New Data on Local Food Marketing Practices from the USDA

USDA news release indicates growing importance of food hubs to expansion of local / regional food systems

From the first-ever benchmarking survey on local food marketing practices, conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service:

“More than 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices, resulting in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2015, according to the results from the first Local Food Marketing Practices Survey released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).”

Read more survey results

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference 2016

November 22-23, Belleville ON

http://www.eastontlocalfood.com/eastern-ontario-local-food-conference-2016/

The Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is just around the corner and this year’s focus is all about resilience in the face of climate change and other contemporary challenges.  Join us, and best-selling local food author and CBC columnist Sarah Elton, as we explore ways that Eastern Ontario local food and its producers, processors and influencers can meet those challenges and seize opportunities that are unique to Eastern Ontario local food.

This year’s conference includes:

  • Local Food Bus Tour:  An afternoon tour will highlight businesses in the Quinte region who are putting local food on the map.  Visit Sprague Foods, Barn Owl Malt, Wild Card Brewery, Enright Cattle Company, Potter Settlement Winery and Donnandale Farms.
  • Local Food Extravaganza (Tasting Event):  This showcase of local foods and beverages, representing the various culinary regions across Eastern Ontario, will tempt your taste buds into the conference’s first evening.
  • Keynote Speaker:  Drawing on her years of research and writing on food systems, award-winning journalist and best-selling author Sarah Elton will illustrate how Eastern Ontario’s local food system can be a part of the solution to serious global challenges. With inspiring examples from around the world, she will explore the idea of food system resilience – what it means, and how it can be applied locally.
  • Ignite:  Five minutes of back-to-back wisdom and inspiration from ten local food trailblazers.
  • Eastern Ontario Local Food 2050:  What does current scientific understanding predict when it comes to growing conditions in Eastern Ontario in the coming years? How can our agriculture sector prepare to meet challenges and access opportunities that might arise from these changes?
  • Economic Resilience for Local Food: How does a local food system create economic value both for its consumers and its producers? How does a shifting global trade environment affect our local food systems? Join this presentation and discussion with OMAFRA’s senior economist.
  • Global Realities, Local Decisions: Farming, food and beverage businesses can play a role in increasing our local food system’s resilience in response to global challenges. Hear from businesses about how these concerns have affected their local decision making.
  • Food Hubs:  “To Hub or Not to Hub” that is the question.  Explore what is happening with food hubs in Eastern Ontario and what it takes to plan a food hub that meets your community’s needs.
  • Designing Resilient Food Systems:  Hear from innovative farmers who are using infrastructure to improve the long-term resilience of their diverse operations.
  • The Municipal Role in Local Food: Local Food represents an economic development opportunity that municipalities may want to support. But where to start? Hear from jurisdictions that have developed good local food programs in keeping with the municipal role. Learn about resources that exist to guide your efforts and help evaluate your programs.
  • Business Decisions for Resilience: How can businesses plan and structure for economic resilience? How can that resilience benefit their communities? This session will provide examples of leadership in that field.
  • Marketing Local, Selling Local: Discover how one local campaign increases awareness of locally produced products & learn tips for getting your products into retail.
  • Costing & Pricing for Profit: Learn how to calculate your costs and price your products for financial success in retail and wholesale markets.

To register or for further details:

http://www.eastontlocalfood.com/eastern-ontario-local-food-conference-2016/

The Future of Food is Local

By Julie Bourassa, CFICE Volunteer

Food sustainability and climate change are increasingly urgent and intertwined issues. From the way we produce and package our food, to how much we consume, our relationship with food is not sustainable. Melissa Johnston, a Master’s student in Trent University’s Sustainability Studies program and a Research Assistant with CFICE’s Community Environmental Sustainability hub, explores a powerful solution to these issues that can be found in our very own local farmer’s markets. Read more

Subscribe to read the latest monthly CFICE newsletter here

Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE), is an action research project aimed at strengthening Canadian communities by asking the question: How can community-campus partnerships be designed and implemented to maximize the value created for non-profit, community-based organizations? CFICE carries out project and research work in five areas: Poverty Reduction, Community Environmental Sustainability, Community Food Security, Knowledge Mobilization, and Violence Against Women. When it comes to community-campus relationships, we believe that together everyone achieves more.

Creativity + Collaboration = Action

… from Katie Nolan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

eolfc

Only FIVE days left to Pre-Register!

The Cities of Belleville and Quinte West, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, are proud to host the 5th Annual Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference on November 4 and 5‎.

At this year’s conference:

  • Book one-on-one time with a mentor.  We have experts in
    • Building a food processing business
    • Production of high-value crops such as hops and berries
    • Small business loans
    • Food safety, traceability, and regulations
    • Social media
    • And much more… !
  • Network with potential suppliers and buyers
  • Meet buyers looking for Eastern Ontario product
  • Learn about how Eastern Ontario is moving the bar on local food!

For full conference details and to register: www.eastontlocalfood.ca

In addition to these great sessions and a full day of networking, delegates will be treated to a Local Food Lunch featuring locally sourced dishes. A trade show will also be a feature of the conference.

Follow us on Twitter @EOLocalFood and Facebook www.facebook.com/eastontlocalfood

See you there!

A Day full of Promise for Ontario’s Small-Flock Growers and Supply Management Programs

(Artisanal Chicken Ranch, Part I)

After years of pressure from independent small-flock chicken farmers, as well as from NFU, PFO, Sustain Ontario, and Eat Local Sudbury, and after province-wide consultations on what to do with new growth opportunities, Chicken Farmers of Ontario has crafted a potentially marvellous new Artisanal Chicken Policy (pdf 276 kB), and released it yesterday.

CFO to grow local food communities with new ‘Artisanal Chicken’ program launch

BURLINGTON, ON – July 28, 2015 – Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) has announced a portfolio of new programs that will support expanded business opportunities for chicken farmers and offer Ontario consumers even more choice in accessing locally grown, high quality chicken. The new business opportunities were developed following the recent farmer, public and industry ‘Allocating Growth’ consultations, and includes an ‘Artisanal Chicken’ program which will appeal to smaller, independent, family farmers looking to meet local markets. Read more

This means the former Small Flock Exemption policy —which remains at 300— is now the Family Food Program, language that will more clearly align with the intent of the exemption: on-farm consumption or farm-gate sales.

The Artisanal Chicken Program on the other hand “…is directed at those farmers who are interested in growing between 600 and 3,000 chickens annually for select target markets such as local farmer markets.”

The closing date for submissions for 2016 Applications is September 4, 2015.

CFO will also be creating a quota-based Local Niche Markets program for those wishing to graduate from the Artisinal Program “to support those larger niche or regional markets of 6,000 chickens or more per year”.

Gary Larson, 1983… And as with any such program, the devil will be in the details. There are already questions about the fine print—like how will “traditional methods” fly with On-Farm Food Safety Assurance and Animal Care Programs, to provide mutually acceptable, appropriate and complementary levels of on-farm safety, security and viability?

The dust has yet to settle on this newly released policy. Hopefully, we will have some answers to relay in Artisanal Chicken Ranch Part II…

Ontario’s Local Food Report: 2014-15 Edition

The Local Food Strategy is one of the key ways government and industry are working together to solidify Ontario’s position as a world leader in food production.

A major component of the strategy is the Local Food Act, 2013, which provides new tools to increase awareness of local food, nurture local food markets and foster vibrant food-based economies across the province. A key feature of the act is the establishment of goals or targets. The first series of goals – for food literacy – were announced in January 2015. By setting these goals and committing to measure progress, we are working to enable more Ontarians to identify, obtain and prepare food grown in our Ontario.

The Local Food Act, 2013 calls for an annual report on the government’s local food activities. This publication marks our first annual Local Food Report. It provides the groundwork for future reports that will chart our progress in bringing local food to more tables across the province.

Read the full report here

 

Barn doors open for local food

from the Edmonton Sun, Sunday July 12, 2015

Agriculture is Alberta’s largest renewable industry, with more than 43,000 farms on 50.5 million acres of land exporting over $9 billion in products and produce every year. That being said, Alberta is also the most urbanized province in Canada, with over 80% of the population living in cities.

Travis Kennedy, the urban farmer in charge of the Northlands Urban Farm at the corner of 113 Avenue and 79 Street, said participating in Alberta Open Farm Days is a great way for people to learn where their food comes from. Read more

Measuring Impacts of Community-based Food Initiatives

The latest ‘Metrics from the Field‘ by Ken Meter, openly available to all at the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, speaks of ‘Two New Tools for Measuring Economic Impacts‘:

Two new publications are appearing this year that should help shed new light on the ongoing discussion of how we measure the economic impacts of community-based foods initiatives. One offers critical insight, while the second is a very practical guide to compiling an economic case for local foods work. I’ve helped write both.

The critical analysis is an outgrowth of a column I wrote for this journal in January 2011 (Meter, 2011) in which I discussed economic multipliers. I argued that economic impact analyses often are not as useful as they are perceived to be, because the data used in calculating impacts is not as precise as users think it is. Moreover, I found that many local foods initiatives do not lend themselves to analysis through the industry standard software, IMPLAN, because local foods activity is relatively small in comparison with the scale of the databases that the software relies upon. While IMPLAN can be a powerful tool when used in the right manner, I argued that in their early stages for many community foods efforts, measuring the multiplier is not the best use of one’s money. Rather, building new social and commercial linkages, and deepening established ones, within the community will help build the multiplier—which after all is one of the ultimate goals of community-based food activity. This might be a higher priority than generating a multiplier measurement. Read more

More Food System Jobs…

Municipal Food Policy Assistant, Sustain Ontario

Sustain Ontario has funding for a Municipal Food Policy Event and Policy Coordinator and are seeking a highly motivated, organized, analytical and dynamic summer student, preferably in a graduate level program, to work with us starting as early as June 1st, 2015.

KEY RESPONSIBILITY AREAS

  • Support the planning and implementation of two municipal food policy and local food events
  • Conduct outreach and interviews with municipal food policy and local food advocates
  • Research innovative local food ideas and activities to inform the development of municipal food policy resources
  • Assist in the research and development of municipal and local food policy resources
  • Communicate about events, initiatives and research through the Sustain Ontario website and social media

Read more

 

Ontario’s Local Food Act and Food Literacy Goals

Webinar hosted by The Nutrition Resource Centre (OPHA)

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM (EDT)

The Ontario government is spreading the word about local food to help increase the demand for the good things that are grown, harvested and made in Ontario.  In this context, OMAFRA will present on the Local Food Act and the development of the recently announced aspirational food literacy goals in relation to local food.
Presenter: Sherry Persaud, a Policy Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Read more