Tag Archives: sustainable food systems

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


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

Diversity and Sustainability of Food Systems

(Diversité et durabilité des systèmes alimentaires)

If you are in France next month, l’Institut des régions chaudes de Montpellier SupAgro will host a multi-disciplinary series of seminars on sustainable food systems from October 9 – 24. Speakers include Nicolas Bricas and Olivier de Schutter. The series is sponsored by the UNESCO Chair in Global Food Systems, Montpellier, SupAgro, member of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems International Advisory Committee.

For more information, please contact Alison Blay-Palmer at

New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System

American Farmland Trust (AFT), Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) are pleased to announce the release of their new report New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System

A sustainable food and farming system in New England is key to creating a region that is resilient, just, healthy, economically vibrant, and environmentally sound. New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System identifies policies that are helping New England grow its capacity to feed itself, policies that are hindering this growth, gaps in the existing policy framework, and opportunities for new policies to strengthen our food system. Read more

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems – Tier II Canada Research Chair

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Location: British Columbia
Date posted: 2014-02-19

We create an exceptional learning environment committed to preparing learners for leadership, service and success


Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) invites applications for a Canada Research Chair (CRC) Tier II in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Areas of expertise appropriate for this CRC include but are not limited to, agroecology and cropping/farm systems, field and protected vegetable crop production, agricultural economics and farm business management. The objective of the CRC program (http://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca) is to promote leading research and prepare highly qualified university personnel. This appointment is provisional and contingent on the successful preparation and submission of the CRC application by the selected candidate prior to appointment, and subsequent award of CRC funding. As such the successful candidate/CRC applicant will be hired upon CRC award. This will be a 75% research and 25% teaching appointment.

It is anticipated that candidate selection will begin March 2014; the selected nominee’s application will be submitted to CRC on April 28 or October 14, 2014depending on the strength and capacity of the candidate. CRC award will be confirmed and an appointment made either October, 2014 or April 2015.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, originally established by the government of British Columbia in 1981 as a College, was designated a university in 2009. The University, with 16,000 FTES, has four campuses located in Metro Vancouver British Columbia and provides a unique regional university environment bridging urban, suburban and rural communities. Southwest British Columbia and the province on the whole is one of Canada’s most important and productive agricultural areas. The University offers bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations in over 135 programs. It is envisaged that Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, based at KPU’s Richmond campus, will constitute a signature program of the new polytechnic.

In September, 2012 the Bachelor of Applied Science- Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems degree was launched. Its focus and curricular content is unique to North America and intends to prepare the builders and leaders of a sustainable 21st century agriculture food system foundational to sustainable society. The CRC will teach classes in this degree program. The CRC will also conduct applied research pertinent to agriculture and food systems in affiliation with the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (http://www.kpu.ca/isfs) the program’s research arm. A diverse team of agriculturists, economists, ecologists, planners and social scientists push the boundaries of agriculture and food systems research through multifaceted community and regional projects in western Canada. Applied research engages students, community and the food and farming sector at all stages, bringing together powerful partnerships in discovery and learning. Additionally, the University is in the process of establishing a research and teaching farm.

Applicants must have earned a PhD. in an appropriate field within the last 10 years, have a solid record of applied research, publication and outreach, demonstrated ability to generate research funding to support their research program, demonstrated success in collaborative research project work, and be prepared to lead and/or contribute to KPU agriculture teaching, research and outreach programming.

To apply, please submit a letter of application, four letters of reference, a maximum 2 page statement of your teaching/ education philosophy and indication of the kinds of agriculture/ food system classes you could teach, a maximum 2 page discussion of your research interests and a 5 year plan along with your current resume and a copy of post-secondary transcripts, quoting the competition number 14-35 by March 14, 2014 to: employ@kpu.ca

We thank all applicants for their interest in Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
However, only those applicants selected for further consideration will be contacted.

Sustainable Food Systems Webinar Series

As one of the components of the project, “Healthy Food for All: Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems in Ontario”, a series of webinars are being offered to the public, inpartnership with HC Link. The purpose of these webinars is to increase the capacity of local communities to create and strengthen sustainable local food systems.

Below is a list of the webinars dates with links to descriptions and registration information:

Part 1: Introduction to Sustainable Food Systems
February 13, 2014, 1:30 – 3:00 pm EST
More information on webinar and presenter
Register here (Registration closes February 10 at 5:00 pm)

Part 2: Sustainable Food Systems in a Healthy Communities Lens
February 27, 2014, 1:30 – 3:00 pm EST
More information on webinar and presenter
Register here (Registration closes February 24 at 5:00 pm)

Part 3: Organizing to affect your Food System: Food Policy and Action Groups
March 13, 2014, 1:30 – 3:00 pm EST
More information on webinar and presenter
Register here (Registration closes March 11 at 5:00 pm)

For more information about the “Healthy Food for All” project, please visit http://www.ohcc-ccso.ca/en/healthy-food-for-all.

Creating Just Food System: Cultural Tools for Local-Global Activism

May 13-30, 2014 at the Coady International Institute in Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Facilitators: Deborah Barndt, Selam Teclu

Food systems include the chain of activities and interactions from production to processing to distribution to consumption.  Women are central to the global food system – as small scale farmers, salaried workers in agribusiness, markets and restaurants – and they are also the key leaders in grass-roots initiatives to create a more equitable and sustainable food system. This course will focus on roles different groups play in promoting community resilience through food systems that address interrelated issues of poverty, health, environment, gender, and racial equality. Read more

Beyond Emergency Food

Thoughts from both sides of the border

Upcoming webinar Pod-Cast:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12-1 p.m. EST

Join Community Food Centres Canada for a webinar Pod-cast with Jessica Powers from the U.S. organization WhyHunger on the work they do to support emergency food providers to go beyond charitable food access programs and create initiatives that foster a more inclusive and sustainable food system. The webinar will cover key principles underlying this work, drivers for transforming organizations, redefining relationships with funders, inspiring examples of change, useful resources and more.

Read more

When: Wednesday December 11, 2013 from 12 to 1 p.m. EST
Where: Your Computer – Register Here! – https://cfccanada.webex.com/
How Much: Free!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ross Curtner at ross@cfccanada.ca.

MSc Food, Space and Society

The Masters Graduate School of City and Regional Planning at Cardiff School of Planning and Geography will be offering a new Masters of Science degree in Food, Space and Society starting in September 2014. Here are some of the highlights:

“Food is at the forefront of society’s grand challenges”

Food is a unique lens through which one can address key social science questions on resource shortfalls, environmental pressures and social development. A focus on food provides important opportunities to raise questions about the prospects for a more secure, just and sustainable future and to understand the shifting boundaries between the state, the market and civil society.

Special Features

A core feature of the course is its emphasis on research-led teaching. Modules are designed and taught by staff from the Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF), who have a long-standing and world-renowned expertise on conventional and alternative food networks, food consumption practices, the interplay between global and local food systems, community food growing, public food procurement, food justice, animal geographies, and the community food sector. Staff’s engagement in agenda-setting research on these topics ensures that students are exposed to the most recent debates in food studies and are involved with our extensive network of stakeholders.

This MSc is suitable for graduates in subjects such as geography, sociology, politics, anthropology , planning and economics, and/or those with appropriate professional experience and qualifications in food. Applicants with a background in other subjects, and relevant work-based experience, will also be considered.

To read more, please visit http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/cplan/study/postgraduate/food-space-and-society-msc

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 15

It has been a busy two weeks in sustainable food systems news! Here’s a round-up of recent conference and webcast announcements, as well as some interesting reports and articles.

2013 Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

OMAF/MRA:  The Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is back for another year and it’s better than ever. This year’s theme is “Innovation Driving Local Food”. The conference will take place on December 2 – 3, 2013 at the Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre in Kingston. It is hosted by Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs. Read more

How to Feed 9 Billion on a Small Planet

USC Canada:  On November 19th, Miguel Altieri (University of California, Berkeley) – a world leading authority on agroecology – will speak on ecological agriculture as a key solution to food insecurity, hunger, and climate change. He’ll be joined by panelists:

Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer and author of The Market Gardener,
Sarah Archibald, Campus Food Systems Project Coordinator, and
Henry Lickers, Environmental Science Officer, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
Bob Carty, former top CBC radio journalist, will moderate the webcast.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 from 12-2 pm EST
Across Canada via webcast

To register for the webcast or to organize a private or public screening, go to: usc-canada.org/feedingtheworld.

For more information, please contact genevieve@usc-canada.org.

This event is organized by USC Canada, Inter Pares, Food Secure Canada, School of International Development and Global Studies, Sierra Youth Coalition, Meal Exchange, ETC Group, CBAN, Ram’s Horn,National Farmers Union, and Development and Peace.

Farming in Ontario’s Greenbelt: Possibility Grows Here

Greenbelt:  Co-authoured by professor Wayne Caldwell, of the University of Guelph, and recognized expert on agricultural and rural planning issues, Farming in Ontario’s Greenbelt: Possibility Grows Here, provides recommendations to ensure economic prosperity and viability of farming in Ontario.
Read more

Urban Food Strategies: the rough guide to sustainable food systems

FoodLinks:  Academics, policy makers and CSOs from 9 different European countries have collaboratively produced a guide to provide motivation and support for those actors interested in building more sustainable food systems in urban contexts. Far from proposing a recipe to develop Urban Food Strategies, we have compiled distinct motivations, measures, ideas, processes and examples from around Europe that we hope are useful to inspire action towards more sustainable and just food systems for all. Read more

Civic Engagement in Food System Governance

A Comparative Perspective on American and English Local Food Movements
Alan Hunt

Using longitudinal empirical evidence, Hunt finds that local food projects in the US are more collaborative than those in England. His research demonstrates that increasing inclusion in civil society can increase policy outcomes despite countervailing trends of social segregation and political polarization. Read more

Farmland Conservation

Wallace Center:  The National Young Farmers Coalition recently released a report, Farmland Conservation 2.0: How Land Trusts Can Protect America’s Working Farms (pdf), discussing the successful strategies of farmland conservation to secure permanent and affordable land for working farmers. Read more

WHO: Ensuring a safe, healthy and sustainable food supply

Policies in agriculture and fisheries influence public health by affecting the supply, local availability, safety, affordability and accessibility of foods. Read more

Food Is the New Black

Huffington Post:  “Food is the New Black” — I read that in a fashion or home or travel magazine a few months ago. The next 30 seconds of thoughts and emotions that flooded my mind are probably typical for people in my field. First I smiled at the silliness of that statement. Then, I felt confidence: People do seem to be catching on that healthful, bountiful food is at risk. Read more

Sustainable food systems include food from forests

Biodiversity International:  Globally, it is estimated that billions of people depend on forests and trees. This is true for many people living in developing countries, for whom forests are an essential part of a sustainable food system. Read more

Towards Sustainable Food Systems

The Conference “Towards Sustainable Food Systems will take place on 18 October 2013 at FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm local time. The Conference is organized as a contribution to the 2013 World Food Day’s theme “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, and will be webcast at the following links:

In the Original language (floor): http://www.fao.org/webcast/index.asp?lang=IT

The overall objective of the Conference is to help build a common understanding of the issues at stake, to show actions already being taken by FAO and its partners, and to form the platform for the creation of new and emerging partnerships. The Conference will foster a broad multistakeholder – evidence-based – dialogue for action, supported by presentations of multistakeholder initiatives aimed at more sustainable food systems.