Tag Archives: verification

Fortnightly Feast vol. 23

Ontario’s Regional Co-op Food Hub Project

The Regional Food Hub Expansion project provides capacity building, business planning, regional local food forums and collaboration among four regional food hubs and associated network partners and stakeholders. The four food hubs are in various stages of development by existing local food co-ops. Funding from the Local Food Fund, Carrot Cache, The Co-operators, LOFC and ONFC is providing the financial support to develop and expand the regional food hubs. Read more


Talkin’ Local Food with UHN

University Health Network now has 85 ideas on their crowdsourcing project to better connect local Ontario food to the hospitals at University Health Network.
You can vote for any and all of the challenges for the next month, and until September 7, you can even add more ideas!


Individual diet changes can’t fix the global food system

Jennifer Clapp and Caitlin Scott on the excellent Guardian Food Hub blog

Up to this point, we’ve been fed simple messages about the scope of the problem, and we’ve been given specific advice about how we can address it individually. Simplicity and a sense of our own agency are important in communicating messages that can contribute to broader change. But, we must be wary of reducing complex problems into overly-simplified sound bites that gloss over serious aspects of the problem and place too much responsibility on those with the least leverage. Read more


… and for those wondering how an entire country gets ahead of the curve:

Ireland: Working with Nature through Origin Green

Ireland has always been known for its natural high quality food, drink and ingredients. Through a world first program called Origin Green, we’re aiming for Ireland to be a world leader in sustainability. See the infographic


What I’ve Learned about Food and Sustainability

Jason Clay at World Wildlife Magazine

…we came up with a list of 35 priority places around the world and analyzed the threats to the biodiversity in those locations. What we learned was eye-opening: the greatest pressure on those places, by far, was coming from the production of food and fiber. … 15 globally traded commodities present the most significant threats across the board to the world’s most ecologically important places.

Our research showed that 300 to 500 companies buy 70-80% of each of those 15 commodities. And 100 companies touch about 25% of that group.

Best of all, that level of influence means producers will compete to sell to those 100 companies. So we can actually impact 40-50% of global production by working with a carefully selected group. That is a strategy that changes the game. Read more

Ontario’s Environmental Farm Plan and Consumer Sustainability Demands

Guest Blog from Ralph Martin,
Professor and Loblaw Chair, Sustainable Food Production
Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph

Consumers are increasingly asking for more information, not only about location of food production, but also about how food is grown on a given farm. It can be difficult for food processors and retailers to verify that food has been sustainably produced. However, farmers who are busy with current management details are not keen to add more record keeping and verification protocols to their to-do list. Nevertheless, many farmers in Ontario are already engaged in the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) and there are opportunities for the EFP to help them show processors and retailers what they are doing. Although the EFP has not been audited by a third party, there are opportunities for it to be upgraded and audited for farmers that determine it will be cost effective for them to pay for such a service to establish market differentiation of their products. The EFP is well known and voluntarily applied on farms in Ontario, unlike more rigorous verification programs in other countries that have very low adoption rates.

For more details, see Potential Role of the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan in Responding to Sustainability Demands of the Agri-food Supply Chain, by Claudia Schmidt, Janalee Sweetland and Al Mussell of the George Morris Centre.  [1.6 MB pdf]