Stray chickens on the rise amid urban farming trend
People who work at the Montreal SPCA have been caring for homeless cats and dogs for years, but now they’re facing a new challenge — chickens. Raising chickens for fresh eggs is a growing trend in Montreal, but the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says every week hens and roosters are being abandoned by owners unable to take care of them. CBC News story.
Farm plan holds promise for sustainability demands
Ontario’s long-established and successful environmental farm plan, in which four out of every five farmers voluntarily participate, holds great potential for offering the agri-food system insight into on-farm environmental sustainability, says a new report from the Guelph-based George Morris Centre. The report says the farm plan could address one of the industry’s most burning issues — identifying sustainability practices in the value chain. Owen Roberts post on FCC Express. Report.
Provigo Le Marché opens first store in Sherbrooke
The first Quebec Provigo Le Marché store opened today in Sherbrooke. The Provigo Le Marché brand that operates under the Loblaw company, offers an extended range of Quebec products, including fresh and grocery items from Eastern Townships growers and food businesses, a 12ft high wall of Quebec cheese, fresh local bakery items and sustainable seafood, to name a few. Like any other store, operated under the Loblaw name, it will offer customers access to the President’s Choice brand name products, financial services and points program. Loblaw news release.
Feasibility Study of On-Site Institutional Food Production
This three-year project is expected to start in September of this year, and will assess the feasibility of growing food on institutional lands, through collaborative arrangements with local food producers. This project builds on several Ontario research projects investigating the intersection of institutional procurement and sustainable local food. Case studies will be conducted with current food production initiatives on public lands, while administrators of public institutions across the province will participate in surveys and interviews. Pilot food production projects will also be launched at a hospital, a long-term care facility, and a high school. Nourishing Communities post.
Local Food Provision in Ontario’s Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities: Recommendations for Stakeholders
It is hoped that achievement of these outcomes will help create an institutional market for local foods that will increase both the number of local farmers growing foods for the Ontario healthcare system, and the amount and types of local foods they sell. As well, the use and endorsement of local foods by healthcare providers is expected to encourage chain store food retailers and the general public to stock and purchase local food, thereby increasing the current consumer market for local foods. Finally, it is expected that improved knowledge of the costs and processes associated with incorporating local foods into healthcare will encourage additional research and investigation into the use of local foods in other economic sectors, such as hospitality and tourism (e.g. restaurants, catering firms). My Sustainable Canada post.
Transformative Food Politics and Regional Networks research project
This research project explores the structure and constitution of networks of food initiatives in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia, working in partnership with four provincial network organizations. The main purpose of this study has been to enhance our understanding of how organizations in Canada are mobilizing around food-related issues. In particular, the research explores the role that food networks, rather than individual initiatives, play in developing resistance to the corporate led industrial food system. This research also seeks to support and strengthen the activities of each provincial network by providing useful information about how they work. Nourishing Communities post.
Vegetable farmers strike retail deal
Saskatchewan shoppers will have access home-grown vegetables at provincial Co-op grocery stores this summer and fall. The fresh produce has been available for many years at local farmers markets. Even though the stands have been successful, the industry saw opportunity for expansion. That led to 16 growers forming Prairie Fresh Food Corporation. By working together, the growers felt they could supply the larger volumes of produce required by retailers. They have an agreement to sell the vegetables to the Grocery People, a food wholesale distribution company with an outlet in Saskatoon. Neil Billinger post on FCC Express.
Hospital to be built on agricultural soil
There has been governmental talk about building a hospital on land reserved for agriculture in Vaudreuil, Quebec. Many groups, especially Le Mouvement Ceinture Verte, have sprung to action by contesting the area and requesting an independent study to find other sites, not on agricultural soil. The full decision will be made at the end of July. La Terre de chez nous story (in French)
CFA: Grown In Canada = Local Food
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is entering the growing debate over what is ‘local’ when you talk about food. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is considering the definition of anything grown within your province – and within 50 kilometers of your province’s boundaries. Some locavores argue it should be as narrow as within a 50 or 100 kilometer radius from where you live. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture says it’s anything grown in this country. The CFA argues buying Canadian food is the safest, freshest option that supports our country, our farmers and the security of our food system. Blackburn News story.
Bonnefield Launches Canada’s Largest Farmland Partnership
Bonnefield Financial today announced an initial closing of its third investment partnership, Bonnefield Canadian Farmland LP III (“LP III”). LP III received various commitments totaling $100,000,000 from Canadian investors and more capital may be raised in subsequent closings to a maximum of $200,000,000. Coincident with the closing of LP III, Bonnefield used a portion of the funding to complete one of the largest farmland transactions in Canadian history, the acquisition from the Highland Companies of over 6,500 acres of farmland located in Dufferin County, Ontario. The high-quality land, predominantly used for potato production, is located in the highlands of the Niagara escarpment a 90-minute drive north of Toronto. With its purchase by LP III, the land will continue to be farmed by local farmers. Wall Street Journal story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Instagram for Farm Sales? Sheep Farmers in Kuwait Use It
“Instagram businesses are a big thing in Kuwait,” said Kuwaiti artist Fatima Al Qadiri in a recent interview with Italy’s Mousse Magazine. “If you have an Instagram account, you can slap a price tag on anything, take a picture of it, and sell it… Even my grandmother has an Instagram business! She sells dried fruit.” The practice has become so common that the American University of Kuwait recently held an “Insta Business Expo” to shine a spotlight on and learn from “popular entrepreneurs that grew their businesses through Instagram.” The Kuwaiti @Sheeps_Sell was recently profiled by Lily Kuo and Simone Foxman at Quartz, who note that its popularity makes sense given the cultural significance and demand for sheep in the region. CBC News story.