Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy of Food – Eastern Ontario Webinar

Relocating social and ecological values in food systems

Wednesday March 1 at 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Join us for reports from four unique community-based research cases in eastern Ontario, where the most prized goals challenge the accepted wisdom of economic primacy.

1) DIG (Durham Integrated Growers for a Sustainable Community)
Mary Drummond, President of DIG and Chair, Durham Food Policy Council and Mary Anne Martin, PhD student in the Joint Trent-Carleton program in Canadian Studies

Key DIG case study themes:

  • the recognition of community expertise
  • the role of supportive and restrictive municipal policies
  • the benefits and pitfalls of relying on unpaid labour,
  • a focus on fostering community
  • the development of alternatives to dominant economic logics and practices

2) Black Duck Wild Rice (BDWR)
James Whetung, Curve Lake First Nation, Founder of BDWR, and Paula Anderson, PhD student in Indigenous Studies, Trent University

Black Duck Wild Rice (BDWR) is a family run community-based social enterprise for wild rice processing, including a maple wood roasting machine, a barrel wild rice huller and a drop winnower. James and family have been long-time advocates for wild rice and its place in developing a more local/regional diet; one that is based off of what this “place” has to offer.  BDWR provides “green” seed for other First Nation communities wishing to re-establish/ restore their traditional manoomin beds within their traditional territorial waterways and has recently acquired a set of canoes that local people can borrow to encourage them to go out and re-establish their relationship with this food.

3) Hidden Harvest
Jay Garlough (Co-founder, Hidden Harvest), Trish Ballamingie (Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University), and Chloé Poitevin DesRivières (Doctoral Candidate, Geography/Political Economy, Carleton University)

In this webinar, Jay will introduce Hidden Harvest Ottawa – a for-profit social enterprise that aims to legitimize and support the practice of harvesting fruits and nuts in urban areas. Groups of volunteers participate in insured harvest events, organized by trained neighbourhood leaders. The bounty is split between the nearest food agency, the homeowner, the volunteer harvesters, and Hidden Harvest Ottawa—who leverage their share to raise funds for the initiative from local restaurants and processors. Chloe will then touch briefly on key Insight themes (Building Adaptive Capacity; Increasing Prosperity; Increasing Social Capital; and Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship). Trish will conclude by reflecting on the broader conceptual significance of this case study.

4) Ontario East Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS)
Phil Mount, Research Associate, Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems

In recent years, higher input costs, lower margins, and an increase in cash cropping have all encouraged the conversion of idle agricultural land, pasture, and native grassland, into corn production—with important repercussions for wildlife habitat in Ontario. Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) is a non-profit program offering an innovative model for environmental conservation, by providing farmers with financial incentives for the ecological goods and services produced on their land.

Key ON East ALUS case study points:

  • ALUS pays farmers to retire land from agricultural production, and retain or convert it to a natural state
  • widespread benefits include carbon sequestration, improvements in water quality, and increased habitat for fish, wildlife, and pollinators
  • the program is voluntary, farmer-delivered, and community developed

Facilitator: Peter Andree, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Political Science, Carleton University

For registration and webinar access info, please contact pmount@wlu.ca

For more details on the project and webinars

Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy: Relocating social and ecological values in food systems

Webinars March 1, 14 and 15

The Nourishing Communities research group is conducting community-based research investigating food initiatives that operate within the social or informal economy, intended to address food security and community development; benefit marginalized communities, including low-income groups, Aboriginal people, youth and women; and provide important environmental stewardship services. We are presenting initial reflections and case studies from regions across Canada in three upcoming webinars:

  • Eastern Ontario – Wed March 1 at 10:00 a.m. EST
  • Northwestern Ontario – Tuesday, March 14 at 11:00 a.m. EST
  • Atlantic Canada and Northwest Territories – Wed March 15 at 12:00 EST

By ‘social and informal economy’, we mean a range of activities that are on the margins, loosely organized, and sometimes not even recognized as economic activities. Within the food sector, such informal, undervalued activities include self-provisioning, barter, food sharing, unpaid labour, environmental remediation and rehabilitation.

Capturing Outcomes

Specifically, the research asks whether and how a social economy of food:

  • increases prosperity for marginalized groups;
  • builds adaptive capacity to increase community resilience;
  • bridges divides between elite consumers of alternative food products and more marginalized groups;
  • increases social capital; and,
  • fosters social innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic diversification.

The webinars will present examples of initiatives that share foodways and/or re-introducing traditional practices; offer an alternative practice that challenges accepted values (e.g. therapeutic horticulture, seed saving, responsible community investment); share knowledge and networking to maximize impacts; and enable collective provision of basic needs.

For registration and webinar details, please contact pmount@wlu.ca

Because it matters! The Food Hub Value Chain Survey

Food Hub Value Chain Survey…from Mike Nagy, Survey Project Manager, Nourishing Communities, Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems

Thank you to those who responded to our previous request.

We very much hope that those who have started the survey can complete it now and those who still have not had a chance to fil it out can do so as we are closing the survey on February 17th.

Receiving data for the 2015 business year and growing season would be of tremendous benefit to our study while assisting funders and policy makers to better understand the challenges that you face.   We have kept the survey open in hopes to receive much needed additional input.

Follow this link to the Survey:
Take the Survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: https://uoguelph.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe3/form/SV_5cmyMK6xn6wpBFH?Q_DL=6YEfstRzT4gNIYl_5cmyMK6xn6wpBFH_MLRP_6xjfdEkdAVt0qQl&Q

We have also included a link that will provide you a comprehensive summary of the 2014 survey results with easy to read Info-graphics.  We hope that you find the results helpful. Please spread widely!

https://fledgeresearch.ca/resources-results/food-hubs-in-ontario/

Thank you for your participation, your input is highly valued.

AMI Food & Beverage Convention: Niagara 2017

The Agri-Food Management Institute and Innovate Niagara are partnering with a number of public and private agencies to bring together 400 food and beverage industry members looking to scale up and grow their businesses.

The Food and Beverage Convention: Niagara 2017 will take place at Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls on March 3rd

Read more

Fortnightly Feast

Sustain Ontario’s Upcoming Network Meetings: Setting Directions for 2017

Sustain Ontario’s Networks will be meeting virtually to set directions for 2017. Old and new members welcome to join  to help determine ways to achieve each network’s priorities for 2017.

Network Meetings:

To read more, or register for the meetings

The kids are not alright

The Heart & Stroke 2017  Report on the Health of Canadians  examines how industry is marketing unhealthy food and beverages directly to our children and youth, and how this is affecting their preferences and choices, their family relationships and their health. Read more

Ontario Public Institutions and On-site Food Production: Visualizing the Future for Health Care

For three years, Project SOIL has used case studies, pilot projects and visioning sessions to investigate the viability of on-site food production at public institutions, through collaborative arrangements with local food producers.

Over that time, interest in food production on public land has continued to grow, with schools and universities, health care institutions and seniors residences, community food centres and food banks, as well as public agencies—from conservation authorities to crown corporations—making land available for food production. Read more

Re-imagining sustainable food planning, building resourcefulness: Food movements, insurgent planning and heterodox economics

8th Annual Conference of the AESOP ‘Sustainable food planning’ group, 2017
Hosted by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, CoventryUK
…Planning for sustainable food production and food provision is more than ever urging us to look for more effective, equitable and just approaches that radically change not only the way we grow food, but the very core of our living space.This 8th annual conference of the AESOP sustainable food planning group is dedicated to discussing ideas, approaches and practices that can help to re-invent food planning in light of the need to build a resourceful, agroecological, urbanism. Read more

Deadline Extended to February 6: AFHVS/ASFS Annual Meeting and Conference, June 14-17, 2017 at Occidental College

The conference theme, “Migrating Food Cultures: Engaging Pacific Perspectives on Food and Agriculture,” invites us to reflect on and engage with the entirety of the Pacific region. The conference setting of Los Angeles, California, is a dynamic, diverse, and multiethnic global city that serves as a gateway, destination, and waypoint. Much of the food itself in California is produced in part by migrating workers and immigrants; indeed, the food scene in Los Angeles is the result of migrating food cultures. Read more

New Intake Added for Final Year of Growing Forward 2 Program

As the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Funding Assistance Program for producers moves into its final year, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs want to be sure there are still plenty of opportunities for Ontario producers to make on-farm improvements. GF2 is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative designed to encourage innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector through cost-share funding opportunities. GF2 is delivered to producers by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), and will start to wrap up early in 2018. Read more

Strong Public Support for the Growth Plan

A January 2017 poll by the Greenbelt Foundation and Environmental Defence shows Ontarians strongly support the Growth Plan and protection of farmland.
9 in 10 respondents agreed that new growth should be directed to already-built up areas. Read more

The Community-Focused Rural Economic Development Program is Open for Applications

The Rural Economic Development (RED) program helps rural communities remove barriers to community economic development, through support for planning and implementation projects that benefit rural Ontario.

The program is now open and will accept applications until March 31, 2017. A second intake is scheduled for July 31, 2017 to September 29, 2017. Read more

My Sustainable Canada’s Local Food and Ontario’s Long Term Care Sector Report

This report documents the current state of local food usage in Ontario’s long-term care sector. Most of the 600+ homes in Ontario do not track local food usage and many report barriers to adding these items to their menus. With an estimated annual raw food spend in excess of $210 million, Ontario’s long-term care sector represents a significant opportunity for local producers. Read more

FLEdGE Project Co-ordinator applications, closing date

Project Co-ordinator, FLEdGE

UPDATE: Those intending to apply to the ‘FLEdGE Project Co-ordinator’ position should send applications before 11:59 p.m., Sunday January 22, 2017!

Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged (FLEdGE) is a research and knowledge sharing partnership. We are committed to fostering food systems that are socially just, ecologically regenerative, economically localized & that engage citizens.

FLEdGE seeks an engaged, experienced, adaptable project coordinator who is passionate about local sustainable food.
Continue reading

Project Co-ordinator, FLEdGE (Food: Locally Embedded Globally Engaged)

Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged (FLEdGE) is a research and knowledge sharing partnership. We are committed to fostering food systems that are socially just, ecologically regenerative, economically localized & that engage citizens.

FLEdGE seeks an engaged, experienced, adaptable project coordinator who is passionate about local sustainable food.
Continue reading

Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society Student Research Paper Awards

Please encourage students to submit papers to this year’s AFHVS Student Research Paper Award competition. The Award details, dates and instructions can be downloaded here. The call is open for both graduate and undergraduate submissions. Please circulate widely!

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

What’s the Best Way to Grow Ontario Organic?

…from OCO:

The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) needs your input!

Ontario boasts over $1 billion in sales of organic foods and yet only 2% of all agriculture in the province is organic. Why is the organic sector in Ontario growing so slowly in relation to demand?  How can government and the industry help Ontario businesses capture this growth opportunity?

Help guide the future of organics in Ontario.  

Take OCO’s survey by January 28th for the chance to win prizes!

Read more