The Forum on Canada’s Agri-Food Future 2015, November 3 & 4
The Forum on Canada’s Agri-Food Future (CAFF15), being held on November 3-4 in Ottawa, is about shaping Canada’s food destiny. It’s about a newly-imagined future that offers the best possible outcomes for Canadians and our agri-food industry. Website.
More than 100 cities signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact
On 15 October 2015 117 cities signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, the first covenant among Mayors on Urban Food Policies. Mayors simultaneously signed the document on tablets, at Palazzo Reale, in the Hall of Cariatidi on 15 October. The Pact is one of Milan’s most important commitments in the year of the Universal Exposition under the theme “ Feeding the Planet, Energy for life”. Milan Food Policy post.
The Benefits of Localism
It turns out that even a very modest shift generates a huge number of jobs. For example, Leslie Schaller, Brad Masi, and I did a study of metro Cleveland five years ago looking at the impact of a 25% shift toward local food. We found that this shift would generate 27,000 new jobs, $250 million more of tax revenues, and nearly $1 billion more in wages. The job impact is so profound that it would reemploy 1 in 8 unemployed residents of the region. Food, of course, is just one sector. If you localize other sectors modestly, the job impact can be even more profound. Post Carbon Institute interview.
Teaching farming in the Bronx
If you had to choose the least likely location for the birthplace of a green education revolution, you might well pick the South Bronx in New York City. Despite creeping gentrification, this is an area that is still synonymous with urban blight. It is the most socially deprived district in the United States, with over 40% of residents living below the federal poverty line. It is officially the least healthy place to bring up children in New York State. And yet this is where high school teacher Stephen Ritz hatched a food-growing project with his students that has been adopted in schools across the US and way beyond, picking up numerous awards on its way. BBC story.
Inside the Flourishing World of College Farm Programs
Twelve thousand years ago, people worked the land to stay alive. Today, working the land has taken on a new purpose. All across the U.S., college students, faculty, and staff have begun to develop their own campus farms. And they’re not just growing vegetables; they’re expanding minds. The Hometown blog.
For U.S. Tribes, a Movement to Revive Native Foods and Lands
Two by two, the wild rice harvesters emerge from the grass-filled lake and drag their canoes to shore. The harvesters, Lake Superior Chippewa, are reaping their ancestral food in the traditional way — one poling the boat through the waist-high tangle, and the other bending the stems and gently brushing ripe seed loose with a pair of batons. It’s hard, dirty work on a steamy Minnesota late-summer day. They’re caked with chaff and sweat But the canoes are loaded with the sacred grain they call manoomin. It was a good harvest, they say. Environment 360 post.
Urban agriculture startup founded by JHU students aims to bring future of farming to Baltimore
Reidy had seen the so-called “vertical farming” systems succeed in places like Montreal and New York City. He wanted to join this new wave of food entrepreneurs “tapping into a global, growing movement that’s changing the way we’re designing our cities,” he says. Reidy set his sights on the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and the city of Baltimore. But before starting the program, he took a summer detour, moving to an organic farm commune in Vermont. “I thought, if I want to be a farmer of the future … I first have to be a farmer of 10,000 years ago,” Reidy says. HUB (Johns Hopkins University) post.
More Students Are Eating Locally Sourced Food
Students in public schools are eating healthier cafeteria meals made from an increasing array of locally sourced food, according to new federal data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA surveyed school districts to evaluate the impact of “Farm-to-School” initiatives in place at over 42,000 campuses. More than 10,000 districts provided input—a response rate of 60 percent on the survey. Among the findings: Nearly $600 million in locally produced food was purchased by schools in the 2013-14 academic year, a 55 percent increase over 2011-12 (when the first Farm-to-School census was conducted). More than half of the census respondents said they planned to increase their local food purchases in the coming year. The Atlantic story.
Organic food start-up Terra Firma to add 8,000 farmers to its network
Hyderabad-based Terra Firma Projects, a farm-to-table organic food products start-up, is in the process of adding 8,000 farmers to its existing network of 2,000 certified organic farmers by the end of 2016, according to its chief executive officer Likitha Bhanu. Business Standard story.
Can cities lead the way in maximizing nature’s value?
In recent decades, an increasing number of companies, governments and organizations have been thinking seriously about this complex issue of sustainability. They have developed increasingly innovative ways to quantify and assess the value of nature’s services — our natural capital — so that businesses and governments can incorporate nature in their development decisions. The Natural Capital Project, for example — since its founding in 2006 — has helped dozens of public agencies and companies assess the value they derive from lands, waters, oceans and other living ecosystems. Roosevelt described these assets as “permanent.” Our actions will determine that. GreenBiz story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Beyond Alternative Food Networks Italy’s Solidarity Purchase Groups
Food activism is core to the contemporary study of food – there are numerous foodscapes which exist within the umbrella definition of food activism from farmer’s markets, organic food movements to Fair Trade. This highly original book focuses on one key emerging foodscape dominating the Italian alternative food network (AFN) scene: GAS (gruppi di acquisto solidale or solidarity-based purchase groups) and explores the innovative social dynamics underlying these networks and the reasons behind their success. Bloomsbury Publishing review.