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.




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.


Local Food News — Ontario

So, artisanal chicken … yup, it’s a real thing

New policy aims to open poultry market for smaller producers. Ontario foodies and locavores can look forward to more options when it comes to summer barbecuing as a new policy ensures they’ll have better access to local chicken than ever before. A new Artisanal Chicken Policy introduced by the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) will allow small-scale chicken farmers to produce between 600 and 3,000 chickens per year, and sell them at local food stores, farmers markets and to restaurants. NorthernLife.ca story.


Meet the Behind the Scenes Heroes: 100KM Foods

If you’ve been following OCTA for awhile, you know we’re huge supporters of the powerhouse duo that is Paul Sawtell and Grace Mandarano.  Together, they run 100KM Foods – an award-winning local food distribution company that gives chefs access to the best products in Ontario and provides a viable sales channel for Ontario farmers and producers. Paul and Grace are dedicated to sustaining Ontario’s agricultural sector and making connections between farmers and chefs.  It’s been a beautiful thing to watch this company grow over the years as we see more and more demand for putting local food on the table. Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.


Food Entrepreneurs: Building Ontario Innovation One Product at a Time Conference

The Agri-food Management Institute, in partnership with Georgian College, is proud to present the inaugural all-Ontario conference. This conference is a province-wide conference being be held on March 3 & 4, 2016 at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College. This two-day event includes panel discussions by successful food entrepreneurs and industry experts on topics such as innovation, human resource management, food safety culture, overseeing and executing strategy, product idea viability, collaborating for growth, and more. Agri-food Management Institute post.


New Report Looks at Ingredients for getting Local Food in Ontario Schools

Ecosource and Roots to Harvest have just released a report, Alternative Avenues to Local Food in School: Ingredients for Success by Multiple Authors, through the Alternative Avenues Project — a collaboration with students, teachers and school board representatives in Durham Region, Peel Region and Thunder Bay, with support from the Ontario Edible Education Network. The collaboration focused on developing and testing strategies to incorporate local food procurement into secondary school food programs, while engaging students in food literacy. Golden Horseshoe Food & Farming post.


Assembling the Ingredients for Food Tourism in the Northwest

In just two weeks, award-winning Chef Jamie Kennedy will be visiting Thunder Bay to join farmers, chefs, government and others involved in the food tourism industry to support a one-day conference dedicated to discussing the increasing opportunities for business growth and profit-making in the sector. Food tourism has demonstrated itself in other markets as a way of bringing new money into regional economies and also as a way of raising the local profile of local food. Net Newsledger story.


Windsor event planner re-invents local food and lifestyle events

The idea for the night market emerged over drinks with friends, Lindsay said. Farmers markets are great … if you’re a morning person, that is. The monthly Walkerville Night Market launched in summer 2014 and made a point of featuring all-local food, vendors and musicians. This was key, Lindsay said, because she wants to make sure any event she designs serves its surrounding community or a charity. “At the end of the day it’s all fine to throw a party but it has to have some meaning behind it,” she said. The night market concept was so popular among locals and also tourists that it only took a year before it spread to Kingsville. Now there’s talk of bringing it to other county locations in summer 2016. Windsor Star story.


Traditional farming declining, new farming businesses emerging: report

While there has been a decline in traditional agricultural businesses in dairy, milk production and beef in Waterloo Region, new farming ventures are popping up such as those catering to the burgeoning eat local food market and hops grain production for the emerging microbrewery industry. The Agriculture Research Report, compiled by the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin, shows that from June 2012 to June 2014, the number of farm businesses in the region went down by 316. Most of the losses were in dairy cattle and milk production. Waterloo Record story.


Leamington Greenhouses Testing Robot Harvesters

Three Leamington area vegetable greenhouses are testing a robot to harvest produce and remove leaves from plants. The robot is being developed by University of Guelph professor Doctor Medhat Moussa. The prototype has visioning technology that allows it to identify ripe produce. It also has a pick-up arm that will let it gently – yet firmly – harvest the vegetables without damaging them. Blackburn AgriMedia story.


Dishing the dirt on Ontario’s most distinguished soil

Ontario is the latest province to officially designate an official provincial soil and, of the nearly 300 groups of soils available, the historically significant Guelph soil series has been awarded the title. Jeff Leal, the province’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, made the recent announcement as a send-off to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s International Year of Soils. FCC Express post by Owen Roberts.


ALUS Looking For Environmentally-Friendly Grey Bruce Projects

The Alternative Land Use Service, or ALUS, provides matching start up funding and they’ll pay rent on land taken out of production. ALUS Grey Bruce coordinator Keith Reid says projects could include exclusion fencing, tree planting, and creating wetlands and buffer zones. “ALUS recognizes the fact that some of these environmental services are benefitting all of society and the costs shouldn’t be associated with the farmer alone,” says Reid. Blackburn AgriMedia story.




Growing Local, Growing Strong! Building a Sustainable and Co-operative Food System

Plans are underway for the 2016 Assembly of the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network (LOFC) – the 7th in a legacy of great networking and learning events. Workshop, speaker and plenary brainstorming has come up with some great topic areas and speakers. The Assembly will be preceded by a focused finance day (February 22, at Ignatius, Guelph) that is being organized in collaboration with the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Entitled Fair Financing for Local Food and Farms, the various workshops and plenaries will explore innovative and adaptable forms of finance.  Conversations with lenders and funders will explore various financing sources and how to build meaningful dialogue. The Canadian CED Network post.

Local Food News — Ontario

Compensation ‘Should Not Be In ALUS Conversation’

A consultant says it’s time to change the conversation around ALUS to remove the word ‘compensation’. ALUS is the Alternative Land Use Services program. Elbert van Donkersgoed told members of Huron County’s Water Protection Steering Committee that good environmental practices are things farmers produce just like the crops they grow. He argues that while no one has figured out how to pay for those goods and services yet, we should replace the term ‘compensation’ with something that better reflects a payment for goods and services. Van Donkersgoed adds there are some great environmental goods and services associated with productive farm land which are of great value to consumers and other businesses. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

Indoor Local Food Festival Returns This May

How do you get to experience the best restaurants and local eats all in one night? At the Battle of the Hors D’Oeuvres! The 29th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters event is an indoor food and drink festival and organizers say the idea is all about interaction. Participating restaurants and food establishments will battle it out in a competition for their chance to win two award: guests will have a chance to be food critics and vote for their favourites to win the “People’s Choice Award”, while a panel of expert judges will choose the “Critic’s Choice Award” winners. WindsoriteDOTca News story.

Craft brewing booming in Waterloo Region

As the craft beer trend continues its cult like following, Waterloo Region is leading the way in Ontario. “It’s very much in lockstep with the local food movement too. I think people right around the world want to have a real connection with the food that they’re buying, the drinks they’re having,” says Steve Beauchesne with Ontario Craft Brewers. “It really speaks well to the quality of craft beer as well. We’re using traditional ingredients, we’re using traditional brewing methods and we’re making very good beer.” 570 News story.

The Local Dish

The Local Dish is a campaign with a big dream – to encourage people to enjoy more of the fresh and delicious food that’s grown right here in Ontario. With your help, we’re looking to create Toronto’s largest collection of local food recipes, and make it easy to choose local more often at home, on the go, and when dining out. City of Toronto post.

Local Food Event Volunteers Needed

EAT 2 FEED TO is a socially good dining series launched by GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD, a social food enterprise. The idea behind EAT 2 FEED TO is simple: enjoy a world cuisine inspired dinner with fresh, local food in a unique Toronto venue and raise funds to fight hunger in our community. The first venue for EAT 2 FEED TO is the historic Montgomery’s Inn where the GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD team will be serving a 3-course dinner on Friday, May 1st. 100% of the profits from the event will go to FoodShare Toronto to help deliver healthy food and food education to Toronto communities. Please visit the EAT 2 FEED TO webpage to learn more. GoodWork.ca post.

Halton summit tackles food tourism

At the Halton Food Tourism Summit, chefs, farmers and restaurateurs heard about how to take steps to sustainability, the title of the second annual meeting. About 70 people gathered in the Gambrel Barn at Country Heritage Park on March 26 to hear about projects bringing the culinary and farm communities together. The summit aims to put more local food on restaurant tables and foster growth in culinary tourism. Ontario Restaurant News story.

MPP Clark Hosted Information Session on Food Tax Credit on Wednesday

Food banks and community food programs from across Leeds-Grenville joined representatives from local farm organizations on Wednesday, April 8 to learn more about the province’s Community Food Program Donation Tax Credit. The information session was hosted by Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark and featured a presentation by Mara Shaw and Jan Link of Kingston’s Loving Spoonful food program. Eastern Ontario Network post.

Startup launches local food app

Sourcing local food is going high tech. Barrie-based tech startup ei•ei•eat has created a new social-mobile application for the growing market of buyers turning away from imported and processed foods in favour of those produced closer to home. Launching across Canada this spring, and now a staff pick on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, ei•ei•eat brings the people and places in the local food ecosystem together on one fun and engaging application. Its creators are determined to make it easy for consumers and wholesale buyers to find and verify local food from farmers, markets, restaurants, micro-producers and retailers. Simcoe.com story.

Local food costs more for good reason: Halton food summit hears

People need to “get over” how much it costs to buy locally-sourced food and support farmers to ultimately create a sustainable food system. That bold sentiment was among the messages delivered Thursday during the second annual Halton Region Food Tourism Summit, which brings together the local farming and culinary communities to help them put more locally-sourced foods on restaurant tables and support a viable economy. Inside Halton story.

U.S. economist touts Scarborough as ‘best ethnic food suburb’

American economist Tyler Cowen recently posed that question in a blog post after tagging alongside representatives from the University of Toronto Scarborough’s multidisciplinary food studies initiative for a tour of the area’s ethnic offerings last week. “I concluded Scarborough is the best ethnic food suburb I have seen in my life, ever, and by an order of magnitude,” wrote Cowen, author of An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies. Toronto Star story.



Ontario doesn’t grow enough food to feed itself, but it could: Study

A study from a McMaster University professor says increasing Ontario’s local food supply would create thousands more jobs in the province, including almost seven thousand in Hamilton, while benefiting the environment and making us healthier eaters. The study, Dollars and Sense: Opportunities to Strengthen Ontario’s Food System, says that Ontario does not produce enough food to feed itself, but has the potential to do so. Harvest Hastings post. Study.

Local Food News — World

Relocalizing Food Supply Chains through Tech & the Power of Story

Relocalizing the food supply chain will require more than the vision and passion of individual pioneers or the good intentions of large institutions. Like the industrial food system, robust local food systems will require sophisticated technology infrastructure—but infrastructure that values regional diversity and transparency over consolidation. In our deeply centralized, industrialized food system, the food chain story has become long, complicated and opaque. This is both by design and by accident. It’s a result of both the sheer scale of the system and the kinds of efficiencies that allow it to exist—the details of which factory farmers, large processors and distributors would often rather keep under wraps. Food + Tech Connect post.

Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners

Black Urban Growers (BUGS) is an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, we nurture collective black leadership to ensure we have a seat at the table. Our mission is to engage people of African descent in critical food and farm-related issues that directly impacts our health, communities, and economic security. Website. Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners 2014 Conference, October 17 – 19, Western International High School in Detroit, Michigan.

Food Policy Resource Database

The Food Policy Networks Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has been keeping tabs on some of the great work being done and can now make all those documents, websites, studies, and contact information available for all. The two new features include a database of policies, how-to guides, case studies and more, as well as a directory of food policy councils (FPCs) in the U.S., Canada, and First Nations. The resource topics are related to economic development, environmental sustainability, food processing, farm-to-institution procurement, hunger/food security, labor, and retail policy. Database.

A foreign affair – an ‘Ireland abroad’ experience

Good Food Ireland (GFI) members from both the agri-food and tourism hospitality industries have delivered a very clear message and not wavered in their views in this the third year of our survey. The message in relation to financial performance is resoundingly positive. Remarkably and even throughout a recession, year on year, more than 9 out of 10 respondents have continued to increase their level of spend on Irish food. Good Food Ireland’s food tourism strategy has a proven track record and brand guarantee for Irish ingredient-led food tourism experiences. It provides a sustainable and scalable business model for the Irish food and hospitality sector, smartly connecting food to tourism and tourism to food. Report.

San Francisco Urban Agriculture Ordinance

The Urban Agriculture Ordinance calls for the establishment of an Urban Agriculture Program for the City and County of San Francisco. The ordinance requires the Office of the City Administrator to coordinate with City departments and community stakeholders to determine which City agency or non-profit organization will permanently house the Urban Agriculture program. Ordinance.

SA’s premium food and wine to shine in Restaurant Australia campaign

South Australia’s status as a world-leading premium food and wine destination will be highlighted in a new $10 million Tourism Australia campaign. Restaurant Australia will promote to the world the idea that Australia is the ‘world’s greatest restaurant’ through advertising and social media campaigns in key international markets. South Australia news release.

New California law aims to cultivate urban agriculture

Like many of California’s urban agriculture practitioners, Caitlyn Galloway is plagued by a key uncertainty: She is on a month-to-month lease with a landlord who must recoup the lot’s steep property taxes and may soon sell or develop. Now, California cities and counties eager to encourage community gardens and small-scale farms in urban pockets have a novel tool at their disposal that could help solve Galloway’s problem. Legislation recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will allow municipalities to lower the assessed value — and property taxes — on plots of three acres or less if owners pledge to dedicate them to growing food for at least five years. Los Angeles Times story.

Why We Need Open & Collaborative Food Sourcing

In the future of dining, consumers, restaurants, distributors and producers will all collaborate in food sourcing. Open communication and supply chain transparency will be the norm. Sound utopian? It’s actually just downright practical! We’re already working towards an economy where supply, demand and consumer feedback flow in all directions. The biggest challenge we face at the moment is the significant resistance to technology within the food supplier ecosystem. Part of this resistance is due to our current position on the adoption curve. Our challenges aren’t technological, they’re deeply human. Both buyers and sellers are hesitant to transition to an “impersonal” technology and away from a system that has historically thrived on long-term relationships, special deals and information asymmetries. Food + Tech Connect post.

Good Food Ireland

Your guarantee for the best authentic Irish food experience from over 600 Places to Stay, Eat, Cook and Shop around the island of Ireland. People who are passionately committed to using local food, supporting Irish farmers, food producers and fishermen. Good Food Ireland is Ireland’s culture on a plate, bringing People together through food. Enjoy… Blog.

Opportunities for the small family farm

Family farming is the backbone of UK agriculture, and this is the same the world over.  Land, skills, heritage and tradition are passed between generations, and the rural lifestyle is a unique culture that agricultural communities are proud of. However, mixing family and business can be challenging, and decisions are sometimes emotion based rather than strictly financial. Jamie McCoy, Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust Report. RuSource Briefing 2044.


Belleville bar grills 100-foot brat

About 50 volunteers, listening to instructions on a megaphone, successfully grilled a 100-foot bratwurst without burning or breaking it on Tuesday. The practice run at Silver Creek Saloon was in preparation for an attempt to grill a 200-foot-long bratwurst at the city’s 200th anniversary celebration next week. The bratwurst was made with natural casing — interlocked, not sewn together — and a 100 percent, gluten-free, lean pork. The 10th Street Baking Company will bake a 200-foot-long bun to go with the bratwurst. BND.com story.

Locavore News — World

Mixed Dozen – mixing up the concept of food

A Mixed Dozen meal is a celebration of the local and of neighbourly ways of being. It captures the old essence of swapping tomatoes over the back fence and brings people together to consider ways to repackage that. In a superficial sense, Mixed Dozen is a meal. But, it is more than that. It is spirited, playful and driven by a desire for us all to reconnect with the local. Youth Food Movement Australia post. Mixed Dozen manifesto.


West Cork must embrace “gastro-tourism” before it’s too late warns top food writer

ONE of Ireland’s top food writers has warned the hospitality industry in West Cork that it must embrace the “gastro-tourism” revolution or face an ever-declining share of the food tourism market. “I firmly believe the solution lies in gastro-tourism or food tourism, which would benefit not only the restaurateurs but the wider community of West Cork as well and that would require West Cork restaurants positioning the world-class produce of the region to the very fore on their menus.” West Cork Times story.


The Milkman’s Comeback Means Dairy At The Door And More

All over the country, trucks are now delivering fresh milk, organic vegetables and humanely raised chickens to your door — though in New York, the deliveries come by bike. Fifty years ago, about 30 percent of milk still came from the milkman. By 2005, the last year for which USDA has numbers, only 0.4 percent was home delivered. But while we don’t yet have the official government numbers on this trend, there’s no doubt that bottled milk is once again showing up on stoops in the pre-dawn hours. National Public Radio story.


Ballynahinch to hold unique food conference

The market town of Ballynahinch, Co. Down will shortly play host to a unique conference  bringing artisan and smaller local food companies in Northern Ireland (NI) together with government policy makers, opinion formers and key decision makers to examine their role in Northern Ireland’s food sector. The ‘Local Food: Making Small Producers Part of the Big Picture’ conference is part of a research and business development programme with small local food companies undertaken by Down District Council in partnership with the Ulster Business School, University of Ulster. Agriland story.


Australian Capital Region Food Hub Information Session

The event began with Colin McLean, Executive Officer for RDA Southern Inland providing an overview of the role regional food plays in the Southern Inland region. Having set the scene, Colin handed over to Mark Spain from Canberra City Farms and SEE-Change Canberra. (See links to these organisations below). Mark introduced the audience to systems thinking and the term ‘bio-regionalism’. and then walked us through the findings from our producer, distributor and consumer surveys. Mark concluded the presentation by inviting the audience to identify gaps in the mapping and make suggestions on how to make progress towards our own regional food hub. Regional Development Australia – Southern Inland post.


Planting for Profit, and Greater Good — Soil Sensor Does Much of the Work

A lemon tree springs from the soil in Jason Aramburu’s backyard in Berkeley, Calif., alongside rose bushes, birds of paradise, strawberry plants and squash blossoms. The garden is thriving, but its upkeep requires almost no effort from Mr. Aramburu. Instead, a foot-high soil sensor does much of the work. The plastic-and-stainless-steel device, topped by a tiny solar panel, determines the amount of water to be delivered to the garden each day, using Mr. Aramburu’s Wi-Fi network to communicate with a valve attached to his irrigation system. The New York Times story.


How Brazil Cracked the Local Food Distribution Puzzle

In 2003, under then-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil introduced a public food acquisition program which included not just schools but community centres, food banks and other charitable associations. Then in 2009, parliament passed a new law requiring that 30 per cent of the food purchased by the federal government for school meal programs come from small family farms. That year, procurements totaled $337 million, and included 130,000 small family farms. Farm to Cafeteria Canada post.


New network aims to revolutionise local food production

The UK community supported agriculture (CSA) movement has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise £19,140 to support its work encouraging farmers and growers to work in partnership with their local communities. The funds will give the new CSA Network UK, which launched in December 2013, the chance to support and promote CSA schemes across the country, building new relationships between farmers and consumers. Farming UK story.


Public-sector agricultural research priorities for sustainable food security

There is widespread agreement that our ability to deliver sustainable food security for all will be challenged in three dimensions—population growth, constrained natural resources, and climate change. The latest Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report, The State of Food Insecurity in the World (FAO 2012), estimates the number of undernourished in the world at around 850 million persons (averaged for 2010–2012). The period of relatively steady decline since 1990 was interrupted after 2007 when food prices spiked, and the numbers have remained substantially unchanged since then. International Food Policy Research Institute publication.


Common Agricultural Policy (EU) greening and cross compliance

The new CAP greening measures require farmers with more than 15 ha of arable land to maintain 5% of it as Ecological Focus Areas. The EU regulations provide a range of options which Member States can choose to offer. The Minister has announced that he will limit the options to land lying fallow, buffer strips, catch and cover crops, nitrogen fixing crops and hedges. He has done this to minimise the complexity of the controls which would be needed. Even so farmers adding hedges may get delayed SFPs. Also the number of GAEC requirements placed on farmers is to be reduced from 17 to 11. RuSource Briefing 1992. Full UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs statement.




Café for cats set to open in London

Located in the borough of Tower Hamlets, the café offers a typical menu of tea, coffee and cakes — as well as its own merchandise range — but also has its own roster of 11 cats-in-residence sourced from rescue homes across London, which customers can play with in the designated cat room. Visitors pay a GBP 5 cover charge and will need to wash their hands before and after entering the room, but while they’re in there they can stroke the cats until their heart’s content. The design of the tearoom is friendly to cats, with plenty of features for climbing and scratching. There’s also a cats-only garden where the pets can go if they’ve had enough of human attention. Springwise post.