Local Food News — Ontario

So, artisanal chicken … yup, it’s a real thing

New policy aims to open poultry market for smaller producers. Ontario foodies and locavores can look forward to more options when it comes to summer barbecuing as a new policy ensures they’ll have better access to local chicken than ever before. A new Artisanal Chicken Policy introduced by the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) will allow small-scale chicken farmers to produce between 600 and 3,000 chickens per year, and sell them at local food stores, farmers markets and to restaurants. NorthernLife.ca story.

 

Meet the Behind the Scenes Heroes: 100KM Foods

If you’ve been following OCTA for awhile, you know we’re huge supporters of the powerhouse duo that is Paul Sawtell and Grace Mandarano.  Together, they run 100KM Foods – an award-winning local food distribution company that gives chefs access to the best products in Ontario and provides a viable sales channel for Ontario farmers and producers. Paul and Grace are dedicated to sustaining Ontario’s agricultural sector and making connections between farmers and chefs.  It’s been a beautiful thing to watch this company grow over the years as we see more and more demand for putting local food on the table. Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.

 

Food Entrepreneurs: Building Ontario Innovation One Product at a Time Conference

The Agri-food Management Institute, in partnership with Georgian College, is proud to present the inaugural all-Ontario conference. This conference is a province-wide conference being be held on March 3 & 4, 2016 at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College. This two-day event includes panel discussions by successful food entrepreneurs and industry experts on topics such as innovation, human resource management, food safety culture, overseeing and executing strategy, product idea viability, collaborating for growth, and more. Agri-food Management Institute post.

 

New Report Looks at Ingredients for getting Local Food in Ontario Schools

Ecosource and Roots to Harvest have just released a report, Alternative Avenues to Local Food in School: Ingredients for Success by Multiple Authors, through the Alternative Avenues Project — a collaboration with students, teachers and school board representatives in Durham Region, Peel Region and Thunder Bay, with support from the Ontario Edible Education Network. The collaboration focused on developing and testing strategies to incorporate local food procurement into secondary school food programs, while engaging students in food literacy. Golden Horseshoe Food & Farming post.

 

Assembling the Ingredients for Food Tourism in the Northwest

In just two weeks, award-winning Chef Jamie Kennedy will be visiting Thunder Bay to join farmers, chefs, government and others involved in the food tourism industry to support a one-day conference dedicated to discussing the increasing opportunities for business growth and profit-making in the sector. Food tourism has demonstrated itself in other markets as a way of bringing new money into regional economies and also as a way of raising the local profile of local food. Net Newsledger story.

 

Windsor event planner re-invents local food and lifestyle events

The idea for the night market emerged over drinks with friends, Lindsay said. Farmers markets are great … if you’re a morning person, that is. The monthly Walkerville Night Market launched in summer 2014 and made a point of featuring all-local food, vendors and musicians. This was key, Lindsay said, because she wants to make sure any event she designs serves its surrounding community or a charity. “At the end of the day it’s all fine to throw a party but it has to have some meaning behind it,” she said. The night market concept was so popular among locals and also tourists that it only took a year before it spread to Kingsville. Now there’s talk of bringing it to other county locations in summer 2016. Windsor Star story.

 

Traditional farming declining, new farming businesses emerging: report

While there has been a decline in traditional agricultural businesses in dairy, milk production and beef in Waterloo Region, new farming ventures are popping up such as those catering to the burgeoning eat local food market and hops grain production for the emerging microbrewery industry. The Agriculture Research Report, compiled by the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin, shows that from June 2012 to June 2014, the number of farm businesses in the region went down by 316. Most of the losses were in dairy cattle and milk production. Waterloo Record story.

 

Leamington Greenhouses Testing Robot Harvesters

Three Leamington area vegetable greenhouses are testing a robot to harvest produce and remove leaves from plants. The robot is being developed by University of Guelph professor Doctor Medhat Moussa. The prototype has visioning technology that allows it to identify ripe produce. It also has a pick-up arm that will let it gently – yet firmly – harvest the vegetables without damaging them. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

Dishing the dirt on Ontario’s most distinguished soil

Ontario is the latest province to officially designate an official provincial soil and, of the nearly 300 groups of soils available, the historically significant Guelph soil series has been awarded the title. Jeff Leal, the province’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, made the recent announcement as a send-off to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s International Year of Soils. FCC Express post by Owen Roberts.

 

ALUS Looking For Environmentally-Friendly Grey Bruce Projects

The Alternative Land Use Service, or ALUS, provides matching start up funding and they’ll pay rent on land taken out of production. ALUS Grey Bruce coordinator Keith Reid says projects could include exclusion fencing, tree planting, and creating wetlands and buffer zones. “ALUS recognizes the fact that some of these environmental services are benefitting all of society and the costs shouldn’t be associated with the farmer alone,” says Reid. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Growing Local, Growing Strong! Building a Sustainable and Co-operative Food System

Plans are underway for the 2016 Assembly of the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network (LOFC) – the 7th in a legacy of great networking and learning events. Workshop, speaker and plenary brainstorming has come up with some great topic areas and speakers. The Assembly will be preceded by a focused finance day (February 22, at Ignatius, Guelph) that is being organized in collaboration with the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Entitled Fair Financing for Local Food and Farms, the various workshops and plenaries will explore innovative and adaptable forms of finance.  Conversations with lenders and funders will explore various financing sources and how to build meaningful dialogue. The Canadian CED Network post.

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