Locavore News — Canada

 

The Chang School launches course series in Urban Agriculture

Starting in Fall 2010, Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will be offering a course series through online learning in urban agriculture as part the Certificate in Food Security. Students who complete the course series will receive official documentary acknowledgement from the university. The series will provide students with a comprehensive picture of current practices in urban agriculture and the environmental, socio-economic and political challenges that must be addressed to support them. Students will not only gain in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of urban agriculture but also of the policy dimensions and governance issues that must be taken into account for development of effective urban agriculture systems. The thematic focus of the course series is to demonstrate the importance and value of urban agriculture as an integral part of planning and development for sustainable, food-secure and healthy urban environments. Course list. Flyer.

 

What exactly does produce grown close to home mean?

After years of steering shopping carts through the gleaming – but impersonal – aisles of major grocery stores, a growing number of consumers looking for fresh, locally grown produce are turning to farmers’ markets to fill their fridges. The country’s biggest food retailers – with Loblaw Cos. Ltd. leading the charge – have taken notice. They’re starting to launch marketing campaigns and in-store promotions to tell consumers they don’t need to hit up a market to get local produce because it’s available in their stores. Globe and Mail story.

 

Why is Food an Election Priority?

This toolkit outlines some key issues about our food system, and helpful hints for organizing events and meetings with election candidates during the 2010 campaign. Together, we can put a healthy, local, and sustainable food system on the municipal plate! Winnipeg Elections 2010 Toolkit published by Winnipeg Food Policy Working Group

 

From the Canadian wild to your kitchen

Mr. Shepherd’s Vancouver Island Salt Co., which he started early this year, is touted as the first in the area to supply this natural resource to retailers, home cooks and professional chefs. But he’s not the only one to recognize a growing market for wild, regional, hand-harvested ingredients. Globe and Mail story

 

Donate your Canned Preserves to the Museum of Vancouver’s Upcoming HomeGrown Exhibit

The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) and Farm Folk/City Folk will be presenting an exhibit entitled “Homegrown: Vancouver’s quest for locally grown sustainable food” which will run from Aug 26, 2010 to Jan 2, 2011.   Homegrown is a photographic exploration of local food production and sustainable farming in Vancouver and the surrounding region. In photo-journalistic style, 38 stunning images by photographer, Brian Harris, contain a call-to-action for individuals and communities to reclaim control of local food systems and to think carefully about the ethics of food consumption decisions that are made every day. Accompanying programs including; workshops, screening, talks, and tours will give a deeper understanding and appreciation of local food production issues as well as the inspiration and skills to start a backyard or community garden. Fresh Choice Kitchen blog.

 

Loblaw Goes Local with Farmer Markets In-Store

Recognizing the enormous popularity and growth of farmers markets across Canada, a major Canadian supermarket chain is endeavouring to emulate their success. Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is announcing this week that it is “bringing the farmers market to Canadian neighbourhood grocery stores–all in one convenient location with bushels of variety.” The retailer adds in a news release that a “farmers market doesn’t always fit with the realities of Canadians’ hectic lifestyles.” Marketer News story

 

Loblaw Not Close Enough To Home

Loblaw has apologized after a Halifax shopper complained to the Halifax Chronicle Herald over an advertising campaign that marketed locally grown produce. Heather Pringle said she went to the Atlantic Superstore, which is running its “Grown Close to Home” campaign. However, she spotted plums and radishes from the United States along with rows of peaches, plums and nectarines from Ontario, with the words Grown Close to Home and the Atlantic Grown logo on the signs for some products. Marketer News story.

 

Food and Health: Advancing the Policy Agenda

The workshop’s primary recommendation is to develop a Canadian Food Strategy that fully addresses the health of Canadians and the health opportunities for the agri-food industry. The strategy must include government policy, industry and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Workshop report from Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University, London. (6.5 MB PDF)

 

Designing a National Food Strategy

The primary objective of those involved in designing Canada’s National Food Strategy is to develop a mission and long-term strategy for the Canadian food system. Participants expect this will create a focal point for the agriculture, processing, distribution and customer sectors that will contribute to a sustainable food sector and a healthier economy, environment, and population. Initial work on this strategy started almost a year ago, but intensive work began at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture in February. A working group from CFA is leading the project with participants from other organizations and representatives from the value chain and various government agencies. Commentary by Mark Wales, Vice-President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

 

Food strategy long overdue

The only bad thing one can say about the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s recent decision to plow ahead with development of a national food strategy is that it waited until its 75th birthday to do it. For far too long in this country, farmers have relied on someone else — usually governments — to come up with a vision for their industry. The visions that have emerged have typically been fiscal in nature, with an emphasis on agriculture’s contribution to the export economy, job creation and value-added industry. All of those are important. But these visions have also tended to marginalize the primary producers’ role as well as their communities’ contribution to the social fabric of this country. The focus has been on productivity, which seems to come at the expense of producer profitability and environmental sustainability. Laura Rance writes in the Winnipeg Free Press.

 

AND if You Have Time

Virtual Horticulture Tutors

The SproutRobot online gardening service helps aspiring gardeners plan out their planting season. Simply type in your ZIP code and the site will generate a personalized planting calendar for your gardening needs. Further, the site will send you seeds when the time comes to plant. Trend Hunter story.

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