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

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

 

Food, Unincorporated.

Sometimes the best way to fix the system is to start a new one

Here’s how it works.

  1. Search our diverse, independent shops for seasonal local food. Search by neighbourhood and food category, or whether you prefer delivery or pickup.
  2. Transform your transactions with affordable local food from diverse producers and hubs. Know the stories behind your food and the people who make it!
  3. Hang on for your delivery, or visit your producer or hub for a more personal connection with your food. Food shopping as diverse as nature intended it.

The Australian Open Food Network is the first Open Food Network!  […] Co-founded by Kirsten Larsen and Serenity Hill the Open Food Network started as a little experiment with a van, some farmers and some friends. But right from the start they had systemic change in mind.  Instead of building for one hub, they could see the power of a network.  Instead of designing for one specific distribution model, they designed for diversity and flexibility.  Rather than centralised accreditation, they enabled transparency. Read more

 

Last Chance to have your say!

Food Hub Survey Closing March 31

Thank you to all of you who have already participated in this important survey.  If you haven’t completed your survey (it is possible your link has expired) or wish to begin again please see the link below.  We are very eager to hear from as many people as possible.  This will be our last communication, the food hub survey will close at the end of the month!

For further details on the survey

For technical issues or questions about filling out the survey please reply to Mike Nagy nagym@uoguelph.ca or call 519-829-6249. For questions about this project, please contact Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer: ablaypalmer@wlu.ca.   Thank you!

Follow this link to the Survey:
New Directions Food Hub Survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/WRQualtricsSurveyEngine/?Q_SS=cMUN7oQpROmHztX_bP1JYQMeBNU8iDH&_=1

Fortnightly Feast

Better Farming story on the Regional Food Hub Survey

Food Survey News

Our Regional Food Hub Survey features in the latest (May 10, 2015) online Better Farming breaking news. Read the full story here

YMCA Cedar Glen Hiring Farm Manager

YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre is a year round operation, open 7 days a week, which delivers outdoor education programs to school groups, youth and adult retreats, a day camp and an overnight camp focused on leadership development during the summer months. The centre also operates a fruit and vegetable farm and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) system.

Reporting to the Facility Manager, the Farm Team Leader is responsible for planning and carrying out the day to day operations of the fruit and vegetable farm and the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) system with the key objective to maximize productivity while utilizing organic farming practices. The position aids in delivering the highest quality farm education programs to outdoor education and summer camp participants that align with the overall mission, vision and values of the YMCA. Read more

Now THAT’s a Greenhouse!

The Inuvik Community Greenhouse, home of the Community Garden Society of Inuvik, is the most northerly greenhouse in North America and the only Community Greenhouse of its kind in the world!

The Inuvik Community Greenhouse is located at the corner of Gwich’in Road and Breynat Street, behind the Igloo Church, and is open from May until October. Read more

Now THAT’s a Rooftop Garden! (YouTube video)

From The Times of India:

10,000-sq-metre roof top farm makes waves in China

BEIJING: This 10,000-square-metre farm in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality may look ordinary at first glance. But this is an exceptional farm situated on top of a sprawling factory that manufactures doors. It is big enough that a tractor is needed to help with farming. The factory’s staff grow crops there, as well as raise poultry and livestock.

Factory official Lu Xiaoqing explained the company’s rationale for setting it up. “It would be a waste if we left the big rooftop unused. That’s why we created a farming project that involves our staff…”. Read more

1ère journée des innovations pour une alimentation durable (JIPAD 2015)

Jeudi 02 avril 2015 (10h00-16h30)
à Agropolis International
(Amphithéatre Louis Malassis)
1000, Av. Agropolis – Montpellier

Avec les étudiants ingénieurs de spécialisation “Innovations dans les systèmes agricoles et agro-alimentaires du monde” (ISAM) et de mastère spécialisé “Innovations et politiques pour une alimentation durable” (IPAD) – Montpellier SupAgro/CIRAD. Lire la suite

Ontario’s Regional Food Hub Development

Co-op Food Hub Discussion in Guelph

Changing the Way We Do Local Food

February 24, 2015
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Chapel, Loyola House, Ignatius Jesuit Centre of Guelph

Public Forum, Panel Discussion and World Café

Facilitated by Sally Miller, LOFC Network Food Hub Project Manager

Come participate in a robust discussion about how co-operative food hubs are offering Ontario communities viable, democratically driven business options for local food aggregation and distribution. Guests from the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network’s Regional Food Hub Expansion project will share their experiences before the audience has a chance to participate in small table discussions on Financing, Marketing, Governance, and Logistics for Distribution.

Special guests include Peggy Baillie, Eat Local Sudbury, Devorah Belinsky, Ottawa Valley Food Co-op, Kelly Skinner, True North Community Co-op, Jeff Pastorius, On the Move Organics, Alison Blay-Palmer, Wilfrid Laurier University, Jodi Koberinski, Canadian Council on Food Sovereignty and Health, Glenford Jameson & James Patterson, West End Food Co-op, Glenn Valliere & Randy Whitteker, Ontario Natural Food Co-op.

Tickets are $20 at the door, or included with registration at the Dan Kittredge farmer training (Feb. 23 & 24) or at Building the Soils of a Co-operative Food System, our 6th Annual Assembly (Feb. 24-6).

Fortnightly Feast

Sudbury food co-op poised for expansion

…The goal is to make Eat Local Sudbury a regional hub for local food distribution with the added offshoots of increasing awareness of local food production, supporting local farmers, and boosting the economy. The funding will be used to develop a three-part business plan to expand both its retail facilities and its programming to accommodate a much larger volume of food. Read more

The need to ‘grow’ more topsoil

from the Guelph Mercury, Ralph C. Martin:

When I hear a big, hairy audacious goal, I expect drum rolls and trumpets, or if it’s really big, tubas. There was not even a piccolo adagio when Abe Collins, a Vermont farmer, educator and consultant shared his passion for topsoil formation and grazing at the Ecological Farmers of Ontario Conference, held earlier this month in Guelph. Nevertheless, the audience was all ears. His big, hairy goal? He expects a community, near Lake Champlain, to blanket their watershed in deep topsoil in a decade. Read more

CED Net National Jobs Postings include many food jobs

  • Communications and Marketing Manager, Community Food Centres Canada
  • Nova Scotia Organic Market Research Assistant
  • Entrepreneurship and Marketing Coordinator, Le Santropol Roulant
  • Farm Co-Manager, Le Santropol Roulant
  • McQuesten Urban Farm Community Animator
  • Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton
  • CSI’s Desk Exchange Animator Program, Centre for Social Innovation
  • Ecological Gardening Internship, Harvest Moon Society, Clearwater  Manitoba

Read more

NGFN Food Hub Benchmarking Study 2014

Food Hubs are delivering on their promise of enabling identity-preserved, primarily local and regional food to enter the wholesale market, enabling small and mid-sized farms access to buyers that would otherwise be unattainable.

But aggregation and distribution of food is a very thin-margin business, and hubs take on additional expense working with smaller farmers, providing technical assistance, and other grower and community services. Are food hubs able to support themselves with their operations? What are industry-standard financial and operational benchmarks for food hub businesses?

Read more and see webinar here

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

New Food Hub Management Certificate Program

The University of Vermont will launch an innovative Food Hub Management Certificate program, in January 2015. The program is a unique blend of hands-on, community-based, online and on-campus learning that will prepare students for effective management of food hubs and provide essential tools to advance their career in food systems. UVM’s Food Hub Management Certificate is offered through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Continuing and Distance Education.

The program is geared toward individuals planning to create or manage a food hub, professionals with food hub experience looking to enhance their career, and food hub staff members interested in leadership development. The UVM Food Hub program was designed by the pioneers who created the first Food Hubs and a diverse team of nationally-recognized experts, including food hub practitioners, technical assistance providers who specialize in food hub development, and several members of the National Good Food Network.

For more information, visit: http://learn.uvm.edu/hubmanagement

Fortnightly Feast

Growing Food Connections food policy database to help communities strengthen food systems

Municipalities and counties got a big boost today with the unveiling of a searchable database with more than 100 newly adopted innovative, local government food system policies that can be shared and adapted across the country. The Growing Food Connections Policy Database, hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, will assist local governments as they work to broaden access to healthy food and help sustain local farms and food producers.

Growing Food Connections, a federally-funded research initiative to strengthen community food systems nationwide, has compiled over 100 policies governing issues as diverse as public investment in food systems, farmland protection, local food procurement and food policy council resolutions. The database is a comprehensive catalog of enacted food policy. By drawing upon partner resources and networks, the database provides a vast resource of policies that have been implemented and are currently being used by communities. Furthermore, it provides inspiration for communities looking to start building their own food policy. Read more

Candidates weighing in on food and farming

Guelph Mercury, October 21, 2014

Earlier this month, the Guelph Wellington Food Round Table — in collaboration with Sustain Ontario — asked all of the candidates for trustee, councillor and mayor to participate in the Vote on Food and Farming survey. Because food and farming touch so many important areas of our lives, and shape our regional character, economy, culture, and communities, the survey has six broad questions related to the economy, health, the environment, access, education and collaboration — along with key actions that will shape the future of food and farming in this region.

A week after sending out the survey, we have had responses from 26 of the 44 “active” races (not acclaimed) from all eight municipalities in Wellington; from every ward in Guelph; and from 10 mayoral candidates (including four in Guelph). This is the most active and engaged regional response in the province. Read more

Keeping it Local with Nick Weir of Stroudco Foodhub

Stroud Life, October 20, 2014
ONE of Stroudco’s largest suppliers is Stroud Community Agriculture (SCA) which farms 23 acres of land around Hawkwood College overlooking Stroud. SCA was established 14 years ago by a group of volunteers who wanted to provide an alternative to the supermarket system by building a direct connection between the people growing the food and the people eating it. They started off by growing vegetables on less than one acre and sharing produce amongst the small group of supporters who set up the farm community. SCA is now a thriving, community-run social enterprise with over 230 household members around Stroud who collectively pay all the costs of the farm including the wages of three full time farmers. In return the SCA members receive a weekly share of the produce harvested from the farm. Read more

Eat Local Sudbury working to offer more local food in region

Local food hub to offer food to other parts of northeastern Ontario
CBC October 14, 2014
Eat Local Sudbury is in the process of developing a business plan to expand its local food hub to other areas in northeastern Ontario. The new areas to have service include LaCloche-Manitoulin, North Bay, Temiskaming, Muskoka and parts of Algoma. According to Eat Local, a local food hub helps with the collection, storage, processing and distribution of local food.
The plan, called the Eat Local Sudbury Food Hub Business Plan project, is moving forward after the co-op received $17,200 from the province’s Greenbelt Fund. The Managing Director of Eat Local Sudbury, Peggy Baillie said demand for local food continues to grow. “More and more people are gaining interest in terms of local food and wanting access to it, including institutions, schools and public health facilities. This plan is trying to address those needs.”
Read more

Food Banks Canada & RFDA deliver fresh food to First Nations

Thunder Bay’s Regional Food Distribution Association is part of a pilot project to send fresh food north
CBC October 21, 2014

A group of First Nations in northwestern Ontario is getting fresh fruits and vegetable this month, thanks to a pilot project between Food Banks Canada and the Regional Food Distribution Association. Volker Kromm is the association’s executive director. He said statistics show one in five Aboriginal people, living on reserve don’t get enough to eat, and nearly half of those people are children. Kromm said, through the partnership with Food Banks Canada, he was able to purchase $20,000 worth of fresh groceries to take to some First Nations communities that are accessible by road. He said he was transporting everything from potatoes to granola bars to cantaloupe. Read more

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