Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

from the RUAF Foundation—a Centre for Sustainable Food Systems collaborator…

On 15 October, more than 100 cities signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. The Pact consists of a series of tangible commitments for sustainable urban food policies. Signatory Mayors from cities in the Global North and South pledge to develop actions and strategies to improve their urban food system. Read more

The text of the Pact and the framework for action are available in ENG, IT, FR, SP, Dutch, Russian, Arabic on:

http://www.foodpolicymilano.org/en/the-text-of-the-milan-urban-food-policy-pact/

Also an e-book was developed collecting 49 good practices from signatory cities that already demonstrate actions, policies and results in various fields such as food waste reduction and reuse, urban and peri-urban agriculture, improved governance and sustainable diets. The e-book—Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. Selected Good Practices from Cities—can be downloaded at: http://www.ruaf.org/publications/books-and-papers or http://www.fondazionefeltrinelli.it/article/ebook-utopie-milan-urban-food-policy-pact/

All documents were developed in a participatory process by the cities, with support of the city of Milan and a Technical Team, including staff of the RUAF Foundation.

RUAF, along with FAO Food for Cities and other City Region Food System collaborators, will continue working with the municipality of Milan on the post Pact process to assist cities in translating the Pact into action. We will keep you posted on future developments. For further information: m.dubbeling@ruaf.org and h.renting@ruaf.org.

Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

full text (pdf)

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

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).

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

Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems

The latest (2012) USDA numbers show that almost 8% of all US farmers are selling ‘local food’, with 70% of those selling direct-to-consumer (DTC). ERS census data analysis shows that 85% of these ‘local food farms’ have gross sales below $75,000 (US). The number of farms joining these ranks is slowing, as are the direct sales, which totalled an estimated $6.1 billion in 2012. However, farms with DTC sales are more likely to stay in operation than all farms not using DTC sales.

One cloud on the horizon: new ‘Produce safety’ and ‘Preventive controls’ rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) may disproportionately affect these ‘local food’ farms. “DTC farms apply more manure than all non-DTC farms and thus could be disproportionately affected by any FSMA regulations on the application of biological soil amendments”. Read more

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]

Ile-de-France – A regional strategy for sustainable and local agriculture

In a region that comprises of 49% agricultural land, the regional government of Ile-de-France (where France’s capital city Paris is located) has recently developed a strategy to better protect this land and connect it with local producers and consumers. The Ile-de-France regional strategy for sustainable and local agriculture recognises that in order to have green cities, there must also be access to local and organic agricultural products. In order to achieve this, the strategy consists of three central pillars:

  • Protect farmlands and make them more accessible to agricultural project leaders

  • Encourage the agro-ecological transformation of existing farmlands

  • Develop and promote local industries

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

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 11

For the faithful reader of this post, and those interested in the creation of sustainable regional food systems, here are two wonderful sources of news, information and events:

Locavore News

The Locavore News Editor, Elbert van Donkersgoed, puts together concise but informative summaries with links to only the most interesting and relevant stories about local food on the internet. These stories are carefully separated into three separate weekly posts, with  Ontario-based, Canadian and international versions. Information about Locavore News is available on the Terra Coeur website. This includes an archive of past issues of Locavore News.  To add your address to the Locavore News distribution list, send an email to: Plumbline-subscribe@terracoeur.com.

Sustain Ontario

Along with a huge amount of information on their policiespolicy papers, consultations and campaigns, Sustain Ontario also has three streams of food news: from SO, from their member organizations, and from around the world. You can also subscribe to have Good Food Bites sent to you every Wednesday, or to receive monthly updates about the work of the Alliance and opportunities to support food and farming in Ontario.

 

6 US Regional FOOD HUB models

Seems to be all food hubs, all the time – particularly south of the border, where state and local planning and economic development efforts appear to be following the lead of the USDA in advocating the value of these regional food hubs:

NC   Are Food Hubs the Key to Expanding Regional Food Systems?

WI   Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative and institutional procurement