Food Hub News from Michigan

The Center for Regional Food Systems at MSU has recently produced some very useful resources on food hub and food systems development — and the latest is no exception. The Michigan Food Hub Network is a learning community that helps Michigan food hubs to meet their business goals by working cooperatively with public and private partners. The Michigan Food Hub Network: A Case Study in Building Effective Networks for Food System Change (pdf) provides an overview of the network’s creation, implementation, short-term outcomes, and lessons learned in the first 30 months of operation. Download the pdf

 

 

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 7

Community Engagement: Pedagogy, Partnership, Practices
26th Annual Teaching and Learning Innovations Conference
Jointly sponsored by the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Keynote Speaker
Dr. Connie Nelson, Lakehead University
“Service Learning and Democratizing Knowledge”

In the past month we’ve seen a huge revival in the use of the term ‘sustainable’ in the foodosphere (that’s the ‘blogosphere’ as it relates to food) – as I tried to capture in the last Feast (vol. 6.2). Whether talking about farm insurance, food marketing, food systems, food justice, food hubs, food regulation, the future of farming, or the future of food, it’s gotta be ‘sustainable’ (again). Here is a small (but important) sample:

http://fox6now.com/2013/04/27/urban-farming-expert-promotes-sustainable-food-systems/

http://learn.uvm.edu/sustainability/food-summit/breakthrough-leaders-program/

http://www.farms.com/BASFconverstionsonsustainability/tabid/1247/Default.aspx

The Small-Minded, Small Farm Conundrum
Our ideas are not small in any way, but we end up time and time again arguing our case primarily on the basis of size.   … But size alone seems not to be the primary driver of risk.  Rather, such factors as time, distance and system complexity are the most immediate keys to controlling risk, and that would make local and regional food systems a critical part of any effective national food safety strategy. Read more

Local and Regional Food System Marketing Program Opens Up New Round of FundingThe USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced a request for applications for its latest round of funding for the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).  Two previous priority categories remain for the 2013 round of grants:

  • Creating wealth in rural communities through the development of local and regional food systems and value-added agriculture; and
  • Developing direct marketing opportunities for producers, or producer groups.

Read more

Greenbelt Fund Green Papers – Volume 6 – People: Attitudes and Beliefs
When making changes to the food purchasing process, the challenge public institutions face is that they tend to involve a long list of staff members that play a role in this process… Any one person on this long line of those directly and indirectly affected can stymie institutional change. It is therefore of utmost importance that relevant staff is engaged when initiating change. Read more

Locavesting is a call to rethink the way we invest, so that we support the small businesses that create jobs and healthy, resilient communities. Read more

… and finally, regular Feast readers will have been struck by the number of articles on the investment in infrastructure happening at a a state level in both Michigan and New York. Here’s more:

What is a food hub? Part 3: Michigan Hubs

The Michigan Food Hub Learning and Innovation Network facilitates:

  • increased learning, innovation, and profitability for participating food hubs
  • increased access to food hub financial and technical assistance, research, and education
  • increased business-to-business collaboration across food hubs.

Read More

State approves $2.5 million for Madison County ‘food hub’
The grants from Empire State Development Corp. will help Growing Upstate Food Hub LLC, a consortium of farm businesses, build the $4.2 million shared-use facility in Canastota. Read more

Crowdsourcing Sustainable Social Ventures to Link Rural and Urban Well-being

BEEBBEEB, Hives and Local Networks of Empowerment

We believe that to tackle the global issue of food insecurity in a sustainable way it is vital to connect rural and urban communities on low incomes. BEEB is essentially a model of information and organisation that links rural and urban well-being. The two communities escape food insecurity together. Read more

BEEB connects a cooperative of small-holder farmers directly with the slum dwellers using two simple parts: basic cold storage facilities and a mobile phone order and payment system.

Vote for BEEB online! Only 19 days left…

 

Hult Prize Global On-line Competition

The theme of the 2013 Hult Prize is global food security and will focus on how to get safe, sufficient, affordable and easily accessible food to the 200 million people who live in urban slums – a challenge personally selected by former US President Clinton. Student teams will be charged with developing a sustainable social venture that can accomplish the objective by 2018. View all of the videos for the online competition on the Hult Prize Facebook site.

 

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 6.2 (Sustainable Food Systems)

Does your health insurance company support your local farmer?
CSA wellness rebates boost local food systems and increase sustainable agricultural practices … while giving consumers a little extra pull in shaping our national food supply.  Maybe policymakers will take note. Read more

HUBS

Local Farmers Plant Seeds for Sustainable Food Hub in Central Vermont
The mission of the Farm-to-Table program is to provide universal access of locally grown foods through education, marketing and distribution.  Read more

Value-Added Food at the Mad River Food Hub
What products do local restaurants, retailers, schools and hospitals regularly use? Among these products, where do they value freshness and quality most? Of these products, can we reconstruct them with the local ingredients presented to us from our initial question?
Read more

Simcoe County Feasibility Study: Regional Food Distribution Hub
See the Stakeholder Focus Group Day’s presentation [pdf], including information about the project and feedback provided on barriers and solutions.

Community Infrastructure

Cooperative Groceries: Is this the Future of Community Food Retail?
Imagine shopping at a grocery store that only carries local products with prices set by members of the community, rather than a corporation. Read more

We envision The Mustard Seed becoming a beautiful place to shop, a place that promotes food access, connection between local producers and consumers, and a vibrant sense of community. Read more

The West End food Co-op will: Promote co-operative values and ownership; Act as a catalyst for local food security by coordinating community driven food initiatives; and Provide the local community with a full-service grocery store that focuses on selling products that are ecologically sustainable, local and healthy, such as fair trade and organic. Read more

Food Systems Approaches

First Nations Development Institute Awards $375,000 to 10 Native Food-System Projects under the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI), which addresses issues confronting tribes and Native communities as they seek to strengthen the food system in their communities, improve health and nutrition, and build food security. Read more

Bioregion Food System Study
Led by Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, the three-year initiative -the world’s first bio-region study aiming at increasing food security- will lay out a plan for stakeholders and governments in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky Corridor to create a regional food system. Read more

The Sustainable Food Cities Network is an alliance of public, private and third sector organisations that believe in the power of food as a vehicle for driving positive change and that are committed to promoting sustainable food for the benefit of people and the planet. Read more

 

Fortnightly Feast

Our biweekly roundup -from across the internet- of the interesting, the relevant, and the merely peculiar.

Try My Maccas: A short film
This Aussie marketing campaign from MacDonald’s has sparked a prolonged discussion on the Sustainable Foods Network: “…what i find really interesting is the admission, the acceptance, the demonstration by ‘Maccas’ marketeers that the gold standard in food safety, environmental responsibility, sustainable production -and the story they know their consumers want to see- is 1) small farm; 2) local; 3) ecologically sensitive agricultural production (wind and solar, trees and butterflies)…”

Power grows from Motor City soil
Waging Nonviolence | January 29, 2013
“We have lost the ability to think collectively about our own interests in the public political sphere…”

Sustain UK |  Growing Success: The impact of Capital Growth on community food growing in London

USDA  |   Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Signs Regulation Confirming “Government to Government” Consultation with Tribes
“…since 2009 the Department has worked with more than 270 Tribal governments to provide healthier food for more than 250,000 low-income Tribal citizens. Additionally, USDA has partnered with Tribal colleges to enhance community gardening efforts and improve nutrition education.”

Al Jazeera (English)  |  Resolving the food crisis: The need for decisive action
Global leaders squandered 2012, but prospects for resolving the food crisis in 2013 seem better – Sophia Murphy and Timothy Wise

The Atlantic | The Agricultural Fulcrum: Better Food, Better Climate
The National Climate Assessment, released this week, predicted increasingly negative impact of weather extremes on crops. But with industrialized farming as a key player in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the vicious cycle needs breaking.

Sustainable Cities Collective  |  How Physical Places Define Local Economies
“Human capital and creative talent increasingly goes where it likes; talent increasingly goes to great places; but talented people become most attached to places that they help create.”

Farm Foundation: Ag Challenge 2050 | Sustainable Health of the Food Supply
Another lens on sustainability…

Nova Scotia’s Inspiring Food Co-ops

by Irena Knezevic

Posted on the Local Organic Food Cooperative Network website…

Food and co-ops have an intertwined history. Chronicling co-ops in the United Kingdom, David J. Thompson in his Weavers of Dreams referrers to the consumer co-op as “the pioneer of pure food” and vividly describes how co-ops have influenced food production and consumption in the industrialized world since the early1800s. …read the full post at LOFCN