Local Food News — Canada

Hip, happening Ottawa gets its A-game on for Canada’s sesquicentennial

As a Calgarian and first-time visitor to Ottawa, I honestly didn’t think I’d get all tingly and swell with pride at the real-life sight of the Centre Block, Peace Tower and circular Library of Parliament high atop the hill. After all, we in Cowtown tend to look west when it comes to travel, and get impressed by mountains (not hills). But there’s no denying I’m smitten. Indeed, between millennials flocking to Parliament Hill for sun salutations and downward dog (or with their iPhones to try and get a selfie with Justin Trudeau), foodies seeking artisan cheeses and hand-made chocolates in ByWard Market, and zythophiles tracking down craft beer such as Beau’s Brewing Company’s Lug Tread — the official beer for Canada’s 150 birthday celebrations —Ottawa has never been hotter. Calgary Herald story.

 

Alleyways Market: Winnipeggers meet to shop local in the Exchange

Artisanal bread, locally-made jewelry and snacks of all descriptions were on offer at this year’s first Alleyways Market on Friday. Starting at 4 p.m., dozens of shoppers and nearly 60 vendors met in an alley in Winnipeg’s Exchange District for the first of four markets to be held this summer. “It’s nice to have a night market downtown,” said Colin Enquist. He’s the sales and marketing manager for PEG Beer Company, which was a vendor at Friday’s market. CBC News story.

 

‘Spreading the food and the love’: Fruit, nut trees to be planted across Shelburne County

Shelly Hipson applied to Shell Canada through the Roseway Community Association to help grow her communities – literally. She was able to get enough funds to purchase 50 fruit and nut trees.  Rather than keep it in one community, Hipson decided to put some in every community in the county. “I wanted to spread the food and the love,” said Hipson. The Coastguard story.

 

Parksville-Qualicum association cooking up recipes for food tourism

To help create a collective vision, it has hired Tourism Cafe. Stakeholders were exposed to different food tourism examples from across Canada and were given the chance to draw inspiration from a variety of exercises conducted throughout the one-day session. Nancy Arsenault of Tourism Cafe indicated that based on their research, there are markets that are willing to pay for premium experiences. What Tourism Cafe aims to do is to discover successful food tourism recipes that can be applied to the region’s tourism strategy down the road. Parksville Qualicum Beach News story.

 

Food Island: Wine and food festivals bring crowds to P.E.I.

Other food centred events which have also helped P.E.I.’s economy include The P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival and The PEI Fall Flavours Festival. The provincial tourism department said many people decide to visit because of these food festivals. The Shellfish Festival attracts about 7,000 attendees — half are non residents. Fall Flavours attracts about the same number with 40 per cent being from out of province. CBC News story.

 

Multinationals face new pressures in grocery stores

Consumers increasingly want fresh, unprocessed food. The middle of the store now sees less traffic and that’s clearly affecting sales for most grocery products. Skippy peanut butter and Dad’s chocolate chip cookies are gone from the Canadian marketplace. If you feel sad about seeing these iconic brands go, brace yourselves. It’s just the beginning. Within days, two major U.S.-based food multinationals pulled well-known brands from the Canadian market. Mondelez International discontinued the iconic Dad’s cookies and Hormel Foods pulled Skippy peanut butter from the Canadian market. National brands are losing ground to private labels and fresh products. Net Newsledger story.

 

French schools, communities to focus on all things ‘local’

The newest Global Development Plan which provides a strategic vision for about 20 Francophone organizations across the Island, including the Commission scolaire de langue française, is based on the concept of holistic, intertwined school-community projects, planning and programs. Of particular interest, is the French and Acadian Developers Network’s first school-community pilot project, the jardins scolaires-communautaires (School-Community Gardens) that will be established at each of the six French schools. Not only does this focus on fusing school and local community initiatives respond to the needs and desires of the six Acadian regions of P.E.I., but it also comes about at the right time amidst other social advancements provincially and nationally. The Journal Pioneer story.

 

Cordelia crowned Startup Pitch night winner

Startup Pitch Night, a Startup Canada initiative was hosted locally by StartUP Sault Ste. Marie, and featured a grand prize of $1,000 cash (sponsored by TruShield Insurance), $500 Best Youth Pitch (sponsored by YouLaunch), and $250 Best Social Enterprise Pitch award (sponsored by NORDIK Institute). The grand prize winner was Cordelia Plant-Based Meals, a local food manufacturing business specializing in plant-based, healthy meals. Their ready-made meals are available for point-of-sale purchase at a growing number of locations in Sault Ste. Marie. SaultOnline.com story.

 

Sustainable Food Initiative

Our mission is to improve the food environment at the University of Alberta and contribute to a more sustainable food system on campus. We aim to make an impact through research, advocacy, awareness, networking, and action! Facebook page.

 

Food policy could become food fight

But this latest initiative signals a move into an area which has traditionally has been the purview of other agencies — ensuring Canadians have nutritious food. While a strong agri-food sector may contribute to that, much of AAFC’s recent emphasis has been on increased food processing. It may be good for the economy but not so good for our girths. One of the biggest “food-related issues” in Canada today is consumption of too much processed food. Winnipeg Free Press opinion.

 

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Why Canada needs a national food strategy

The agri-food industry’s potential has recently gained more prominence than we’ve seen in decades. This offers a rare opportunity for meaningful progress on these issues. A complete and collaborative approach to developing a national food strategy could serve as the vehicle that propels the agri-food industry forward, and this would bring value to all Canadians. In order for the agri-food industry to reach its potential, we need a unifying vision, which a national food strategy would provide. Policy Options post.

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Local Food News — Canada

‘Greenship’ Will Be A Self-Sustaining Food Source For Northern Alberta

A pile of dirt and tires just west of Edmonton is about to be transformed into an impressive monument to green living. The greenship — similar to an off-grid “earthship” home that generates its own energy — will be an entirely self-sustaining greenhouse. The Aspen Centre for Integral Living, an environmental non-profit behind the project, says it’s as much about educating visitors on green living as it is about providing the northern community with year-round food. Huffington Post story.

 

‘Align with the eaters’: Food Guide changes may benefit farmers

While still in the works, proposed changes to Canada’s Food Guide seem to emphasize a reduction in foods with high levels of sugar, sodium and saturated fats. If those revisions come to light, they could benefit Canadian farmers, based on the principles of food sovereignty, the head of a national farmers’ group says. “We believe it’s ultimately in the farmers’ interest that food is not overly processed, but produced in a way that is best for eaters,” said Jan Slomp, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU). Western Producer story.

 

Fresh, local food planned at 3 P.E.I. schools under new $100K program

More fresh, local food could be on the menu at cafeterias in three Prince Edward Island schools starting in the fall under a new pilot program aimed at improving food security and education. The Food Security and Food Education Program — on which P.E.I.’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is spending $100,000 — will help Islanders access local food and teach about its nutritional value, where it comes from, and how it’s produced, the province said Tuesday in a written release. CBC story.

 

‘Buy local’ cafe set to open in former Real Food Connections location

Two New Brunswick entrepreneurs are hoping they can take an unsuccessful local grocery in a more profitable direction as a local food cafe. The plastic once covering the windows of the former Real Food Connections location in Saint John has been removed and on Monday, several workers will drive down from Fredericton to take over the store. It’s now called “Locavore Foods.” “We’re all hands on deck,” said Jason Lejeune, one of the co-owners of Locavore. “The appearance has changed from being a grocery application to a cafe application.” CBC story.

 

Food activist finds weeds in province’s urban garden plan

The Alberta government is offering land along the ring road to grow vegetables, but a longtime proponent of the idea has mixed feelings now that it’s on the table. “It’s a little disappointing. There was very little consultation about the property location. We submitted well over 20 locations and this is one of the last locations we’d choose,” said Paul Hughes, a local food activist. Calgary Herald story.

 

Find Local Foods

‘Find Local Foods’ is proud of our Canadian local food directory service, connecting consumers to local food suppliers in Canada. Available online to visitors and new suppliers. We spend a lot of time & money to promote & market our directory, list with us and we do all the work so you can focus on your business. A Canadian Local Food Directory, by Canadians, for Canadians! Our new directory is state of the art with every conceivable method built into the software to promote and market the business listings and classifieds ads on search engines and with social media. Website.

 

What is Behind the Trend of Local Food?

To meet the growing demand for more local food on institutional menus it’s important to start with understanding what’s behind the trend – why do people seek out local food? Writer lists five reasons. Food Secure Canada post.

 

Thirst for craft beer brews opportunities

Three flags fly proudly over Saanichton Farm – one for country, one for tractor and one for beer. For Bryce Rashleigh, they are visible reminders of what keeps the farm growing, and what they are growing for. “The whole local food movement is huge on Vancouver Island,” he says. “People are more supportive of my farm and what I do when they see the connection to what they eat and drink.” FCC Express story.

 

This is some of the best soil in Canada’: Vancouver tells farmer she can’t raise chickens on farmland

Robin Friesen wanted to farm. So she leased half an acre in the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) and bought 150 chicks. But what seemed like a simple plan — raising a small flock of chickens for meat and eggs — became complicated last week with the appearance of a City of Vancouver bylaw officer who told her she’d run afoul of the city’s backyard chicken bylaw, which prohibits people from keeping more than four hens. National Post story.

 

Food choices govern food production, which has environmental impacts in a time of global climate change

What’s more, the influence of Canada’s Food Guide on the food industry extends beyond our own borders. Food choices govern food production, which has environmental impacts in a time of global climate change. Since Canada is a major food exporter, Canada’s Food Guide affects the health and environment not only of Canadians but of citizens around the world. Given the importance of this publication, it is critical that we get it right. And getting it right means recommending not only a wholesome, nutritious diet but also a sustainable one. Policy Options post.

 

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From bullfrogs to wild rice, the wackiest things the provinces protected in Canada’s new free trade deal.

When Canada’s trade ministers revealed a mass internal free trade agreement last week, the list of exemptions and items to be discussed was as long as the barriers they removed. Bull frogs, wild rice, weddings and funerals were among the integral provincial industries specifically outlined for protection. The agreement includes a requirement that only residents of the province “may be issued a licence for taking of bullfrogs for sale or barter.” So all those people from Manitoba rushing over he border to stock up on frog’s legs better watch out. National Post story.

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

 

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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.

Local Food News — Canada

Traditional Animal Foods of Indigenous Peoples of Northern North America

A new open-access encyclopedia of more than 500 animal species that are part of traditional food systems of Indigenous Peoples in northern North America has just been launched – a tool for teachers and researchers of all kinds. It’s based, in part, on close to 500 ethnographic sources – some going back about a century. Website.

 

Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-Op

The Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-op provides the infrastructure to link producers and consumers in Cape Breton. We are a multi-stakeholder non-profit co-op that creates easy access to locally produced foods for our consumers and restaurant/retail partners, while providing producers with easier access to new markets. When you buy or sell food through the Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-op, you are contributing to a more vibrant local food economy and becoming part of an island wide food community. Website.

 

Local food strategy aims to boost Yukon production

The Yukon Government has created a local food strategy, hoping to increase production in the territory. The plan outlines programs and policies the government hopes to enact over the next five years. “They’re looking at more programs, and trying to help the farmers with more funding,” said Lou Clark, who was acclaimed as president of the Yukon Agricultural Association this week. CBC News story. Strategy.

 

Calgary urban farm celebrates third year as demand soars

Over the past three years, Grow Calgary has become Canada’s largest urban agricultural farm, attracted a core group of roughly 50 people, hundreds more occasional volunteers, hosted tours for schools and community groups, and donated truckloads of fresh produce to the Calgary Food Bank. Calgary Herald story.

 

75-year-old Shediac retiree opens hydroponic farming business

A retired Shediac businessman has turned his dreams of a backyard greenhouse into a hydroponic farming operation. “I have been a vegetarian for 20-years and at one time there was no local products and I wanted to try to get some better food,” said Armand Belliveau. Belliveau could not get planning approval to build a greenhouse to feed just himself and his family, so he opted to go the commercial route. He set up a business on a plot of land he owned near his home. CBC News story.

 

Soil health sensor project largest in North America

The University of Guelph project delivers 747 readings every few minutes measuring soil health. A new $2-million soil health research project aims to figure out the impact of different cropping systems on the environment. Research will also be conducted on crop productivity relating to soil health. The result should be new knowledge on productivity of traditional cropping systems versus those with cover crops. Country Guide story.

 

Local food grocery store opens in Village of Gagetown

“When we started growing our own food, it was to have good, healthy food. Then we expanded to try and grow food for some of our friends and neighbours in the community. So, we’ve just expanded on that further.” Baglole Keenan said first and foremost, the business will be a local food grocer selling its own produce and other local products in the store, but it will offer other fruits such as citrus and bananas. CBC News story.

 

Achieving What’s Possible for the Agri-food Sector: Through the Lens of Strategically Managing “Natural Capital”

Webinar: Tuesday, January 24, 2016, 4:00 pm Central CST. “Trust”, when broadly-considered, is a lens to clarify important choices facing Canada’s agri-food sector going forward. Worldwide, trust is the defining issue facing everyone involved in food production and supply. This goes well beyond food safety as countries grapple with climate change, reliably producing more without depleting water and soil quality and responding to varied consumer concerns, including nutritional quality, ethics and sustainability. Given the increasing importance of the agri-food sector to the Canadian economy, the country is well-positioned to respond to these

challenges and unleash its full potential if we look through the lens of strategically managing “natural capital” with much emphasis on rural agricultural production and rural development. Presenter: David McInnes is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Agri-Food. Details.

 

ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) Launches in Quebec

“We’re launching an exciting new era today,” said ALUS Canada’s CEO Bryan Gilvesy on August 10, 2016, at a provincial press conference at the UPA Headquarters in Longueuil, near Montreal. A partnership between ALUS Canada and the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie, the new ALUS Montérégie program aims to help Quebec’s farmers produce clean air, clean water, more biodiversity and other ecological services to benefit all of society. ALUS Canada post.

 

Canadian Association for Food Studies

The CAFS annual assembly will be held in Ryerson University between May 27 and 30. The early bird registration deadline is March 31, 2017. Registration.

 

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Setting the table for a radically different Canadian food guide

Canada’s Food Guide is a big deal — but it can be much more influential. On the whole, the guide is a symbol Canada’s food-related values. Public institutions, schools, universities and community-based organizations look to it to reflect our fundamental nutritional principles. But past guides have failed us. Health Canada says that more than 60 per cent of Canadians are overweight and four out of five are at risk of developing heart disease. These disturbing statistics justify a call for major changes. Just blaming the food guide may be an exaggeration but the guide didn’t help. Waterloo Region Record opinion.