Local Food News — Canada

Farmer forgoes millions to preserve agricultural gift for Edmonton

Doug Visser is taking the final steps to create a permanent gift for Edmonton in his struggle to protect quality farmland and an old growth forest from suburban growth. He’s agreed to place a conservation easement on the land and launched a fundraising campaign to cover the fees, pledging to match donations up to $70,000 and forgoing millions in possible revenue. The easement – registered and monitored by the Edmonton and Area Land Trust – would ensure the top quality farmland could never legally be used for anything beyond community-based agriculture. Edmonton Sun story.

 

Homemade rhubarb vinegar and sunflower-seed soup? Yukon food experiments you have to try

When a Yukon woman from Dawson City decided she was going to eat food sourced solely from her community for one full year, a northern foodie — and fellow Yukoner — jumped at the challenge. Michele Genest, who’s also the author of Boreal Gourmet, has been “experimenting with stuff” and concocting recipes with Yukon-grown products — which have resulted in both successes and failures. Genest says the goal of the First We Eat project is to start a dialogue across all of Northern Canada about food security and sourcing locally. CBC story.

 

An eBay for grain trading, FarmLead, raises $6.5 million Series A

Farmers work to feed the world. Yet somehow, corn, wheat and rice sales are still happening at a local level through antiquated paperwork and phone negotiations. Now, an Ottawa-based startup called FarmLead has raised $6.5 million in venture funding to connect grain producers and buyers automatically online, and help farmers get fair prices for what they grow. The platform is something like an eBay for grains. Tech Crunch story.

 

Province puts money into promoting local food

Rick Doucet, the minister of agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries, said the money will support the implementation of the province’s Local Food and Beverages Strategy throughout 2017 and 2018. The strategy, which was announced in October 2016, is aimed at increasing consumer awareness about local food and helping farmers bring their produce to the market, both locally and internationally. CBC story.

 

Farmers union finds new local food and beverages strategy unclear

The provincial government put out a new local food and beverages strategy this week, but farmer Rébeka Frazer-Chiasson said it resulted in more questions than answers. “The wording is nice. The logic is there,” said Frazer-Chiasson. “But it doesn’t seem like a super coherent plan as to how we’re going to change some of those problematics.” Frazer-Chiasson was pleased to hear there was a unified logo for local foods in the province. CBC story.

 

Local Food and Beverages Strategy, New Brunswick

This strategy attempts to strike a meaningful balance to promote local food and beverages production and marketing while not detracting from the significant opportunities driving the mainstream food and beverage sectors. In doing this it will address the following three objectives: 1. Improved consumer awareness of local food and beverages. 2. Improved availability of local food and beverages. 3.improved support for new or expanding food and beverage enterprises. Strategy.

 

Alberta forum dishes out education about sustainable food

Susan Roberts, a lead organizer, helped plant the seed for the 2017 Cultivating Connections forum. Just like the local food industry, Roberts said she wanted the event to be all about community. “It’s not a conference, it’s not an assembly, it’s not a summit. It’s a time to talk,” she said. She rallied a team of farmers, gardeners and local produce experts to answer questions about food in the province. CBC story. Website.

 

Successful Cape Breton food co-op looking to double number of customers this year

A small but thriving family-run farm in Cape Breton is looking to expand, in part thanks to a successful food co-op on the island that plans to double its customer base this year. Thyme for Ewe, a farm run by Estelle and Tim Levangie in Millville northwest of Sydney, has been one of the suppliers of the Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-op since its creation three years ago. The co-op connects local food producers with consumers via weekly online food requests, co-ordinates pickups from the suppliers and makes deliveries. There are 30 suppliers and the number of customers is set to increase to 250 from 125 this spring. CBC story.

 

Southwest BC Bioregion Food System Design Project

The Southwest BC Bioregion Food System Design Project was a four year, multi-disciplinary research project initiated by ISFS to provide regionally specific, data-driven information about: * The potential to increase Southwest BC food production and processing for local markets; * Whether and to what extent increasing local food production could improve food self-reliance, benefit the provincial economy, and create jobs;  *The potential to reduce some detrimental environmental impacts from food production in Southwest BC. Report.

 

Urban Farming in Toronto & the GTA – Hyper-local Food Solutions, April 7

Moderator: David McConnachie, Publisher, Alternatives Journal | Panelists: Lara Kelly, Holly Ray Farms | Susan Poizner, Orchard People | Rhonda Teitel-Payne, Coordinator, Toronto Urban Growers | Brandon Hebor, CEO/Co-Founder, Ripple Farms | Ashlee Cooper, Evergreen. 2017 Green Living Show, April 7-9, Toronto

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Food for Life Report

Food for Life will feature the best scientific research on food and nutrition to inform reader on how to best protect and enhance their health and navigate the myriad of self-serving dietary advice touted in food labels, menus, advertisement-fueled magazines, and fad diet books. Food for Life Report will help readers apprise of developments in food and nutrition law in Canada and internationally. For people who care about food and health, Food for Life Report is a great recipe for savvy eating and savvy citizenship. The Centre accepts no funding from government or industry and our magazine carries no advertisements. Website.

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