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

Fortnightly Feast – Vol. 5

In Ontario, Food Charters Abound

Last chance to endorse the Waterloo Region Food Charter!

York Region develops food charter
The York Region Food Charter is a vision of thriving urban and rural communities in which residents, businesses and governments are creating a resilient food system… Read more

Savour Muskoka charter to grow local food system

Food News

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario calls for province to invest in soil (and sustainability) through “bold action”

Importance of Sustainability Growing for Food Industry
… while a vast majority of companies believe sustainability to be increasingly important – 82 per cent of companies surveyed – only 19 per cent monitored the sustainability of the products they sourced. … Key drivers for addressing sustainability are meeting customer demand – 48 per cent – and saving the company money – 40 per cent.
While cost effectiveness is important, 67 per cent of respondents agreed that if they were in charge of procurement for their company, they would pay a premium for sustainably produced food or ingredients (emphasis added). Read More

A new resource for Food Systems and Food Innovation Districts
A food innovation district is a geographic concentration of food-oriented business, services, and community actiivities that are supported locally through planning and economic development initiatives. These districts can promote positive business environments, spur regional food system development, and increase access to local food. Read more

Get the guidebook Food Innovation Districts: An Economic Gardening Tool

Kwantlen Polytechnic U’s Sustainable Food Systems Working Group receives $50,000 donation from Vancity
(Metro Vancouver, BC) – On March 13, 2013, Vancity presented Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) with a $50,000 donation to the Sustainable Food Systems Working Group in support of their economic and community development study. Read more
…and a related story:
Towards a More Bioregional Food System

Funding for Local Food Initiatives
As they head into their third season, Fresh City Farms is kicking it into high gear!  Over the past two months, they’ve been using Kickstarter, a unique funding platform, to raise awareness of their formidable urban farming initiatives and resources to grow their infrastructure city-wide. Read more

Eating tomorrow – rethinking the world food system 
ETH Sustainability / World Food System Summer School (July 2012)

Save Food Newsletter, FAO

Media Food Fights: Feeding the world

God made a Farmer… but Dodge RAM channeled the Dominant Food Narrative

But Can We Feed the World?

The Domino’s Effect

When Did Healthy Food Become a Luxury Product?

Bill Gates Sees Veggie Burgers in Your Future

Ontario’s “Local Food Act”

On Monday of this week, the Ontario government re-introduced the Local Food Act. The new Bill 36, “An Act to enact the Local Food Act, 2013” (pdf) contains two provisions generating most of the response in the press: local food procurement and Local Food Week. Some have complained that the Act would replace “Ontario Agriculture Week” with “Local Food Week” -by celebrating both in the week before Thanksgiving.

Local food procurement by public sector organizations is the focus of most of the Act’s provisions, which lay the groundwork for mandated “goals or targets” for various  sectors. These goals or targets are a way of addressing one of the practical constraints to encouraging procurement of local food in the public sector: metrics**.  Research on Ontario’s health care sector suggests that these mandated “goals or targets” are only half of the ‘metrics’ that are required. The report’s authors found that the province must first establish clear and definitive boundaries around the concept “local food” -and how it is to be measured- and then give public sector organizations the opportunity to establish baselines. This is the approach used by the Canadian Environmental Law Asoociation’s model bill [Ontario Local Food Act 2013 – pdf], which contained -as a first step- the assessment of existing local food procurement (along with production, processing, and distribution).

One of Ontario’s opposition parties has suggested that the province needs more food terminals, modelled on the Toronto terminal that handles most of the current produce sold in Ontario. Regions across Ontario (from Peterborough to PerthSimcoe to Ottawa) are currently taking action on their own to establish regional food hubs that would provide aggregation, processing and distribution infrastructure to service regionally-determined needs. Anyone who follows the ‘Fortnightly Feast‘ on this page knows that, just across our borders, the state governments of Michigan and New York are investing economic development money into the construction of “food hubs” to help drive regional recovery.

 

**(Note: other practical constraints to public sector procurement include i) the BPS Procurement Directive‘s non-discrimination clause; and ii) group purchasing. A recent policy report on local food procurement in Ontario health care concluded that even allowing local food exemptions for procurement contracts under $100,000 would have little effect, as most food services contracts (because of group purchasing) involve amounts larger than that!)

 

Fortnightly Feast vol. 3

2nd Annual UVM Food Systems Summit – June 2013
This June, UVM’s Food Systems Summit will be the venue for intense examination and exchange of ideas, knowledge, and practical skills. A valuable part of the summit is the The Necessary [r]Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems Conference on June 27.
Read the full story…

5th AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Conference
The next AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Conference will be held October 28 and 29 in Montpellier France. The main theme of the 2013 conference is ‘Innovations in Urban Food Systems’.
Read the full story…

Regional Sustainable Food Systems Coordinator (Oxfam)
Climate change, lack of access to agricultural markets, and financial resources, high food prices, dispute for natural resources, and gender discrimination issues are just some of the factors preventing a fair and sustainable food system for the people of Latin America. And with the aim to find lasting solutions to poverty, Oxfam is working hard to make a difference. Shaping plans and putting them into action, you’ll help us to help people to help themselves. Read the full job posting…

Waterloo Region Food Charter
Vision: A healthy, just, and sustainable food system is one in which all residents have access to, and can afford to buy, safe, nutritious, and culturally acceptable food that has been produced in an environmentally sustainable way, and that supports our rural communities. Such a food system promotes social justice, population health, and profitable farms, reflects and sustains local culture, and supports ecological viability.
Read the full Charter
Endorse the Waterloo Region Food Charter

More Money For Food Hubs in New York State
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The state is making $3.6 million available for the creation of four new food distribution centers that link small farms and growers to large buyers.  New facilities are proposed for the North Country, the Mid-Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes and Central New York.  So-called “food hubs” were a major topic of discussion at a recent Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group conference at Saratoga Springs City Center, with more than 400 people on hand from Maine to West Virginia.
Read the full story

Cooperative Community Shops
Community-owned village shops continue to be one of the leading success stories of the UK co-operative and social enterprise movement. In 1992 there were just 33 community-owned shops; 20 years on there are 303, with a further 20 anticipated to open by the end of 2013. Read the full story

Home-grown food part of a new vision of urban development
Cities feeding themselves is an idea that is gaining traction. In Burlington, Vermont, more than 8 per cent the food consumed by residents is grown within the city limits.
Read the full story…

USDA Releases Report on the Growing Importance of Food Hubs in Rural America
…”The dramatic increase in the number of food hubs since President Obama took office has been supported by state and federal efforts including USDA programs like Rural Business Enterprise Grant, Rural Business Opportunity Grant, Value-Added Producer Grant, and the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program.”  Read the full story…

Exploring New Possibilities in Land Tenure
Partner wanted for new farm
We’re looking for a farm couple / farmer with experience in any of vegetables, berries, fruit, mushrooms, medicinal herbs and / or livestock to help re-create a farm, preferably using permaculture / biodynamic principles, on this 150-year-old former dairy farm. It ís 200 acres, about 50 acres pasture / meadow, most of the rest forest, in East Meredith, NY (Delaware County, near Delhi / Oneonta).
There ís plenty of water, sun and worms. The barn burned down. The land is organic (unofficially). Would like to develop a relationship beginning with rent or lease, leading to some kind of cooperative arrangement.
This is a unique opportunity for the right people to establish an operation from scratch. To discuss possibilities, please call Carl Arnold at 718 788 5944 or 607 278 5820, or e-mail resume and letter to carlarnold at mac.com

Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Local Food Procurement (YouTube video)

… and finally

Urban Food Strategies Webinar: Foodlinks European Research Project.
In Foodlinks we are analysing and engaging in knowledge brokerage activities and creating effective linkages between scientists, civil society actors and policy makers, to promote research and practice on sustainable food systems. To achieve this, Communities of Practice (CoP) were established in different themes, one of them revolving around Urban Food Strategies, where we are tackling the rise of municipalities and city-regions as food policy makers, pointing to new relations between the government and civil society.
In the framework of this work and jointly with Purefood European Project, we are holding a webinar on Urban Food Strategies to explore recent and ongoing research in this field.

The webinar will take place on 12th of March 2013, 15:00 – 16:00 (GMT)

After a brief introduction by Professor Kevin Morgan, Jessica Jane Spayde and Jess Halliday will present different structures and governance approaches that urban food strategies (UFS) and food policy councils (FPC) use in working toward sustainable urban and peri-urban food systems.
Jessica Jane Spayde will discuss the key roles UFSs and FPCs play in urban food systems. She will also discuss the ways in which UFSs and FPCs are focusing on integrating and facilitating between civil society, government, and the private sector. They also are using their positions to raise awareness of the problems in the food system, which helps create a culture where people are more likely to demand sustainability changes from governments and private food companies.
Jess Halliday will explore how each urban food strategy is enabled and/or constrained by its multi-level governance context. Using examples from her own research on UFSs in England she will set out a framework consisting of factors that can affect the ability of a strategy to meet its own objectives. She will explain how it can be used to draw comparisons between strategies in very different governance settings, and can be used to help cities formulate strategies that are context appropriate.
After the presentations, there will be an interactive Q&A session moderated by Dr. Ana Moragues Faus.  Please join us for this exciting event.
Register here:   http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=E953DA83824931
If you have any queries about the webinar or the Foodlinks project please get in touch: MoraguesFausA1 at cardiff.ac.uk
For more information visit: http://purefoodlinks.eu
https://knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/web/foodlinksurbanfoodstrategies

 

Fortnightly Feast

3 Upcoming Webinars:

Food Hubs – The Missing Link for Farm to Cafeteria

Farm to Cafeteria Canada‘s “Dig In” webinar series, in cooperation with the Ontario Farm to School Challenge, are pleased to bring you an exciting opportunity to learn about local food hubs serving the needs of school food programs. Julia Erlbaum, Founder and Principal Consultant at Real Food Colorado, will discuss her experience with existing food hub models and programs that support schools’ ability to access and use more locally-grown food.

This webinar will be held Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 3pm and will be 30 minutes long. To register, please go to Sustain Ontario‘s webex site

 

Land and Site Management

Join the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) for a webinar on managing shared infrastructure and incubator sites. Partners from the Intervale Center, the New American Sustainable Agriculture Project, the International Rescue Committee and the Minnesota Food Association will discuss a wide variety of topics including leasing land, soil fertility management, infrastructure development, urban farming initiatives and general site maintenance (budget, staffing, etc.).

This webinar is designed for those interested in or already operating land-based beginning farmer training programs. We will include ample time at the end for participant questions.

Please note, a recording of this webinar will be available online afterwards at https://nifti.wikispaces.com/Webinars.
Title: NIFTI Webinar 5 – Land and Site Management
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Time: 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now

 

Webinars on Social Enterprise for Nonprofits

February 27: Intro to Social Enterprise and Earned Revenue Strategies for Nonprofits
(presented in English at 10:30am and French at 1:00pm)

Is your nonprofit interested in generating funds that aren’t designated to a particular project?  Is your organization already exploring business ideas?
Are you a social entrepreneur with an idea for a community enterprise?
Are you wondering if your business idea is feasible?

The Rural Social Enterprise Constellation (RSEC) is pleased to present our Social Enterprise Webinar Series, beginning on February 27.  This series is sponsored by the Rural Social Enterprise Constellation (RSEC) of the Ontario Nonprofit Network and will be of particular interest to rural nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs.  For more information about the RSEC Project visit Rural Social Enterprise Constellation

Registration will open on February 1

 

Abbey Gardens: the Haliburton County Food Hub

“The Food Hub will retail local food products from our Gardens and from local partner growers, bringing Convenience to local food shopping and increasing the distribution capacity of our local food supply systems.”

 

“Sustainable Foods Summit Calls for Greater Supply Chain Efficiencies”

…offering large and small-scale adaptations to improve sustainable outcomes

 

The rise of Generation Y in the sustainable marketplace

Often considered to be “born green” because they grew up in a society where eco-consciousness was becoming a norm, and often to baby boomer parents who founded the environmental movement, it is only recently that Generation Y has begun to show leadership in the sustainable marketplace.

 

Althaea Herb Farm Barter and Volunteer Positions for 2013

Althaea Herb Farm is located 1/2 km. outside of Guelph, ON and is accessable by bus, walking or car-pool.
There are 2 positions on offer this year:
# 1 – Barter positions – 5 hrs. / wk. commitment. Trade your labor for plants, fresh herbs, dried herbs, tinctures, etc.
# 2 – General Volunteers – agree to be on phone / e-mail list and they’ll call / e-mail when they need help.
Get in touch for more details.

 

Greenbelt Fund Green Papers — Volume 4

Access: Identifying Processed Food Origin

 

FarmOn: A Community of Social Learning

“Some say you can’t make a living faming: we respectfully disagree.”

 

… and for something completely different:

Horse meat – the hardest thing to digest is that it’s your fault