website, share findings from the interviews, and review the municipal indicators for monitoring advancement of local food systems.

The research associate will also contribute to a second project under way at ISFS, development of a Regional Food Systems Resources website.  Key tasks on this project include:

  • Management and supervision of the development of a resource collection (academic and non-academic resources that will comprise one aspect of the website.  This work entails collaboration with the project lead, and supervision of student employees.
  • Work with KPU’s Marketing Department to develop and test the website as it relates to the resource collection.

The research associate may also develop, in collaboration with other ISFS staff, a near and longer term food system policy and planning research program plan and funding strategy, and prepare grant applications. For the right candidate and dependent on funding there may be opportunity for contract renewal associated with this research program.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience

The successful applicant for this position must:

  • Hold a master degree in planning, policy, food system studies, or other relevant discipline
  • Be interested in local policy and sustainable food systems
  • Be experienced with project development and management
  • Have qualitative research experience and training
  • Have a demonstrated ability to conceptualize a complex project and effectively plan and execute steps to complete it
  • Have strong interpersonal communication skills
  • Have strong writing skills demonstrated by their lay and/or academic publication record
  • Have demonstrated their ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and with a multi-disciplinary team

The following will be considered assets:

  • Experience in a supervisory role including as a TA
  • Proficiency working with Atlas.ti qualitative software
  • Knowledge of the food system policy landscape of BC
  • Experience working in a municipal government setting or with municipal planners
  • Grant writing experience and/or training

For more information….