Insights from the first Food Environments in Canada Symposium and Workshop
During his talk, Dr. Cummins discussed the role of grocery-based interventions to improve the food environment, such as healthy food stores in food deserts. The symposium was followed on Friday with a discussion on how to measure food environments, barriers in food access, and interventions in the food system. Yan Kestens for instance, faculty member at the Université de Montréal, discussed the need to establish an accurate and standardized measurement of exposure to different types of food environments (e.g. food swamps). Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.
The new face of farm fresh
When Hank Markgraf sees a can of Broken Ladder cider on a store shelf, it’s as if his own name is stamped on it. In a way it is. Markgraf is one of 500 producers that make up the BC Tree Fruits growers co-operative. Broken Ladder Cider Co., based in Kelowna, B.C., is a recent initiative on the part of BC Tree Fruits that is helping increase the profile of local producers with consumers. Not only does Broken Ladder represent an entirely new product category for the local growers, it is also cashing in on the groundswell of branding that is putting a real face to food producers. Saskatoon StarPhoenix story. Financial Post story.
‘Buy Local’ Hot Among 61% of Canadians
As retailers gear up for the peak “buy local” season, a recent survey reveals that six in ten (61%) Canadians say purchasing local food and beverages is important to them, and nearly half are willing to pay a 15-30% premium for them. Furthermore, among these shoppers, 87% report they would increase their monthly grocery spend if local alternatives were more readily available. When asked what prevents them from buying more local goods, higher price, surprisingly ranked as the lowest obstacle at 23%. This compares with 60% who say the largest impediment is the fact that large chain retailers are not stocking a wide enough selection of local goods. Yahoo Finance story.
Really Local Harvest
Really Local Harvest is a cooperative of about thirty farmers from the South East region of New Brunswick. Our members work hard to give you authentic, wholesome, fresh and great tasting local products. Our mission: promote the development of sustainable agriculture in southeastern New Brunswick. Website.
Interactive map: What’s your favourite farmers’ market?
It’s official – Canadians have serious love for their local farmers’ market. Local markets aren’t just the place where a growing number of Canadians are shopping, they are also the place consumers trust the most with food quality and safety. An exclusive Ipsos poll for Global News found that 83 per cent of those polled make an effort to buy locally-grown and produced food and 71 per cent are willing to pay more for locally grown food. Global News story.
Support an Organic Revolution in St. John’s
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning-point project “Farm to Table,” submitted by local businesswoman Melissa Butler, will represent Newfoundland and Labrador for the finals of the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. Melissa’s project will help her company, Real Food Market, invest in local greenhouse operations as part of its strategy to create a sustainable, year-around food system on the island. To claim the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award $100,000 grand prize and fund this project, Melissa needs votes from Canadians from coast-to-coast. Canadian News Wire story.
Working Together to Help Feed Honey Bees
June marks the launch of Buzzing Gardens, a national program spearheaded by Bees Matter that provides Canadians with free seeds to plant pollinator-friendly gardens. Farmers, beekeepers, and several agricultural organizations, including the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), have come together in support of honey bee health and are taking action to help improve access to nutritious food sources. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Debrief from Canada’s National Slow Food meeting 2015
What really hit home in the conversations and presentations is that there is so, so much work to be done. In many ways the food policy (or lack there of) in Canada is completely backwards and working against the philosophical agenda of Slow Food for good, clean and fair food where there is a strong connection between consumers and producers. From coast to coast I heard stories from farmers, fishermen, food activists and small producers — their small successes and big fears. We were also lucky enough to have the founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, visiting from Italy who expressed that these destructions to our food systems are truly happening all across the world. Slow Food Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands post.
Local P.E.I. chef to compete for $10,000
Organizers say the recent P.E.I. Savour Food and Wine Show was truly a night of decadence and marked one of the most successful shows to date, showcasing over 40 vendors. Local restaurants Island-wide took part in the show, a project of the P.E.I. Restaurant Association, at the Confederation Centre of the Arts recently. Nineteen wineries, breweries and sommeliers were there to complement the food. The competition for the P.E.I. Flavours Local Food Award was judged during the event on several components; taste, recipes, and creative use of local P.E.I. products. The Guardian Charlottetown story.
Twitter just moved into a new office in Canada, and it’s very Canadian
To celebrate a new office move and mark its second anniversary doing business in the country, Twitter Inc. held a party at its Canadian HQ in Toronto earlier this month. Its grand opening was a “community affair,” Twitter says in a blog post: “#Nestwarming: Twitter Canada’s new nest.” Financial Post story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
This Floating Solar Farm May One Day Grow 8,000 Tons Of Veggies Every Year
One architecture firm has an innovative idea to stave off a possible food security crisis — grow fresh vegetables at sea. Designers at Barcelona-based Forward Thinking Architecture put together an eye-catching proposal for a solar-powered floating farm to grow food and raise fish near some of the world’s biggest cities. The concept leans on vertical farming technology, a new-age agricultural method of growing food in soil-less greenhouses. They’re stacked high with planter beds filled with nutrient-enriched water. Huffington Post Canada story.