Ontariofresh.ca is changing! Over the next few months this site will be evolving to give you tools to help you grow your business, and the business of local Ontario food. You’ll be able to register for this new site as of April 4, 2011, with the full launch of the site expected in late summer. And of course you’ll still be able to access information about the Broader Public Sector Investment Fund. Ontariofresh.ca is a free website and online community that is being created to expand the market for buyers and sellers of local Ontario food. Our aim is to connect across the food service value chain, linking bulk buyers, chefs, restaurants, caterers and distributors as well as growers and producers. Starting this summer, Ontariofresh.ca will be on the ground, building a stronger local food business in Ontario. Broader Public Sector Investment Fund post. Ontario Fresh post.
OCTA Presents Tastes of Ontario at 2011 Agri-Food Summit Reception
The Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance proudly recognizes its members who participated in the 7th Annual Premiers Agri-Food Summit on Monday Apr. 4. At an afternoon reception for summit guests, six Ontario culinary destinations featured all-local fare from their regions. In addition, craft brews, VQA wine, artisanal cheese, juices and herbal tea were presented to guests. Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.
OCTA Goes to the Premier’s Agri-Food Summit
Yesterday at the Premier’s Agri-Food Summit in Toronto, Ont., OCTA was in the crowd hearing the inspirational stories of Ontario farmers, growers, producers, and processors. The Ontario-theme continued during the day with a Foodland Ontario update presented by business development branch director George Borovilos, and a local food panel discussion featuring Burkhard Mausberg of the Greenbelt Foundation, Sandy Houston of the Metcalf Foundation, John Scott of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and Alison Blay-Palmer from Wilfred Laurier University. For lunch a spread of provincial goodies graced the plates of summit guests. Woolwich feta cheese, Ontario greenhouse veggies, Algoma apples, Quality Cheese brie, Silverstein ciabatta bread, Willowgrove pork, and Mapleton’s organic ice cream all made an appearance on the menu. Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.
Huge quarry plan raises water concerns
Southgate is supporting neighbouring Melancthon in its opposition to a huge quarry, based on concerns that it will damage groundwater sources. Melancthon Mayor Bill Hill told Southgate council last week that the proposal would create the second-largest quarry in North America and go 200 feet below the water table, which is 40 feet deeper than Niagara Falls. “The effect on the water is our main concern,” said Hill, who noted that his municipality is the headwaters for five rivers ¬ the Pine, Grand, Nottawasaga, Saugeen and the Beaver ¬ and is the recharge area for several other smaller rivers and streams. Water from the region flows out to more than a million people. According to a proposal put forward by the Highland Companies, the limestone quarry planned for Dufferin County will use 600 million litres of groundwater every day. Owen Sound Sun Times story.
St. Joseph’s gets local food funding grant
Locally produced food is more scrumptious, less mystifying and healthier than food stuffs transported across great distances. That was the prevailing attitude during the unveiling of new provincial government funding for projects geared to bringing more locally grown food onto the menu of public facilities in Ontario. Good, local food is part of Guelph’s culture and integral to patient care at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, officials told reporters during a news conference Thursday in the Westmount Road facility’s cafeteria. Guelph Mercury story.
Former Municipal Councillor on Environmental Issues Joins Local Food Plus
One of Canada’s leading urban environmental advocates is taking her commitment to protecting farmland and the environment to a new level. Former Markham Councillor Erin Shapero announced today that she has made a major career change to follow her passion for local and sustainable food, joining Local Food Plus (LFP) as Manager of Institutional Relations. Local Food Plus news release.
2011 Work Plan, Greater Toronto Agriculture Action committee
Our work plan for 2011 was presented and discussed during the meeting. As a committee our energy will be directed towards the completion of the Agriculture and AgriFood Strategy. Phase One was completed in January. Phase Two is currently underway and final consultations will be conducted throughout April and May. Data from the March 30th Summit is being consolidated and will be available for viewing on the Planscape web site the first week of May. The twelve top actions identified by the attendees at the Summit. GTA AAC April Message from then Chair
See who won the recognition in the 2011 Ontario Finest Meat Competition.
Ontario Independent Meat Processors from across Ontario submitted their premium meat or poultry products in the Ontario Finest Meat Competition. The 2011 winners.
Ready to hoe? Filmmaker Coline Serreau says we should all be farmers
There are clear signs that the world’s food production and distribution systems aren’t working. More than five million people across the Horn of Africa are hungry due to drought, conflict and soaring food prices, according to the UN World Food Program. In India, more than 400 million are believed to be underfed. If that weren’t enough, experts warn that by 2050 global food production will need to increase by 70 per cent to feed the planet’s growing population. Regardless of whether viewers agree, these perspectives reflect a widespread discontent over the status quo. Are we destined to revert to an agrarian society? Ms. Serreau tells The Globe we should organize a return to the fields now, while we still have a choice. Globe and Mail interview.
Message from the Minister regarding the Highland Companies’ Melancthon Quarry application
Over the past few weeks, my Ministry has heard a significant number of concerns regarding the length of the comment period for the Highland Companies’ Melancthon Quarry application. I want to reassure the public and especially the residents of the Township of Melancthon that this is only the beginning of the licence application process. On April 21, 2011 I indicated in the Legislature that I intended to consider comments outside the official Aggregate Resources Act objection period. To that end, I have extended the comment period for the Environmental Registry posting under the Environmental Bill of Rights for an additional 76 days. This will result in a total posting period of 122 days. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources statement. No Mega Quarry on Facebook.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Part Slope Food Co-op
The Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn, New York is a great example of a community food initiative that now boasts 16,000 members. It is a model for other communities in terms of how it functions, including the expectation that members will give approximately two and half hours per month, which keeps prices low. It is a great alternative to the big supermarket chains where a $2 Coop item is likely to be $5.New York 1 News Channel story.