Farmland Forever – Help Make it Happen!

…from Ontario Farmland Trust: Announcing the 2016 Farmland Forum

Date: Friday, April 8, 2015
Time: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Place: Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener
Cost: $110 early-bird rate by March 25th (includes lunch & dinner); $90 for farm organization members (OFA, CFFO, NFU); $60 student

The 12th annual Ontario Farmland Forum supports and facilitates cross-sector dialogue about how we can work together to strengthen farmland and agricultural planning, policy development, and grassroots, permanent land protection initiatives in Ontario.

This year’s Forum features presentations & discussion following two streams: farmland policy and hands-on farmland protection:

– Protection of Ontario Farmland & Agriculture: A Provincial Priority
– Farmland Protection in Practice:  On-the-Ground Examples of Effective and Progressive Policy Implementation
– Farmland Conservation in Ontario: Case Studies of Leading Land Protection Initiatives
– Toward a Regional Land Trust in Waterloo: A Collaborative Community Dialogue
– Ontario’s Cap & Trade Initiative: Connections to Land Conservation
– Inspiring Land Protection Stories and Collaborations from the U.S.

CLICK HERE for more program information and to Register.

Fortnightly Feast

2015 Ontario Farmland Forum

March 27th will mark the 11th year the Ontario Farmland Trust has hosted a Farmland Forum to discuss emerging farmland protection concerns. And, the 2015 Ontario Farmland Forum, Pursuing Diverse & Collaborative Approaches to Farmland Protection… is very topical and timely. We have a provincial government that is looking for new approaches and partnerships that strengthen the agricultural sector and the protection of our rich agricultural land resources. Read more

LAST CHANCE! New Farmer Survey/Sondage sur les nouveaux fermiers et les nouvelles fermières

If you are currently farming, want to be a farmer, or have recently exited farming, we need to hear from you! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey to support the next generation of farmers in Canada. SURVEY CLOSES MARCH 31, 2015.
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. 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. Please forward this survey to everyone in your farming/foodie network (it is available in both French and English). Read more

Policy 101- Lessons from the community

Building on the success of last year’s Policy 101: Community Action Workshop, this year the Ecology Action Centre decided to take the workshop on the road. They were in Amherst, Cape Breton (near Baddeck), and in Halifax to talk policy with individuals keen on making their institutions, municipalities and the province as a whole more supportive of healthy lifestyles, local food, and a sustainable environment. Read more

Villes nourricières

Last January, Vivre en Ville, an urban planing NGO based in Québec, Canada, launched a new book about sustainable local food systems. Named “Villes nourricières”, the book calls for a better integration of food in the local government agenda and a better integration of public health, environment, land planning and food policies.
Five majors ingredients are combined to create proximity-based food systems: productive spaces, responsible businesses, better access to healthy food, increased local food demand and optimized lifecycle. The book highlights many strategies, actions and case studies to help communities build their own local food strategy. Lire la suite

From New York State:

It’s Time to Find Out If Buying Local Vegetables Actually Helps Farm Towns

It’s a universally acknowledged truth that urban farmers markets are good for rural economies. Just ask U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. After announcing the availability of $96.8 million in grants to fund various local food projects on Monday, Vilsack said, “Increasing market opportunities for local food producers is a sound investment in America’s rural economies.” But is it? That’s the question a team of researchers at Cornell University, led by economics professor Todd Schmit, will be digging into over the next two years… Read more

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

Building a Food Strategy for Wellington and Guelph

From Phil Mount and Ashley McInnes, Co-Chairs of the Guelph-Wellington Food Round Table:

The Guelph-Wellington Food Round Table (GWFRT) and Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Guelph (OPIRG) invite you to the first in a series of events focusing on 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.

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 FarmStartThe Seed Community Food HubWellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public HealthTransition GuelphOntario Farmland Trust and Zócalo Organics.

Free childcare is available with registration. Refreshments will be provided. Pick up your coupon for $2 off the ticket price of the Ignatius Ecology Film Series screening of The Family Farm, January 28 or 29 at the Bookshelf!

Further events in the GWFRT Food Strategy Engagement Series — Erin (February 13) and Centre Wellington (3rd week of March)—  will include a free screening of The Family Farm.

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

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/gwfrt-engagement-series-building-a-wellington-guelph-food-strategy-tickets-15201466997

food strategy

Food Strategy Poster [pdf 367 kb]

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

Fortnightly Feast

Farmland Forever Campaign

To celebrate their 10th Anniversary, the Ontario Farmland Trust has launched a $1 million Farmland Forever fundraising campaign. With this campaign, they will be able to nearly double the amount of farmland under agricultural protection easements. Currently more than 20 farm owners are waiting to donate easements. The Farmland Forever campaign will also give OFT more capacity to support farmland policy development and expand research and education for improved farmland protection across Ontario.
** And from now until December 31st, every donation will be matched dollar for dollar by the Metcalf Foundation!! **
In this season of giving, why not save some land for a future farmer?

Conference on Sustainable Food Choices Livestreamed

LiveWell for low-impact food (LIFE) is a project which aims to contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the EU food supply chain and demonstrate what healthy, sustainable diets could look like for different European countries.
Over the last three years, LiveWell for LIFE has worked with members of the multi-sectoral Network of European Food Stakeholders – which represent key stakeholders from across the EU – to reduce the impact food consumption has on the environment.
‘On our plate today: healthy, sustainable food choices’ is LiveWell’s concluding conference. Here they’ll look at the need for a global food strategy, and the role policymakers and business leaders alike play in encouraging sustainable food consumption.
To learn more about the project, please visit livewellforlife.eu
Watch the entire conference live online.

The Fourth Annual Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

What is local? Some describe anything within a 50 or 100-kilometre radius as local; others include anything grown in Ontario or made in Canada as local. What was clear at the conference was that foodies want what they want, and business owners can’t afford to ignore them. Buying local is not a trend that is going to disappear.
Be unique. Grow your business as big as you want. Food hubs and sharing ideas and distribution processes are great ways to leverage your growth—as the master of your own destiny you can still remain niche while becoming mainstream. Read more

Taking Stock of the Mobile Good Food Market

“Basically the jury’s still out on how to operationalize it and make it sustainable, even for a nonprofit that’s subsidized,” says Debbie Field, executive director for FoodShare Toronto, the organization that runs the Mobile Good Food Market. “I don’t think that it’s actually working for anybody who’s doing it right now.”
The biggest value of mobile markets, she says, might be in demonstrating that there is a demand for healthy food in even the poorest neighborhoods. “It’s not that low-income people aren’t interested,” Field says. “They will buy the food if we can get it there. What FoodShare is proving is that people will buy this food and what we have to do is figure out logistically how to get it into communities.” Read more

Healthy food out of reach for many

If you suspect it cost more over the past year to buy groceries and cook even basic healthy meals at home, you’re right, according to new study. The 2014 Food Cost Survey released by the Brant County Health Unit reveals that the cost of eating healthy food for a family of four is now $193.85 a week in Brantford and Brant – or $839.37 out of the monthly budget. That’s an 8% increase over last year’s figure of $179.50 per week, or $777.19 a month. “The reality is that many families in our community can’t afford basic healthy food after paying for housing and other living expenses.” Read more

La Montañita Co-op: Fresh, Fair, Local and Organic!

La Montañita, a consumer cooperative, believes in the shared benefits of healthy food, sound environmental practices and a strong local economy with results that justify the resources used.
The Co-op is a leader in the local foods movement! We support local farmers through the Food-Shed Project. This initiative helps local farmers and producers get their products into more markets. Over 1,100 local products from 400 local producers make it to small community grocers, restaurants, and commercial kitchens as a result of the Co-op Distribution Center.
We know local, but we call it community. We serve our membership, but we also collaborate with farmers, local food and environment advocates, and educators to build community awareness about the links between food, health and the environment. Read more

10th Anniversary Farmland Celebration

Join the Ontario Farmland Trust as we celebrate 10 years of progress protecting Ontario’s irreplaceable farmlands.
Country Heritage Park, Gambrel Barn, 8560 Tremaine Road, Milton
Thursday November 20, 2014, 6:00-10:00 pm

Enjoy local food, a silent auction, music by Norman Liota, the opportunity to connect with friends of farmland from across the province, and entertainment by humorist and award-winning playwright Dan Needles on: “Land, Community and Lost Sheep”

Tickets: $125 each; early-bird tickets $100 by November 1, 2014*
Tables of 8: $1000 each

All proceeds support OFT’s Farmland Forever campaign to expand the protection of Ontario farmland through direct land securement, policy, research and education.

Buy your tickets

Fortnightly Feast vol. 17

Urban Agriculture Magazine

From RUAF, issue 26 of Urban Agriculture is about seeking the right mix of subsidies, credit, savings, and resource mobilisation, while thinking about waste.

The latest version of the magazine (UA26) is available to download (pdf 3.1 MB)

Farmland Forum 2014

Join us at our 10th annual Forum, as we explore the challenges of urban growth management and the protection of agriculture in Ontario’s near-urban farming communities, by asking:
• How permanent is farmland protection policy in Ontario?
• Are current policies effectively curbing sprawl and protecting agriculture?
• Can policy makers and community stakeholders work more collaboratively to improve farmland protection?

Learn from the experts, and share your concerns and recommendations to help inform the policy debate in advance of the 2015/16 Greenbelt & Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan reviews. Read more

Edible Education Lectures

Join  Raj Patel, Michael Pollan and co. this term at The Edible Schoolyard Project, as they present twelve lectures on the future of food, through conversations with leaders of the food movement around the world. Read more

How Food Hubs Are Helping New Farmers Break Into Local Food

From NPR…

Lots of consumers are smitten with local food, but they’re not the only ones. The growing market is also providing an opportunity for less experienced farmers to expand their business and polish their craft.

Read more

and finally, from NYT

The average age of farmers keeps rising, and organic farmers are no exception. What happens to knowledge, and to a movement, when elders retire? How about mentorship..?
Read more