Appetite grows for natural, locally produced food
B.C. consumers eager to buy from farmers who have ‘dirt under their fingernails.’
Whether you call them locavores or 100-mile gourmands, they represent a rapidly growing word-of-mouth market for what have been called artisan foods — small batch, largely organic, intensely local — that are transforming the retail landscape. These consumers shun mass-produced and mass-marketed. They study food labels. They shop daily. They buy frugally but will pay premium prices. Ethical and humane are bywords. They support local economies. John van der Lieck has sold high-end charcuterie from his Oyama Sausage Co. since moving the firm he’s owned for 27 years from the Interior to a storefront at the Granville Island Market 14 years ago. He surmises that information technology has made people more aware of the preservatives and flavour enhancers that go into mass-produced food. They know and they aren’t happy. Vancouver Sun story.
New superfruit on the block
You can add another berry to the list of superfruits that grow very well in New Brunswick. Besides the cranberry bogs and wild blueberry fields, there’s an orchard in Chipman, that has yielded its first crop of sea buckthorn. Sea buckthorn is a hot trend in health food, described as tasty little berries, rich in nutrients such as Omega 3, Omega 7 and Vitamin C. They’re also known as sandthorn, sallowthorn, or seaberry. Fowler says it was her partner’s idea to get into the business. He was searching for something that might help his daughter who’s diabetic. CBC News New Brunswick story.
Tasty Tidbits: Local Goes Global
As expected, Canadian food patterns are being influenced by the food preferences brought by New Canadians from their home countries. In the context of dining, a home culture’s influence on New Canadians’ consumption of local food/cuisines is significant. For most New Canadians, eating local food is seen as a “novel experience” and partaking in an authentic culinary experience allows them to become closer to their adopted homeland when immersed in an authentic local eating experience. Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.
Choosing Barley Supports the Local Food Movement
As the manager at Taste Alberta, Carrie Selin helps build consumer loyalty to Albertan foods through education, events, a partnership with Gastropost Edmonton and Calgary, and more. Part of her role is increasing Albertans’ awareness of which foods they can buy locally, including meat, eggs, as well as the often-forgotten super-grain barley. It may come as a surprise to some Albertans that buying barley is buying local. Canada is the fourth-largest barley producer in the world, producing eight million tonnes each year. The majority of Canadian barley is grown and harvested in Saskatchewan and Alberta. GoBarley post.
Local Food Petition, November 21, 2014, House of Commons
Mr. Matthew Kellway (Beaches—East York, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today with respect to local food, which is signed by constituents in and around my riding of Beaches—East York.
The petitioners point out that buying local food cuts down on transportation and greenhouse gas emissions, that buying local foods gives Canadians access to fresh and nutritious food, and that federal departments and agencies should lead by example and support Canadian farmers by buying local food.
The petitioners therefore call upon the Government of Canada to require the Department of Public Works to develop a policy to purchase locally grown food for all federal. Petition.
New grading system for Canada’s sweetener
Watch out, mock maple syrup makers: it’s about to get a lot harder to pass off a knockoff as the bona-fide Canadian breakfast-table staple. After more than a decade of talks among governments, food regulators and the industry, new rules are being adopted across North America to ensure consumers have a better idea of what kind of maple syrup they’re buying. The changes, which will come into effect over the next two years, will harmonize the grading system for maple syrup produced in Canada and the United States. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is also adopting a new system for classing pure maple syrup by colour. Kelowna Capital News story.
Ontario’s ‘Buy Local’ push includes flowers
With the holiday season upon us, now is the perfect time to explore the many ways that locally-grown and produced food, beverages and flowers can be included in your holiday celebrations. Here are some tips to make Ontario food, beverages and flowers a part of the holiday season. Greenhouse Canada post.
Food and beverage processors tap into public sector market
The local food movement and call for more “Made in Ontario” products in public institutions is opening the doors for Ontario food and beverage processors to tap into the multi-million dollar market potential of this sector. Food and beverage processor entrepreneurs learned about this opportunity at a workshop on December 11 at the enterprising ThinkFOOD! Centre of Maple Leaf Foods. Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO), the leading voice of over 3,000 food and beverage processors, brought together budding entrepreneurs, seasoned processor veterans and purchasers from the Ontario Broader Public Sector (BPS) to encourage the development of business partnerships between food providers and food buyers. Canada NewsWire story.
Recognizing Ontario’s Top Food Exporters
Ontario is celebrating local food exporters for sharing Ontario made food, beverage and agriculture products with the rest of the world. The Ontario Food Exporter awards recognize Ontario’s food innovators and exporters for their outstanding contributions to expanding Ontario’s presence in international markets. The 2014 winner of the Ontario Food Exporter Award is Super-Pufft Snacks, a snack food company based out of Mississauga that is selling “fun food” to more than 30 countries in five continents. Government of Ontario News post.
Co-op Members Wanted: Ferme Aube aux champs
Join Ferme Aube aux champs Co-op. If you have an existing farm business and are looking for land, we invite you to submit a proposal to join Ferme Aube aux champs land management co-op. Who : farm businesses looking for land and who have a desire to farm collectively. JobTome post.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Protecting Canada’s farmland, the right way
Canada was once a country of farms. At Confederation, four out of every five Canadians were farmers. Today, farmers comprise less than two per cent of the population and produce a mere 1.1 per cent of GDP. Should it come as any surprise that the amount of farmland in Canada is shrinking, as well? Last week, Statistics Canada released a comprehensive look at agriculture in Canada, bringing together the latest economic, geographic and ecological indicators. The most noteworthy observation: Nearly one million hectares of “dependable agricultural land” has disappeared from cultivation over the past 10 years, most of it subsumed by development around Canada’s biggest cities. MacLeans editorial.