Sustainable Agri-food System Student Research Project grants

The 2016 BCFN YES! Research Grant Competition invites worldwide researchers to submit proposals for a research project on food and sustainability.
Due July 27, 2016. Top ten proposals invited to present in Milan, November 2016.
The BCFN Foundation focuses on young talents by supporting higher education and interdisciplinary research, to advance the knowledge base in food and sustainability. The BCFN YES! Research Grant Competition invites young talents [under 35] to submit proposals for a research grant of 20,000 euro.

It is provided for PhD and postdoc students, participating as individual or as a team. The BCFN YES! Research Grant Competition encourages the participation of teams from different disciplines and/or countries who wish to combine their expertise in innovative approaches.

Potential Topic Areas

The BCFN YES! Research Grant Competition offers the opportunity to put into action concrete proposals that will have the objective of making more sustainable one or more themes of the agri-food system (in terms of environmental, social, health and/or economic aspects). Among others, we consider the following areas of particular interest:

–  Sustainable and healthy diets;
–  Urban food systems and policies;
–  Resilient agriculture, land use change and agroecology;
–  The nexus between climate change, energy and food;
–  Sustainable water management;
–  Food supply chains;
–  Ecosystems and ecosystem services;
–  Healthy lifestyles;
–  Food waste reduction;
–  Food policy development;
–  Food security: availability, access, utilisation, stability;
–  Communication technologies and networks;
–  Youth and women’s involvement in agriculture

For more detail

From Local Food to COOL Food

This winter,  Theresa Schumilas, one of the Research Associates with the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems is launching a new on-line food market that moves us beyond ‘local’ food systems to truly sustainable food systems. The new ‘COOL’ or ‘CO2L’ market, is a bottom-up solution to help cool the planet. Rather than wait on experts to reach agreements about climate change and come up with plans, these new markets will link consumers with the small-scaled producers around the world who are already cooling the planet through their knowledge and skills.

Buying local is a great thing to do, but, it’s not enough. While it’s good to buy locally grown food for many reasons, ‘food miles’ (the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer) actually make up a relatively small percentage of the overall carbon footprint of food — approximately 11% on average. In comparison, how our food is grown makes up a much larger percentage — roughly 83% of the food’s footprint. The impacts of food on climate depend less on distant travelled and more on the agronomic decisions the farmer makes. But, with the possible exception of certified organic branding, these climate critical on-farm decisions are seldom highlighted in markets selling ‘local’ foods. Consumers need a way to make clear choices about the carbon consequences of the foods they buy, but so far there is no clear marketplace identity for foods that are produced with climate mitigating methods in Canada. That’s where the new ‘COOL’ (or CO2L) comes in.

Open Food Networks dear supermarket adThis new COOL market is built on a new open source platform called “Open Food Networks”. This platform will be initiated in Canada by December, as part of Theresa’s  work to launch Farm 2.0. To do this, she is working to establish SIMPLE criteria for the COOL designation and recruiting vendors to pilot the market in early 2016.

Instead of using complicated and costly criteria and verification systems (which would end up excluding small scale farmers), the COOL market is drawing on the experiences and knowledge of small scaled farmers who have been cooling the planet for centuries.

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Together, we can cool the planet! from GRAIN on Vimeo.

 

 

They key point is that we know what the main agricultural causes of climate change are, and we know what we need to do to reduce our emissions. We need to think beyond local. We need to learn from, and support small scale farmers around the world. Together we can COOL the planet.

Read the full post here.

If you are interested in getting involved in this –  contact Theresa: tschumilas (at) rogers.com

Building, defending and strengthening agroecology

…from Agroecology Now.

The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience of Coventry University and ILEIA, the Centre for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture have produced a new publication and video that explore the meaning and politics of agroecology from social movement perspectives.

Building, Defending and Strengthening AgroecologyA movement is growing. While agroecology has been practiced for millennia in diverse places around the world, today we are witnessing the mobilisation of transnational social movements to build, defend and strengthen agroecology as the pathway towards a more just, sustainable and viable food and agriculture system. Read more

Fortnightly Feast

Bring Food Home: Digging Deeper

This fall, Sudbury will be buzzing with sustainable, healthy food and farming advocates, innovators, and decision-makers gathering for Bring Food Home: Digging Deeper, based at the Sudbury Radisson Hotel on November 20-22, 2015. Sustain Ontario is pleased to announce that Early Bird conference registration is now open, along with tickets for the popular Feast of Local Flavours. Read more

Community Food Projects Indicators of Success FY 2014

The Community Food Projects Indicators of Success FY 2014 report illustrates the collective impact of Community Food Project grantees from FY 2014 based on the metrics from Whole Measures for Community Food Systems. It includes metrics from the 6 areas of impact from Whole Measures: Healthy People, Strong Communities, Thriving Local Economies, Sustainable Ecosystems, Vibrant Farms and Gardens and Fairness and Justice. Read more

Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: An interview with Miguel Ramirez, National Coordinator of the Organic Agriculture Movement of El Salvador

We say that every square meter of land that is worked with agro-ecology is a liberated square meter. We see it as a tool to transform farmers’ social and economic conditions. We see it as a tool of liberation from the unsustainable capitalist agricultural model that oppresses farmers. Read more

Lessons from the Field: A New Series for Food Hub Development

Since 2009, USDA has invested in 29,100 local food opportunities, including food hubs, small scale processing and farmers markets across all 50 states and the US territories. These investments include over 12,000 loans and micro-loans to small-scale producers who often sell products locally and over 13,000 high tunnels (low-cost covered structures that extend the growing season and make locally-grown products available later in the year). Read more

Running a Food Hub

IN RECENT YEARS, several surveys—including the 2013 National Food Hub Survey1 and the Food Hub Benchmarking Study2—have collected data on U.S. food hubs. What seems to be lacking from the current research on food hubs is information on operations and “lessons learned” from those involved in starting and operating food hubs. Read more

ClearWater at the Reed Farm

Georgina, June 25, 2015 – Council’s unanimous decision last night to lease a portion of the Reed Farm at Willow Beach to the Ontario Water Centre is the latest initiative towards a more prosperous Georgina.

The Centre will rechristen eight acres of the Town-owned property (including the historic homestead) as the “ClearWater Farm”. ClearWater will be a community-based social enterprise to stimulate jobs and the local economy, provide affordable learning opportunities, demonstrate water-wise techniques, and celebrate “field to fork” culinary arts. Read more

 

Resilient, Sustainable, and Global Food Security for Health

…a compelling 21st Century challenge that requires transformational solutions

All humanity depends on food security. Needed are resilient food systems to assure the health and well being of a growing world population in the face of unprecedented environmental change and constraints. Three critical dimensions of this challenge are: 1) Production: food system technologies and enterprises must function within agroecological capacities and limits; 2) Distribution: economic gain and social justice must be balanced to assure good food for all; and 3) Adaptability: the physical design and social organization of food systems must be locally adapted, globally interconnected, and grounded equally in culture, technology and science. …

The transformational plan is to repurpose the OSU campuses into a living example of new food agri/cultures that promote health, with students engaged in all phases of this transformation and in all phases of their academic and personal lives. We have also proposed a set of 30 new faculty hires to support this academic, ecological and cultural transformation by creating linkages among our many disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths. To read more, and see the list of 30 positions supported by OSU Discovery Themes funding

Fortnightly Feast

Pan Cape Breton Local Food Hub

(Capre Breton Post) — A small group of food producers came together Wednesday to discuss how they could organize to get more of their locally grown produce, livestock and seafood on the dinner plates of Cape Bretoners. The gathering at the Cape Breton County Farmers’ Exhibition in North Sydney was the third of five meetings hosted by the Pan Cape Breton Local Food Hub, an initiative funded by the Department of Agriculture and administered by Inverness County. Read more

Vidéos: Diversité des systèmes alimentaires et changements globaux

Dans le cadre du Mastère « Innovations et politiques pour une alimentation durable » (IPAD) de Montpellier SupAgro et du Cirad, nous avons organisé un séminaire de formation ouvert à tous et accessible en streaming. Avec notamment :

Nicolas BRICAS, Cirad : “Alimentation durable : quels enjeux pour la recherche ?”
Pierre-Henri GOUYON, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle : “La diversité des plantes cultivées”
Sébastien TREYER, Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales : “L’agriculture face à l’épuisement des ressources”.
Benoît DAVIRON, Cirad : “Les enjeux des marchés internationaux de produits agricoles”.
Gilles TRYSTRAM, AgroParisTech : “Quelles innovations en technologies alimentaires ?”
Olivier DE SCHUTTER, Université de Louvain, ancien Rapporteur spécial des Nations unies pour le droit à l’alimentation de 2008 à 2014 : “Bilan et perspectives de six années de mandat aux Nations unies”.

Lire la suite

Global Sustainability and Local Foods: Call for contributions

Deadlines: Papers: 15 February 2015   |   Videos and Posters: 30 May 2015

The complexity of industrial food production, processing and distribution and the growing distance between producers and consumers are at the center of heightened attention in academia and in social movements across the globe, with the latter in particular reclaiming democratic space on how food is grown processed and commercialized. The industrial production and distribution system by transnational and national corporations has been qualified by various scholars as deterritorialized, placeless and generating foods that are standardized and homogenized. Read more

Principles of agroecology can get us out of the food crisis in simple steps

I believe the solution is a combination of modern technologies and organic systems with greater attention to agroecology and income generation from new cash crops. But we need to recognize that the biophysical and socio-economic issues are different in temperate and tropical environments. Read more

Barbarians at the farm gate

Farm gates have traditionally been closed to capital markets: nine in ten farms are held by families. But demography is forcing a shift: the average age of farmers in Europe, America and New Zealand is now in the late fifties. They often have no successor, because offspring do not want to farm or cannot afford to buy out family members. In addition, adopting new technologies and farming at ever-greater scale require the sort of capital few farmers have, even after years of bumper crop prices. Institutional investors such as pension funds see farmland as fertile ground to plough, either doing their own deals or farming them out to specialist funds. Read more

Ile-de-France – A regional strategy for sustainable and local agriculture

In a region that comprises of 49% agricultural land, the regional government of Ile-de-France (where France’s capital city Paris is located) has recently developed a strategy to better protect this land and connect it with local producers and consumers. The Ile-de-France regional strategy for sustainable and local agriculture recognises that in order to have green cities, there must also be access to local and organic agricultural products. In order to achieve this, the strategy consists of three central pillars:

  • Protect farmlands and make them more accessible to agricultural project leaders

  • Encourage the agro-ecological transformation of existing farmlands

  • Develop and promote local industries

Read more

World Food Days 2014

By Wayne Roberts, Visiting Scholar, New College, U of T

This year, several United Nations identified agroecology as a strategy of food production that is central to dealing with hunger, human rights and environmental crises. This October, New College added to this discussion by hosting a mini-conference to celebrate World Food Day and ask if agroecology is pushing out agriculture as “the next new thing” in food and equity.

Not to be outdone, I decided to title my October 17 talk in the mini-conference’s final panel session “Cities, The Next New Thing in Agroecology?”.

This title might sound odd, especially in today’s world where half the population lives in cities and the assumption–or perhaps stereotype–is that food is grown in rural areas, so food isn’t very relevant to cities.

This assumption is part of what’s called the “productionist bias” in food policy and analysis, which focuses attention on production and crop yields rather than consumption and the overall social and cultural benefits that come from food.

Read more

Upcoming Food Events

WORKSHOP

WORLD FOOD DAYS AT NEW COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Wed Oct 15, Thurs Oct 16 and Fri Oct 17

At New College, U of T, we’re celebrating World Food Day with 3 days of special events! Join us for great speakers, workshops and FOOD on the theme of “Agroecology: The Next New Thing in Food?” Everyone welcome!

Presented by the New College Initiatives Fund, the Principal’s Innovation Fund, Equity Studies, New One, Caribbean Studies, the New College Office of Residence and Student Life and the Toronto Food Policy Council.
For details, contact Lori Stahlbrand lori.stahlbrand@gmail.com

WEBINAR

Addressing Food Insecurity in Children: Lessons from Brazil

Nutrition Resource Centre Kids in Focus Webinar Series

Tuesday October 21, 2014
10:30 am – 11:30 am EDT

Brazil has been receiving international recognition for its ground-breaking and progressive FOME ZERO (ie. Zero Hunger) strategy for food security. In this webinar, join Dr. Cecilia Rocha, Director of the School of Nutrition at Ryerson University, as she draws important insights from Brazil’s experience for improving children food security and health in Ontario. Read more

WEBINAR

Good Food Organizations

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 12:00 pm EDT
The Good Food Organizations program offers a way for community-based food security organizations across Canada to work towards a healthy and fair food system through a shared set of “Good Food Principles”. Join Community Food Centres Canada for a 45-60 minute interactive orientation on our new initiative, Good Food Organizations. Register

PUBLIC LECTURE

“Who wants to be a farmer? Youth, gender and agricultural futures”

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 at 7pm
Guelph Public Library, 100 Norfolk St.
Dr.Ben White
Professor Emeritus, International Institute of Social Studies,
Erasmus University, The Netherlands

Register

WEBINAR

Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands: Challenges and opportunities of on-site food production

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT

In Ontario, several institutions are already producing food on their properties as a way to generate revenue; supply nutritious fresh food for consumption (by staff, patients, students, etc.); provide skills training and therapeutic benefits; and build social enterprises. This webinar will share how project partners at health care, social service and educational institutions went about getting gardens off the ground at their institutions, as well as some of the lessons we learned in the first year of working with pilot projects across the province. Read more

 

PUBLIC LECTURE

“Empathetic Innovations for Inclusive Development: Can we learn from Grassroots Innovators?”

Tuesday, Oct. 28th, from 5:30-7:00pm in RM 1800 in the Pathobiology Bldg. University of Guelph

Dr. Anil K. Gupta is professor in the Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management, and coordinator of the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions.  Open to the public. Free admission. Please direct any enquiries to Abeir el Arqusosi at a.arqusosi@exec.uoguelph.ca

CONFERENCE

Building Resilient and Innovative Food Systems

Join the Halton Food Council to hear from a panel of farmers, policymakers, community groups, and grocers as they share their stories about the opportunities and challenges to build a more resilient local food system.

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

A local breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information contact haltonfoodcouncil@gmail.com or call 647-830-0328. Space is limited.

Register at http://haltonfoodsummit.eventbrite.ca 

CONFERENCE

Seed Connections

November 7th, 8th, 9th, 2014
MacDonald Campus of McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec
Building on the incredible success of their 2012 conference, The Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers’ Network (ECOSGN) is partnering with The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security and Seeds of Diversity Canada this year to host their second major ecological seed conference for Eastern Canada.

ECOSGN’s “Seed Connections” conference is a fully bilingual event bringing together farmers, seed-savers, seed companies, community gardeners, researchers, and experts on organic seed production to share knowledge, skills, and experience over a packed, 3-day agenda! Whether you are a beginner gardener or an expert seed producer, if you are interested in ecological seed in eastern Canada – this is the conference to attend!
Read more

CONFERENCE

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

CONFERENCE

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

November 24-25, 2014

Kingston Four Points Sheraton

The 2014 Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is our region’s annual conference bringing together all aspects of our local food system. This event gives you the opportunity to:
• Get a “bird’s eye view” of what’s happening in local food throughout eastern Ontario;
• Make key connections with businesses and organizations that can support your work;
• Attend sessions that address current challenges in Eastern Ontario’s local food sector;
• Enjoy and celebrate eastern Ontario’s local food offerings with others who are as passionate about local food as you are. Read more

Upcoming Webinars and Webcasts

Nutrition and Sustainability: A Long-term Vision for Effective Strategies

Tuesday, 12 November 2013, from 09.00 to 18.00 in FAO Headquarters in Rome

3:00 a.m. to 12:00 EST (See agenda for details)

FAO, the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), Bioversity International, and the governments of Malawi and Flanders are co-organizing a seminar to explore practical approaches and solutions to nutrition and sustainability.  The seminar will bring together around 300 scientists, policy makers, experts, students and practitioners to develop responses to countries’ requests about “why?” and “how?” to link nutrition and sustainability, and to discuss the trade offs. Outcomes of this one-day seminar will also feed into the discussions of the ICN2 Preparatory Technical Meeting<http://www.fao.org/food/nutritional-policies-strategies/icn2/en> (13-15 November 2013).

For more details: http://www.unscn.org/en/nutrition_and_climate_change/nutrition_and_sustainability_seminar_12_november.php

 

Is Sustainability Still Possible?

Webinar To Explore Sustainability Vs. “Sustainababble” And The Road Ahead

Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 2:00 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST)
The word “sustainable” is increasingly difficult to distinguish between “sustainababble,” with growsing false claims confusing our understanding of what sustainability truly entails. This webinar, based on the 2013 edition of the Worldwatch Institute’s flagship annual report, State of the World (subtitled: Is Sustainability Still Possible?), will help participants to better distinguish between sustainability and sustainababble, discuss the scientific foundations of sustainability, explore how to create a truly sustainable human society, and if that is no longer possible, how to prepare ourselves for the turbulent transition ahead.
Featuring commentary by: Erik Assadourian, Senior Fellow, Robert Engelman, President, Worldwatch Institute
Click here to register.

 

How to Feed 9 Billion on a Small Planet

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 from 12-2 pm EST
Across Canada via webcast

USC Canada:  On November 19th, Miguel Altieri (University of California, Berkeley) – a world leading authority on agroecology – will speak on ecological agriculture as a key solution to food insecurity, hunger, and climate change. He’ll be joined by panelists:

Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer and author of The Market Gardener,
Sarah Archibald, Campus Food Systems Project Coordinator, and
Henry Lickers, Environmental Science Officer, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
Bob Carty, former top CBC radio journalist, will moderate the webcast.

REGISTER
To register for the webcast or to organize a private or public screening, go to: usc-canada.org/feedingtheworld.