Local Food News — World

Kiwis one step closer to knowing where their food is from

Support for Green MP Steffan Browning’s member’s bill is a win for the vast majority of New Zealanders who want to know where the food they buy is produced, the Green Party said today. The Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill will make it mandatory for food producers to label their fresh or single-ingredient food products with the country of origin. The Bill was passed to select committee stage this evening. “A recent poll showed that more than 70 percent of New Zealanders support mandatory labelling, and it’s good for local food producers too. Scoop.co.nz press release.

Helicopter business ready for take off with five-star dining tours

“Over the past ten years I’ve focused on the highest standard in worldwide jet charter, I thought this would be the perfect bolt-on for inbound clients showcasing the dramatic [Scottish] scenery and local food as a whole experience,” she said. The Heli-Dining combination has been requested so frequently over recent months that Ms Torres decided to launch it as a separate offer to her whole client base. Herald Scotland story.

UFU’s schools competition set to boost farm awareness across NI

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has launched its 2017 schools competition, in association with Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend and ASDA. This year’s competition, which is open to all nursery, primary and special schools around Northern Ireland, is based on the theme ‘Eating Healthy, Local Food’. ASDA, which sponsors the competition, has a range of prizes on offer for the winners. “This competition will give pupils a greater knowledge of the seasonality of our produce and how it is produced. It will also underline the importance of supporting local producers to benefit the rural and wider economy in Northern Ireland. Agriland story.

BMW Ireland to Power Irish Online Start Up’s Quest to Discover Local Food Heroes

As life is nothing without taste, BMW Ireland is partnering with TheTaste to allow one lucky food lover to dine free for a year by nominating their local culinary gem. In association with BMW Ireland, TheTaste Team will expand and embark on an all-Ireland voyage of discovery to unearth the hidden treasures around the country in TheTaste BMW 1 Series M Sport. With the Irish food scene going from strength to strength, TheTaste is on a mission to travel the length and breadth of the country, putting as many delicious experiences as possible on the map. TheTaste.ie post.

Honey Month– a month long celebration of honey!

Apiarists around Australia will showcase beekeeping, honey products and of course, wonderful food during Honey Month this May. Honey Month is a national bee and honey awareness campaign that promotes Australian beekeepers and their products to a broader public. NewsMaker press release.

Calling all food producers: Sell at Morrisons

If you are a local food producer then Morrisons want to hear from you. They have launched ‘The Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ campaign which aims to get local produce into each Morrisons store and sell more British food. Morrisons want to recruit more than 200 new suppliers from across England, Scotland and Wales in the first year and are inviting foodmakers to pitch for their place in its supermarkets. Tamebay blog.

A different kind of fizz: community drinks company challenges Glasgow juice culture

Using this knowledge as her starting point, Natalia created Bottle of Ginger, a soft drinks producer and social enterprise where all profits go straight back into local food and drink initiatives. The aim of Bottle of Ginger is to raise money through sales that will be put back into the local community to help alter consumption habits and improve understanding of how quality drinks are made, in comparison to mass-produced fizzy drinks. It’s certainly necessary given some of the statistics Natalia quotes: “The consumption rate of soft drinks can be used nowadays as a sort of geographical indicator of inequality. Positively Scottish story.

WA consumers asked to make a ‘good choice’ and buy local food

Western Australian consumers will be asked to make a ‘good choice’ and support local food businesses, as part of a dynamic new marketing campaign which rolls out across the State in July. The Good Choice campaign has been developed in collaboration with industry, and is set to reenergise the Department of Agriculture and Food’s long serving Buy West Eat Best program. FOOD Magazine – Australia story.

Demand for higher quality and British food grows by up to 100 per cent

Caterers are increasingly turning to quality British produce instead of engaging in a ‘race for the bottom’ on price, according to the Soil Association. £49.7 million is spent on British food through the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark (raw ingredients from the UK, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, fruit and vegetables, oil, sugar and flour) – an increase of 40% over 2015. £38 million of this food meets Red Tractor standards. The scheme has encouraged ‘positive changes’ in the catering sector to local, sustainable and ethical products with points given for spending on different schemes such as LEAF, RSPCA, Fairtrade and Organic. FarmingUK story.

BlueCart Mission

We love restaurants, their suppliers, and the food they provide. We believe that everyone in this industry — regardless of the size of their farm, warehouse, dining room, or bank account — should have access to the latest tools and technology. The food industry operates on razor thin margins. We believe technology should increase those margins, not add costs. We believe better communication means better business relationships. Clear communication means fewer returned orders, less time spent staring at spreadsheets, and quicker order response times. It’s good for everyone. Website.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Rethinking revolution on the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Both the launch and the book are outstanding illustrations of the fact that Marxian socialists have no understanding whatsoever about food or social movements related to food. I surprise myself that I’m still surprised by this, but then, I once shared the same heritage as most of the authors. I’m not sure what is that so ticks me off about their overlooking of food and agriculture. After all, they also ignore clothing, shelter, cities and the internet, all of which might be deemed important to radicals trying to be relevant to their era. Rabble book review.

Local Food News — World

Thirteen Things To Expect When Becoming a Market Farmer

I wanted to slow climate change by growing local food for my community. I wanted to grow an acre of beautiful vegetables and to sell fresh produce direct to customers, hear them exclaim how happy they were at such delicious produce. I wanted to get dirty and fit and be outside all day. But there was a catch, I had never farmed before. Women Who Farm blog.

 

Secondary schools invited to enter competition to find Ireland’s next food entrepreneurs

Irish soup and food company Cully & Sully and Grow It Yourself (GIY) have launched an inaugural competition titled ‘Give Peas a Chance’ and Offaly schools are invited to enter. This initiative aims to foster a spirit of food entrepreneurship in Irish secondary schools and discover Ireland’s next young food entrepreneurs. Through this initiative growing kits will be delivered to 7,500 students across the country. The kits include everything the students need to grow peas including seeds, pots, soil and growing tips from GIY. Students are asked to pair up in order to undertake the challenge. Offaly Express story.

 

The supermarket food gamble may be up

But why would supermarkets – which are said to have lost sales worth as much as £8m in January thanks to record-breaking, crop-wrecking snow and rainfall in the usually mild winter regions of Spain and Italy – be so keen to fly in substitutes from the US at exorbitant cost?

Why would they sell at a loss rather than let us go without, or put up prices to reflect the changing market? Why indeed would anyone air-freight watery lettuce across the whole of the American continent and the Atlantic when it takes 127 calories of fuel energy to fly just 1 food calorie of that lettuce to the UK from California? The Guardian opinion.

 

Kitchen Farm Wall

The obvious answer was to grow their own produce close to the pub itself so that it was never far and so that they could oversee the growing processes themselves. Then the Smiths got an even better idea – they would grow their own herbs and greens inside – and on – the pub itself. Normally this would take up space and cause a mess, but Ethan and Kerri found growing equipment that grows vertically and uses no soil. Ethan and Kerri bought several Farm Walls, which are now hanging in their kitchen and outside on the pub’s back patio. The Farm Walls give quality control to Ethan and Kerri. They decide where to put them, how to grow the plants, and when to harvest. Bright Agrotech post.

 

A small city in Iowa is devoting 1,000 acres of land to America’s vanishing bees

This spring, Cedar Rapids (population: 130,000) will seed 188 acres with native prairie grasses and wildflowers. The city’s plan is to eventually create 1,000 acres of bee paradise by planting these pollinator-friendly foodstuffs. Scientists think the pollinator crisis is caused by a variety of factors, including pesticides, pathogens, and climate change. Meanwhile, with farms, parking lots, mowed lawns, and other human developments replacing wildflower fields, bees have been losing habitat and their food supply. While many of the drivers behind bee population decline remain mysterious, the people of Cedar Rapids hope to at least give pollinators places to perch and plants to feed on. Popular Science story.

 

Fantastic turn out for the world’s first ever Food & Drink BID’ showcase at Scottish Parliament

Guests had the chance to sample the finest local produce from East Lothian and hear about how East Lothian producers are leading the way in collaboration and innovation as the world’s first ever food and drink Food & Drink Business Improvement District (BID). Scotland’s Food & Drink County’s product portfolio was available on the evening for potential buyers. Scotland Food and Drink post.

 

Buy West Eat Best

Buy West Eat Best is a food labelling program that proudly supports the local food industry in Western Australia. The program is managed by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia. When you see the Buy West Eat Best logo you can be assured that you are buying food that has been grown, farmed, fished and produced right here in Western Australia. More than 100 Western Australia food producers, manufacturers, retailers and restaurants support the Buy West Eat Best program. Buy West Eat Best website.

 

Morrisons launches search for 200 local foodmakers to supply stores

‘The Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ programme will see Morrisons aim to sign up 200 new suppliers from across England, Scotland and Wales in the first year. The supermarket is inviting foodmakers to pitch for their place in its supermarkets via a series of 12 regional events starting in Yorkshire on 14 March. The Retail Bulletin story.

 

The role of private sector in city region food systems

Private sector actors have the potential to contribute to more sustainable city region food systems (CRFS), but up-to-date information on their role and initiatives is scarce. Little is known about their drivers for engagement, the extent and type of impact of their interventions, their needs for support and enabling policy environments. This study sought to better analyse the role of the private sector in building more sustainable city region food systems. The aim of the study is to provide suggestions for private sector actors, policy support mechanisms, and to identify key lessons learned. The two overarching questions addressed in this study are:

1.How can the private sector help shape more sustainable city region food systems?

2.What business and policy environment is needed to better engage the private sector in building sustainable city region food systems? Rauf Partnership post.

 

Food justice and municipal government in the USA

This article examines the role of municipal food systems planning practice in the USA in advancing “food justice”. Specifically, two cases are investigated: the Puget Sound Regional Food Policy Council (PSRFPC) and the City of Seattle in western Washington state. I assess how these two planning organizations address five major contours of food justice: trauma/inequity, exchange, land, labor, and democratic process. Drawing on document analysis, observations, and interviews, I point out where each institution has made strong or tentative progress on advancing food justice, and where progress has halted. The principal aim of the article is to understand the opportunities and constraints of municipal governments in the USA in fostering food justice. Journal of Planning theory and Practice abstract.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

American Farmers Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware

John Deere and other tractor manufacturers have made it nearly impossible to perform “unauthorized” repairs on farm equipment. Farmers across the U.S. are responding by hacking their equipment with Eastern European firmware that’s traded on invite-only online forums. Real Clear Investigations Today story.

Local Food News — World

This Robot Could Be the Future of Home Farming

Real Clear Future post.

 

At the VDNKh park in Moscow, Workhaus design an educational “Urban Farm”

Larger than the entirety of Monaco, the VDNKh is a trade show and amusement park in Moscow that houses, alongside other things, a slew of historical national pavilions and teaching spaces. Recently, an urban farm was added to the site, intended to serve as both a leisure space and an educational opportunity for children and adults. Designed by the Moscow-based studio Wowhaus, the project includes a completely new building and several pavilions set in a bucolic landscape. Archinect News story.

 

‘Speed Dating’ For Farmers And Chefs: ISO A Perfect Local-Food Match

Ashley Heaney and Mark Heaney, from Green Acres Family Farm in Gapland, Md., are sitting in a booth on one side of the room, looking expectant and a little tense. They have a cooler full of eggs from their pasture-raised chickens beside them. This is their chance to show off those eggs to a collection of big-city chefs. They’re here for matchmaking, though not of the romantic sort. It’s an annual “speed-dating” event where farmers get set up with chefs, in an effort to put more local food on restaurant tables. NPR story.

 

Sacramento County OKs birds, bees and farm stands with urban ag ordinance

Residents of urban and suburban Sacramento County will be able to legally grow and sell crops, keep bees, and raise chickens and ducks at home under an urban agriculture ordinance that county supervisors unanimously passed Tuesday. Proponents say the new legal framework will make life easier for small-scale farmers and provide fresh food in areas that lack full-service grocery stores. Sacramento Bee story.

 

KSG’s Farm to Fork Initiative Kicks off in University College Cork

For the first time in an university in Ireland, students and staff at University College Cork gathered at the Quadrangle as the first harvest of vegetables and herbs from the KSG UCC Farm to Fork programme arrived on campus by tractor and trailer on Tuesday, 27th September.

The Farm to Fork initiative, developed by KSG Catering in partnership with UCC, is the first of its kind in any university in Ireland with crops being grown on the university land and then harvested for use in the campus restaurants. Ireland’s Foodservice Platform  post.

 

Holy Cross Events to Focus on Forgotten Ethics in Food Movements

The “locavore” movement makes a moral argument that locally-sourced food is healthier, more environmentally sustainable, kinder to animals, and saving local farms. But whether you buy your food from a supermarket or the local farmer’s market, Gray argues, predominately low-wage and non-citizen workers grew it. These workers lack protection of labor laws, are discouraged from assimilating in their communities, and are often afraid to speak out about their conditions. Gray, an associate professor of political science at Adelphi University, asserts that by romanticizing agrarian values in local farming, food critics and local food advocates are ignoring the “institutional marginalization” of farmworkers. Her conclusions are based on 10 years of field research in the Hudson Valley, where the farms supply New York’s upscale restaurants and farmer’s markets. Holy Cross News blog.

 

Hawaii lawmakers say locavores want unpasteurized, raw milk

Citing increasing demand for local food, a group of state legislators in Hawaii is supporting a bill to allow the sale of raw milk in retail stores, but only if it has “a label that warns about the risks of consuming unpasteurized milk, especially to children and the elderly.” “The legislature finds that consumers’ food preferences have shifted toward locally-produced food in recent years,” the bill states. “Additionally, many small farms have the capability and desire to offer unpasteurized dairy products to consumers that seek locally-produced dairy products.” Food Safety News story.

 

Leading the ‘shop local’ revolution with cafe, bakery and market rolled into one

The Midlothian town has suffered various economic setbacks but the local community is determined to see the Storehouse play a vital part in revival of the town centre, with more that 700 people contributing a total of more than £100,000 in shares for the venture. The Storehouse will have a Breadshare Community Bakery, the Lost Garden Foodhall, a café and an indoor market with a community area. The National story.

 

Here’s thought for food

Shifting from industrial to sustainable food systems is the focus of conference in Whangarei next month, this would mean growing more produce locally, rather than importing it and it would promote a shift from eating processed “industrial” food to fresh local produce. Keynote speakers are Anne Palmer, programme director, food communities and public health at Johns Hopkins University who will share an overview of how local food initiatives are transforming food access in the US, and Professor Barbara Burlingame of Massey University, who will talk on her vision for public health in the 21st century which involves embracing the agenda of sustainable development. New Zealand Herald story.

 

No sunlight, no soil, no problem: Vertical farms take growing indoors

Inside a windowless warehouse once used for paintball, with planes heading to nearby Newark airport overhead, an industrial park in New Jersey seems an unlikely place to find fresh locally grown produce. With LED lights standing in for the sun, and cloth replacing soil, the plants grown at AeroFarms are not your typical greens. “This is fully controlled agriculture and allows us to understand plant biology in ways that, as humans, we’ve never achieved,” said AeroFarms CEO and co-founder David Rosenberg, standing in front of rows of kale, arugula, lettuce and other leafy greens. CBC News story.

 

Reuters Media Award to Boost Sustainable Ag Coverage

Through May 31, 2017, The Thomas Reuters Foundation and Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition are calling all journalists, bloggers, freelancers, and individuals covering a variety of food issues to enter for a chance to win nearly US$11,000, an all-expenses paid media training program, and access to an audience one billion strong. The Good Food Media award is striving to promote comprehensive coverage—judges will consider both published and unpublished written journalism, video, and photography. Submission guidelines and applications are available at www.goodfoodmediaaward.com until May 31, 2017.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Hormel Finds a New Recipe for Success

Hormel’s best-known product is Spam. It’s easy to joke about a company built on meat that comes in a can, but it turns out that Hormel is having the last laugh. For the past 10 years, it has been on a tear. Revenue has increased from $5.4 billion to $9.3 billion, boosting its ranking in the Fortune 500 by nearly 100 spots, to No. 304 this year. Earnings have more than doubled, the dividend has almost quadrupled, and the stock has returned roughly 400%. The growth has been fueled by a flood of new products: everything from peanut-butter snacks to single-serve turkey sticks to a food-service burger made with chicken, quinoa, and, yes, kale. All were developed in Austin—proof that innovation is defined by people, not zip codes. Fortune story.