Urban food policies : markets, catering, urban/rural connexions

International meeting between urban governments, researchers and development stakeholders

An international meeting dedicated to sharing knowledge and practices among local governments of cities and urban regions from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, along with research and development actors…

Beyond urban agriculture… the conference will explore three strategic levers that city and urban region governments can mobilize : markets infrastructure and logistics (wholesale, retail, transportation, etc. ); catering services (school, popular restaurants, street food, etc.); the new forms of connexions between urban and rural areas (twinning, urban investment in agriculture, etc.)…

This conference is organized by the UNESCO Chair on world food systems and the French research center CIRAD  together with the French Agency for Development – AFD, the FAO – Food for the cities program, the RUAF Foundation, the Regions United Organisation (ORU- Fogar),  the Mercadis, Agropolis Fondation and the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH).

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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

Growing Together

Ensuring healthy food, viable farms, and a prosperous Buffalo Niagara

After nearly three years of research, community engagement, partnership building and planning by over 5,000 citizens and more than 700 local organizations, One Region Forward released its Regional Plan for Sustainable Development entitled “A New Way to Plan for Buffalo Niagara”.

Growing Together report is a technical document that supports a larger regional sustainability planning effort, labeled locally as One Region Forward. For the first time in the history of the Buffalo-Niagara region, a formal planning process has explicitly addressed our region’s food system. Read more

 Download the Plan Summary

Food Policy and Regional Food Systems

Opportunities for Networking across Jurisdictions

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

1:00 – 2:15 PM EST

REGISTER for the Webinar

Where does your local food policy council fit within the regional food system? Would you like to play a stronger role in both your locality and at a regional level but not sure how? Functioning with limited resources and volunteer members, it can often be easiest for a food policy council to concentrate locally. By understanding the role of local food policy councils within the context of a regional food system, groups can network across geographies to maximize impact and effectiveness of policy changes.

During this webinar, expert panelists will address a number of big picture questions local food policy councils have about regional food systems, including:

  • The role of local food policy councils within a regional network
  • When is it beneficial to connect across a region
  • How to determine your “region” and what to do when definitions vary
  • Best practices and challenges to organizing and building regional networks, including resources and infrastructure needed

These issues will be addressed to show participants how networking across jurisdictions can positively influence food system change. The webinar will also include time for participant Q&A.

Suggested participants: Food policy council coordinators and members, policy-makers, members of the local and regional food system and food system advocates.
This event is sponsored by the Institute for Public Health Innovation and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
Register here

Building a Wellington-Guelph Food Strategy: Movie Screening and Discussion

The Guelph-Wellington Food Round Table invites you to the second in a series of events focusing on farming, the regional food system, and 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.

This event will take place at the Erin Legion, 12 Dundas St E, Erin, ON 

Friday, February 13, 2015 from 6:45 PM to 9:45 PM (EST)

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 Everdale Environmental Learning CentreFriendly Chef AdventuresOntario Farmland Trust; and Zócalo Organics.

This will be followed by the Erin premiere of the year’s hottest new documentary The Family Farm, in conjunction with Transition Erin’s Environmental Film Series. See the trailer for the documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t60xMswH9n0

Refreshments will be provided.

The next event in the GWFRT Food Strategy Engagement Series will be in Centre Wellington (3rd week of March).

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

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/building-a-wellington-guelph-food-strategy-movie-screening-and-discussion-tickets-15623073032

*Thanks to sponsors GWFRT, OPIRG Guelph, and Foodland Ontario

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]

Supply Management and Dairy News

The last month has seen some interesting developments in the discussion around both supply management and the dairy industry. Here are a few highlights:

Vers une gestion de l’offre 2.0 au Canada

Document de réflexion de l’Union paysanne

Le document Vers une gestion de l’offre 2.0 au Canada propose des pistes de réflexion sur les enjeux reliés au système de gestion de l’offre au Canada et ses impacts sur les fermes, les paysans et la relève agricole.

Depuis 10 ans, la gestion de l’offre des produits agricoles canadiens voit les critiques se multiplier à son égard. Que ce soit la valeur prohibitive des quotas, le manque d’espace pour les nouveaux agriculteurs ou encore les entraves au commerce, les flèches ne manquent pas.

Traiter de l’ensemble des récriminations envers la gestion de l’offre et de leurs possibles solutions dans un seul document charcuterait inévitablement le propos. Du fait de son gigantisme, de son importance, et aussi de ses différences entre les provinces, il importe de cibler des parties de la gestion de l’offre afin de mieux en traiter. C’est le choix que nous avons fait en ciblant une tangente qui traverse l’ensemble du Canada, c’est-à-dire une lente cartellisation de la gestion de l’offre.
Lire la suite

U.S. Organic Dairy Politics: Animals, Pasture, People, and Agribusiness

Bruce A. Scholten
Since 1950, production of U.S. dairy cows has risen 250 percent, while the longevity of cows has plunged alongside the number of family farms. Additionally, farmers have had to respond to lower farmgate prices and commercial pressures by intensifying production with agribusiness technologies, including genetically modified hormones and antibiotics to fight disease and illnesses brought on by dairy cow confinement. This book examines the current resistance to corporate agribusiness being waged by organic dairy farmers, cooperatives, and consumer activists—commonly referred to as the ‘Pasture War,’ which resulted in strengthened USDA National Organic Program policies. Recent power shifts in the USDA, weak labeling laws, and dairy advertisement which blurs boundaries between conventional and organic food demonstrate the need for farmers to cut out the middlemen in dairy chains from cows to consumers. Read more

New Research Chair in Public Policy for Egg Farmers

History professor and UWaterloo’s AVP, External Research, Bruce Muirhead has just been announced as the first-ever research chair in public policy on behalf of Egg Farmer’s of Canada, an agricultural organization dedicated to the promotion and management of egg production across the country.

Professor Muirhead will be developing a research program in public policy that relates to the current and future challenges faced by Canadian egg farmers, providing historical context to the growing conversation about the value of supply management for all Canadians. 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

Municipal Elections and Food Policy

With municipal elections happening across Ontario on October 27, it is once again time to reflect on the importance of municipal politics and policy to regional food systems transformation.

Results are in from the province-wide Vote ON Food & Farming municipal election campaign, coordinated by Sustain Ontario:

Wellington / Guelph

(Guelph-Wellington Food Round Table)
More than 1/3 of the responses province-wide came from 75 candidates in Guelph and Wellington municipalities! This included surveys from 14 mayoral candidates, 43 councillors and 18 trustees — and, as mentioned in our letters to the Guelph Mercury and Wellington Advertiser, thoughtful responses from many, and near-unanimous support for a Regional Food Strategy.
Read more

Thunder Bay All Candidates Survey

(Thunder Bay Food Strategy)
Municipalities make a range of decisions that influence people’s ability to access food, the viability of food and farming businesses, and the environmental impacts of our food system. The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy sent 3 questions to candidates in the upcoming municipal elections, seeking their commitment to improving access to healthy food for all, protecting food producing areas, and supporting food and farm businesses.
Read more

Good Food for All

(Ottawa Food Policy Council)
There is a growing shift towards Good Food For All in our schools, in our hospitals, in our food banks, in our grocery stores, in our neighbourhoods and in our rural and urban communities. Food is a central part of the health and well-being of our communities.
What is Good Food?
Fresh; culturally relevant; accessible; minimally-processed; affordable; as local as possible.
Read more

More from Vote on Food and Farming

Rationales and Best Practices

We believe that resilient food systems can meet many important policy objectives beyond simple food production — economic (e.g. good jobs and economic growth), environmental (e.g. soil health and clean water) and social (e.g. food access and food literacy). The process of building these systems can also lead to greater community development and engagement, as it requires enhanced collaboration by many different actors — government, industry, academia, civil society groups and citizens.
Read more

Collaborating On Food: An Interview With Wayne Roberts

…People understood about the connection between food and collaboration from the earliest days of cities. Think of words such as companion, company and companero. They come from the Latin combination of with (com) and pane (bread). Even the word “trivia”, my favourite, comes from the fact that early farmers markets were set up at the intersection of three (tri) roads (via). And when people got together, they were so excited and chatty, they talked about what authorities considered trivia, but was probably just a put-down of popular collaboration.

Read more

 

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