Mobile Fresh Markets: Social Innovation in Food Access
Mobile fresh markets (MFM) are an emerging social innovation for increasing access to healthy food. While mobile markets are clearly not a new invention per se, using MFMs as a strategy for increasing food access in low income, food insecure areas is a new approach. MFMs have been increasing in popularity in the US for the past five years and are beginning to make an appearance in Canadian Cities. Financial Snapshot of Mobile Fresh Markets in North America.
Farm market economics measured
Hutten has been a market mainstay for nearly 30 years (he grossed a grand total of $55 his first week), and in that time, he’s watched as the number of markets in the province has grown. A newly released study notes that over the last 10 years, their number has shot up from 15 to 45 — which gives Nova Scotia the largest number of farmers’ markets per capita in the country. Keltie Butler is executive director of the industry group Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia, who released the economic impact study. It’s the first in a decade to look at the state of farmers’ markets in the province. The study is more of a first step than a comprehensive look, providing a snapshot of market use at 21 venues on a typical day. FCC Express story.
Slow Money trickles into Vancouver
And Slow Money investors are a different breed altogether. Slow Money is an organization and a movement that’s just arriving in Canada from the U.S. The idea is to organize investors and donors to steer new, “patient” sources of capital to Slow Food — small food enterprises, organic farms and local food systems. “We need a market economy for local food. We can’t look at food as a charity or a non-profit venture,” conference organizer Rory Holland said. Buying local is not enough, he said. Investing local is the next step. Vancouver Sun story.
Shoppers Can Now Buy Chicken Labelled “Raised by a Canadian Farmer”
Responding to growing demands from consumers to know where their food comes from, Chicken Farmers of Canada has introduced its “Raised by a Canadian Farmer”, a branding program showcasing the commitment of farmers to provide families with nutritious chicken raised to the highest standards of care, quality and freshness. Digital Journal story.
Canada selected for sustainable beef pilot project
McDonald’s choice of Canada for its sustainable beef pilot project is a positive step for ranchers according to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “We are currently working with the [CCA] and other industry stakeholders towards an agreement on a pilot project with the goal of advancing the ongoing improvement in the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the Canadian beef value chain,” says McDonald’s Canada’s western Canada spokesman John Gibson. FCC Express story.
Everybody Eats: Our Vision for a Pan-Canadian Food Strategy
Our 2011 NDP Election Platform committed to introducing a “Canadian Food Strategy that will combine health goals, environmental goals, and food quality objectives, and increase access to local and organic choices for consumers across the country.” This vision document outlines the major elements for such a pan-Canadian food strategy. We identify progressive federal leadership opportunities on agriculture and food issues. It is our hope that this can ignite a dialogue with those who care passionately about these issues, connect to new audiences outside those already engaged, and strengthen our work with business and farming communities. NDP strategy.
CFA Supports NDP Food Strategy Initiative & Implementation of an Agreed-Upon Vision for Canadian Farm and Food
“It is our strong belief and what the CFA has been advocating for some time – that industry, government and consumers must develop a set of common objectives for the food system in Canada. We are encouraged to see the NDP’s food strategy initiative and action taken towards a long-term vision for Canada’s food and agriculture sector,” said CFA President Ron Bonnett. As the NDP ‘Everyone Eats’ strategy notes, “We need to look at the whole picture and bring an integrated approach to federal policy that connects agriculture, rural development, health and income security.” Canadian Federation of Agriculture post.
Vegetable & Agritourism Field Day
If you’re a direct marketer and want to see what happens behind the scenes at an agritourism operation, an upcoming field day is a great learning opportunity. Caitlynn Reesor spoke with Rob Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist with Alberta Agriculture, about the Vegetable & Agritourism Field Day that’s being held June 23 near Calgary. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development post.
Annual ALUS-Norfolk tour, August 27
The annual ALUS-Norfolk tour will be taking place on August 27th, 2014. This is a great opportunity to see an ALUS program which has been running since 2007. We will visit some older projects, and some new ones too. The tour will last the whole day and includes lunch. Alternative Land Use Services post.
New homes permitted in the green zone
More than 30,000 homes could be located in the agricultural zone in Quebec, legally. This situation stems from decisions made by the Commission for the protection of agricultural land in Quebec (CPTAQ) under “collective requests” accommodated by regional county municipalities (MRCs). So far, 52 MRCs have used this procedure but it is impossible to know how many of these potential homes were built. In theory, the MRCs which receive such authorization must file an annual report to the CPTAQ and UPA Federation concerned including the number of homes built in the agricultural zone. La Terre de chez nous story (French).
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Starving for agriculture coverage
Canadians are starving for agriculture coverage, Marilee Devries reported in the Spring 2014 issue of Ryerson Review of Journalism. “If food is the world’s most essential industry,” she asked, “why have newspapers forsaken the farm?” “The quality of agriculture reporting in the urban press is like a wheat crop infected with fusarium head blight,” Devries observed. Her article explored trends in agriculture reporting by newspapers in Canada, causes of slippage and results for citizens and the entire country. Agricultural Communications Documentation Center post.