Measuring ecosystem goods and services in Canada
Measuring ecosystem goods and services in Canada presents information on the quantity, quality and value of Canada’s ecosystems and ecosystem goods and services (EGS). The report presents preliminary results achieved through a two-year interdepartmental project to develop experimental ecosystem accounts and the required statistical infrastructure. It provides an overview of ecosystem accounting and valuation, several measures of the quantity and quality of ecosystems and their goods and services, a case study for valuing EGS, and a research agenda for future work in this area. Statistics Canada Executive Summary.
A forkful of dollars for Ontario farmers
More and more consumers are demanding access to locally grown food produced using methods that respect labour rights, animal welfare and the environment. The Local Food Plus designation is one way for consumers to feel confident that the products they choose come from farms and food processors that make environmentally and socially sustainable decisions. Livia Townsend, who operates Ontario Popping Corn Co. in Walsingham with her husband, Blair, says becoming Local Food Plus-certified in 2007 has helped the company attract customers in Ontario and overseas. “Local Food Plus has been good for us,” Townsend said during a speech to about 45 farmers, food processors and restaurant owners at a local food forum in Courtland last Friday. “We have found that being certified has made people more receptive to understanding our passion for local food.” Norfolk News story.
Food that Moves: Mobile Good Food Market Bus Launch
On October 31, FoodShare was proud to launch its Mobile Good Food Market bus at Ryerson University. That afternoon, FoodShare project coordinator Afua Asantewaa and Executive Director Debbie Field were joined by Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown, TTC CEO Andy Byford, and Deb Shime of United Way Toronto. We were so excited and grateful for this outpour of excitement and to have project supporters with us to celebrate including Juliana Sprott of the Sprott Foundation, Samir Sharma of Crew Chief, and Dean Goodman of LGA Architects. It was amazing to see so many community food leaders, as well as too many people to thank from the staff at the Toronto Food Strategy, Toronto Public Health, FoodShare and the United Way. FoodShare post.
Eating Under the Media Influence – The True Cost, December 10
Join Registered Dietitians and Certified Diabetes Educators Charla Adams and Cristina Fernandes for a presentation on the damaging impact that the media has on our food choices and strategies we can use to build personal awareness of these influences. They will also discuss the possible need for more stringent food policies to help consumers make healthier choices and stretch their food dollar on more valuable nutrients. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable event poster.
Harvest Haliburton shares lesson plan
In May 2012 Harvest Haliburton, in partnership with Haliburton County Development Corporation and Sustain Ontario, released three short videos highlighting the emerging local sustainable food movement in Haliburton County. The videos, which were launched publicly at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion and continue to be shown and shared via local business and social media sites, are now available for loan at all eight branches of the Haliburton County Public Library. Harvest Haliburton is a grassroots committee that supports and promotes the development of a local sustainable food system for Haliburton County. Minden Times story.
Hospitality Services pushes to keep it local
More than 43 per cent of Hospitality Services’ annual food purchases have been deemed ‘local,’ according to a recent survey of food purchases conducted by the Toronto-based Local Food Plus. In dollars and cents, that means nearly $2.3 million of a $5.3 million annual food budget would be spent with local producers. Conducted to establish a baseline for the organization to build future sustainability efforts, Hospitality Services staff didn’t know what to expect going in. But the findings turned out to be a pleasant surprise, said Anne Zok, Hospitality Services nutrition manager. Western (University) News post.
New CFI Chair Wants To Push 4R Nutrient Stewardship
The new Chair of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute says this country’s fertilizer industry is recognized worldwide for it’s leadership in product stewardship and sustainability. The CFI represents manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers. Yont says he wants to increase adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship on Canadian farms. He wants the Institute to work in partnership with governments, industry stakeholders and transportation companies to ensure the safety of our communities. And he wants to establish achievable standards for environmental performance for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Blackburn Agri-Media story.
Elora: A Bread Mecca is Born
The bakery, a long time dream for both ladies, will offer handcrafted bread, as well as other baked goods and artisan foods, including to-go lunch items. If you haven’t yet tried the company’s bread, you’re in for a treat. Bread-lovers from across the region have long-awaited the opening of the bakery at 73 Metcalfe Street in Elora since the Elora Bread Trading Co. debuted their artisanal bread at the Elora Farmers’ Market in 2012. When co-owners Sonia Cheng and Calantha Elsby found demand far surpassed the production capacity of their rented kitchen space, they applied for funding from Wellington Waterloo Community Futures to build the bakery. Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.
ChocoSol is a learning community/social enterprise that uses artisanal dark chocolate as a symbolic product that incarnates the values that we make part of our art of living and dying with dignity. Our artisan chocolate is made right here in Toronto using organic, forest garden, shade-grown cacao, sourced directly from indigenous communities in the Lacondon Jungle of Chiapas and the Oaxacan mountains of Southern Mexico. Our horizontal trade relationships go beyond the exchange of commodities and bring symbolic products, whose story is as important as the product itself. Our relationships are based on reciprocity, friendship, respect and mutual learning. Website.
Region to challenge OMB ruling in court
The region (Waterloo) is taking the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to court, alleging board members were biased in their decision on the appeal of the region’s official plan. The region’s official plan was approved in 2009 and underwent an appeal. In January of this year, the OMB ruled on the side of the appellants. While the region’s official plan denoted 80 hectares of land for future development in the core areas for intensification, the board felt more land should be allocated – up to 1,053 hectares. Cambridge Tmes story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Pig toys reduce injuries and improve welfare
WEDA Dammann and Westerkamp, pig house equipment specialist in Lutten, the Netherlands, has developed a new bite-resistant and food-safe pliable material in conjunction with Kassel University. When mounted on the floor or in pens, the toys allow pigs to carry out natural behaviours while standing, sitting or lying. Rooting cones have reduced tail-biting by satisfying the pigs’ rooting instinct. Scientific studies have shown pigs used cones more frequently than the classic ball or chain, resulting in fewer visible scratch marks and a more tranquil atmosphere. The rooting cones are mounted on a stable plastic ground plate with flexible metal springs. Fixed in this way in the centre of the pen keeps the pigs away from the corners and improves well-being through a variety of movements and resistance. Farmers Weekly story.