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

Huron Food Action Network Seeking Board Members Urgently

from Nathan Schwartz, HFAN

Huron Food Action Network requires four (4) more board members who are willing to commit to attending monthly board meetings, as well as working on projects. Without this, the existing board will be forced to dissolve HFAN [read more]…

2016 was a very productive year with two completed projects (2016 Food Report and the Food Hub Assessment), continued participation in a Huron County tourism initiative focusing on culinary tourism, and the development of several grant proposals. HFAN partnered and/or discussed future partnerships with Huron Business Development Corporation, Huron County, Huron Manufacturing Association, Huron County Chef’s League, Huron County Library, Huron County Museum/Gaol, The town of Goderich and many more. HFAN even organized a very successful and widely acclaimed festival that has improved tourism in Goderich’s ‘shoulder’ season and proved HFAN’s ability to become self-sustaining.

If you have an interest in serving on the board, are willing to commit to a monthly meeting as well as taking on at least one other project, contact Nathan Swartz, HFAN Chair at
huronfoodactionnetwork@gmail.com before December 30th, 2016.

DIG (Durham Integrated Growers for a Sustainable Community)

A new case study from our ongoing ‘Social Economy of Food‘ research highlights DIG (Durham Integrated Growers for a Sustainable Community). Compiled by Mary Anne Martin, DIG was collected through interviews with the president of DIG, the coordinator of one of its member projects and one organization that has benefitted from regular delivery of produce from a member garden. In addition, it draws on documents and observations from: DIG’s website, its member projects, its annual general meeting, an executive meeting and a meeting of the Durham Food Policy Council (of which DIG is a member). As a participatory action research initiative, this research involved a collaborative project with DIG and the Durham Food Policy Council that analysed municipal policy in Durham Region to assess its support for urban agriculture and food security. The findings from the policy research also informs this report. Read or download the report!

Make a Difference for Local Food in Ontario — the 2nd Annual Ontario Food Hub Survey!

Your 2015 food sales numbers still matter! Help us to gather the evidence of Ontario’s growing regional food markets.

Receiving data for the 2015 business year and growing season would be of tremendous benefit—assisting funders and policy makers to better understand the challenges that you face.

We need a snapshot of your 2015 regional food sector activities so that we can better provide the facts—about important growing regional food markets and hubs—to agri-food sector policy-makers and funders.

The Nourishing Communities research group is conducting the second annual OMAFRA-funded survey to identify existing and potential regional food hub demand in Ontario. We need your input so we can provide the most up-to-date summary of food hub activity in Ontario for the 2015 growing season.

The goal is to enable you to get more local and/or sustainable food into the hands of consumers, apply for loans/grants, and give you a snapshot of your local food system. The survey results will also help funders understand more about community and business needs, where funding/resource gaps exist and how to effectively support operations such as yours.

We will be grouping the survey responses by regions to get a better picture of existing food systems and where there are more opportunities.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first survey of food hubs in 2014 – we are happy to share results.

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference 2016

November 22-23, Belleville ON

http://www.eastontlocalfood.com/eastern-ontario-local-food-conference-2016/

The Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is just around the corner and this year’s focus is all about resilience in the face of climate change and other contemporary challenges.  Join us, and best-selling local food author and CBC columnist Sarah Elton, as we explore ways that Eastern Ontario local food and its producers, processors and influencers can meet those challenges and seize opportunities that are unique to Eastern Ontario local food.

This year’s conference includes:

  • Local Food Bus Tour:  An afternoon tour will highlight businesses in the Quinte region who are putting local food on the map.  Visit Sprague Foods, Barn Owl Malt, Wild Card Brewery, Enright Cattle Company, Potter Settlement Winery and Donnandale Farms.
  • Local Food Extravaganza (Tasting Event):  This showcase of local foods and beverages, representing the various culinary regions across Eastern Ontario, will tempt your taste buds into the conference’s first evening.
  • Keynote Speaker:  Drawing on her years of research and writing on food systems, award-winning journalist and best-selling author Sarah Elton will illustrate how Eastern Ontario’s local food system can be a part of the solution to serious global challenges. With inspiring examples from around the world, she will explore the idea of food system resilience – what it means, and how it can be applied locally.
  • Ignite:  Five minutes of back-to-back wisdom and inspiration from ten local food trailblazers.
  • Eastern Ontario Local Food 2050:  What does current scientific understanding predict when it comes to growing conditions in Eastern Ontario in the coming years? How can our agriculture sector prepare to meet challenges and access opportunities that might arise from these changes?
  • Economic Resilience for Local Food: How does a local food system create economic value both for its consumers and its producers? How does a shifting global trade environment affect our local food systems? Join this presentation and discussion with OMAFRA’s senior economist.
  • Global Realities, Local Decisions: Farming, food and beverage businesses can play a role in increasing our local food system’s resilience in response to global challenges. Hear from businesses about how these concerns have affected their local decision making.
  • Food Hubs:  “To Hub or Not to Hub” that is the question.  Explore what is happening with food hubs in Eastern Ontario and what it takes to plan a food hub that meets your community’s needs.
  • Designing Resilient Food Systems:  Hear from innovative farmers who are using infrastructure to improve the long-term resilience of their diverse operations.
  • The Municipal Role in Local Food: Local Food represents an economic development opportunity that municipalities may want to support. But where to start? Hear from jurisdictions that have developed good local food programs in keeping with the municipal role. Learn about resources that exist to guide your efforts and help evaluate your programs.
  • Business Decisions for Resilience: How can businesses plan and structure for economic resilience? How can that resilience benefit their communities? This session will provide examples of leadership in that field.
  • Marketing Local, Selling Local: Discover how one local campaign increases awareness of locally produced products & learn tips for getting your products into retail.
  • Costing & Pricing for Profit: Learn how to calculate your costs and price your products for financial success in retail and wholesale markets.

To register or for further details:

http://www.eastontlocalfood.com/eastern-ontario-local-food-conference-2016/

Considerations for Seed Security and Biodiversity Conservation in Newfoundland

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This research explores and assesses various perspectives on seed security issues in Newfoundland and is meant to inform the creation of an action plan for seed security work in Newfoundland in coming years. Drawing on ten interviews with individuals actively involved with seed saving and conservation, the report describes recent seed security efforts on the island and the current needs and assets. The unique conditions on the island include short growing seasons to harsh climatic conditions in the winter months, making the availability of locally adapted seed crucially important. Public interest in seed security is on the rise but local resources and funding to support seed activities is limited. The demand for locally sourced seed is significant but there are still few seed-savers. There is good seed access on the island and seeds are generally available at the quality and quantity farmers want and need, however, many seed varieties are considered to be very expensive. There is significant concern for endangered local varieties and erosion of genetic diversity, in particular with respect to Newfoundland heritage potato seed. The study could not conclusively determine the feasibility of developing a seed bank in Newfoundland.

This research was made possible by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through the Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged partnership and the support from the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security and Echo Foundation. The findings presented here do not necessarily reflect those of the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, or Echo Foundation.

Please see below the full report:

considerations-for-seed-security-and-biodiversity-conversation-in-newfoundland

City and Regional Food Systems Planning and Design for Equity, Justice, and Power

Open Call for Submissions for a Special Issue of the Built Environment Journal

The Built Environment journal will publish a special issue to address how the growing engagement of the planning and design disciplines within city and regional food systems subverts, reinforces, or exacerbates inequities and injustices. Authors are invited to submit articles that explore how planning and design may be used to create and strengthen city and regional food systems, while explicitly considering imbalances in equity, justice, and power.

About the Special Issue 

The guest editors, Samina Raja, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York and Kevin Morgan, Cardiff University, invite submissions from scholars from across the Global South and Global North. Manuscripts from early career scholars, including tenure-track faculty members, post-doctoral scholars, and doctoral students are highly encouraged. The special issue is expected to include 12 articles, not including the editorial. The issue is expected to be published by fall 2017.

Authors are welcome to write about one or more sectors of city and regional food systems. Articles may focus on scholarship that addresses food systems at varying scales, ranging from small towns to large cities and regions. Manuscripts must address the following:

  • Concerns about inequities and injustices, including food, health, social, and economic inequities
  • The interplay between city and regional food systems and the built environment
  • Systemic and spatial exploration of city and regional food systems
  • Concerns about those most marginalized stakeholders in the food system, including low-income populations, people of colour, marginalized workers in the food system, and/or refugees and migrants
  • Ideas for change, including planning, policy, and design solutions

Prize for Early Career Scholar 

Published papers by early career scholars will be considered for a Best Paper Prize. Early career scholars include tenure-track faculty (e.g. Assistant Professors), post-doctoral scholars, and doctoral students. The author of the winning manuscript will receive an honorarium of $1000 (US), and the winning manuscript will be published as an Open Access article.

Submission of Abstract 

To have a manuscript be considered for the special issue, interested authors must submit an abstract of no more than 300 words (not including references) to editors by November 14, 2016. The abstract must describe the thesis or research question, the research design and research methods, and report key findings and recommendations. The abstract must demonstrate the link between the article and the focus of the special issue on equity, justice, and power in food systems. References must be cited using the Harvard system. Abstracts must be submitted in a Word document by e-mail to foodsystems@ap.buffalo.eduThe subject line of the e-mail must specify “[Author’s Last Name]: Built Environment Journal” and the abstract must be attached (in Word format). Authors whose abstracts are judged to be a good fit for the special issue will be notified by November 21, 2016 

Submission of Manuscript 

The full manuscript cannot exceed 5,000 words. Completed manuscripts will undergo a peer-review process prior to selection for publication. Complete manuscripts will follow the format and style of the Built Environment journal published by Alexandrine Press. Additional guidance will be provided to invited authors. Full manuscripts must be submitted no later than January 30, 2017.

Questions 

Send questions about content of the special issue to Samina Raja at sraja@buffalo.edu. Questions about the submission process should be directed to Enjoli Hall at foodsystems@ap.buffalo.eduPlease use the subject line “Built Environment Journal” in all e-mail correspondence.

Mapping Nova Scotia’s Seed Collections Systems

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The seed collections system in Nova Scotia includes people from a wide variety of backgrounds and skill-sets working toward a similar goal – seed conservation as an important element of seed security. Data from nine interviews with individuals prominently involved with the seed network in Nova Scotia provide insights into the roles of various seed organizations including seed libraries, seed banks, gene banks, and seed companies. The project explores various aspects of their form and function, including their audiences, purposes, and their interactions, and barriers to interactions with each other. The current local seed movement is attributed to growing interest in and availability of local food, and is explored here as both a result of, and a new driving force behind the local food and food security movements. Interaction between various seed organizations is limited but mutually supportive. Project findings also provide insights about future directions of seed initiatives in the province, indicating that a greater number of geographically dispersed small seed libraries is highly desirable.

This research was made possible by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through the Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged partnership, with additional support from the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network and The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. The findings presented here do not necessarily reflect those of the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network or The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.

Access to the full article report-seed-collections-systems-final

 

Agricultural / Rural-Growth Economics Study of Remaining Pickering Federal Lands

Land over Landings RFP

CLOSING DATE AND TIME:
October 12, 2016, 3:00 P.M.

Land Over Landings wants a qualified firm to undertake a comprehensive study of the maximum agricultural economic capability, the rural growth opportunities, and other economic benefits to be had from restoring permanent agriculture to the remaining Federal Lands in Durham Region — while also ensuring the preservation of the area’s existing watersheds and natural habitat.

Land Over Landings intends to use the study report’s data and conclusions in future communications strategies, to make the case to political leadership and the general public that an agricultural and rural-growth economic vision exists as a viable alternative to an airport and other economic development on the remaining Federal Lands.

Please don’t hesitate to contact landoverlandings@gmail.com for the full RFP, or if you have any questions.