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.

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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 — Ontario

The Greenbelt: Protecting and Cultivating a Great Ontario Treasure

This beautiful coffee-table book is a portrait of Ontario’s Greenbelt and the people who nurture it. Stretching from the Niagara Peninsula to Tobermory – with farmland, forests, and watersheds – the Greenbelt is the largest and most protected peri-urban landscape in the world. The book also celebrates the people who live in the Greenbelt—artists, farmers, entrepreneurs, cyclists, mountain climbers, and so many others who have been enriched by what makes us quintessentially Canadian: our land. Book to be released April 17, 2017. Greenbelt post.

 

Harvests of Haldimand sheds new light on evolving local food scene

The guide includes a variety of sections, including culinary adventures, farm country tours, exploring and learning about how to grow food, a history of local farming and restaurants. “Our previous Harvests of Haldimand Map & Guide listed our farmers who sell direct to the public and restaurants that sell locally produced food, but we felt that there was a bigger story to tell about local food and the wonderful relationship that local producers have with other businesses to offer tourists and residents unique food experiences,” said Lidy Romanuk, manager of Economic Development and Tourism in Haldimand County. “This new guide is a reflection of the evolution of food in Haldimand County.” Grand River Sachem story.

 

Agricultural ‘speed dating’. That’s a thing

A collection of local producers, agriculture experts, funding agencies, tourism representatives, and restaurateurs gathered at the Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre Thursday for the Sault Ste. Marie-Algoma Forum on Food, Farms and Tourism. Facilitated by Tourism Northern Ontario with the Algoma Country Travel Association, Tourism Sault Ste Marie, the Sault Ste Marie Chamber of Commerce, the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN), Take a New Approach, and Buy Algoma Buy Fresh, the forum spoke of the potential for culinary tourism in the region and the importance of pairing area producers with vendors. SooToday.com story.

 

Culinary exchange identifies room to grow

The Haliburton Highlands has plenty of potential, but is still missing out on opportunities to capitalize on the local food movement, stakeholders and councillors heard last Wednesday at county council chambers in Minden. Representatives from Prince Edward County, who had been in the Highlands last October as part of a culinary exchange, presented their findings about the area’s offerings, knowledge, marketing and attitudes to local food. They found there is still much to be done. Haliburton County Echo story.

 

Online marketing opens consumer doors for Ontario beef farmers

Farm to City, a new marketing model with a web-based ordering system, is opening up direct-to-customer marketing opportunities for beef farmers such as Rob and Maryjo Tait, of Celtic Ridge Farms. The young farm family recently launched the online ordering system and was thrilled by the response from customers. AgInnovation post.

 

Good Food Box program continues to expand in Barrie

And under the Urban Pantry Project, a partnership between the Good Food Box and FruitShare Barrie funded with a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Barrie’s Good Food Box has grown and expanded considerably over the past year, and may now be just what you need to ease your grocery budget woes and boost your healthy diet. All you do is order and pay for your box by the second Wednesday of the month, and then pick it up on the third Wednesday. The Barrie Examiner story.

 

The City Farmer

From “green roof” to Community Garden, urban agriculture has been experiencing a boom.

Over the past 7 years, “urban agriculture has really infiltrated our culture,” says Lorraine Johnson, author and editor of Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly. It’s nothing new: during World War II, homeowners in cities were encouraged to transform lawns and flowerbeds into “Victory Gardens,” augmenting the food supply. The growing interest today comes from a greater interest in fresh, local food, issues of food security, and changing esthetics. Bradford Times story.

 

Moving toward more local food

News that Thunder Bay’s urban farm group, Roots to Harvest, will partner with the public school board to develop a training farm in the middle of the city is a welcome extension of an aggressive move to embrace local food. The farm will teach city kids the rudiments of farming, a throwback to the days when farming was a way of life for most families. The urban farm will also feature demonstration and training plots for groups seeking to establish their own community gardens, a section to develop regionally adapted seeds, a section for fruits and berries, a bee hive, and a rabbit hutch to teach students about animal husbandry and humane raising of animals for food. Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal story.

 

Chef plans lineup of free learning sessions in Northumberland

Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre innovation coordinator and chef, Emilio Ojeda, has a lineup of free cafe chats in Northumberland County about different aspects of developing local food businesses. Grants and loans for expanding and starting food businesses was the focus of the first of the series and it was scheduled for earlier this week, Ojeda said in an interview.

The next one which interested people can either turn up to, or register in advance through http://www.oafvc.ca, will be held at The Dreamer Cafe on Queen Street in Port Hope. Northumberland Today story.

 

The London Brewing Co-operative opens up its new digs – and Old East celebrates

London Brewing Co-operative opened its doors to the public Saturday, and judging by the large crowd that lined up for draft or to buy one of the six beers made on site, there is a lot of appetite for local organic beer and local organic growth.  “The idea is that this building is about local agriculture. This building and all the activity therein is about local, sustainable agriculture. It is, by definition, a local food hub,” he said. The micro-brewery is anglophone Canada’s first worker-owned co-operative, Pastorius said. It is partnered with On The Move organics and shares a common philosophy to use and promote local food. London Free Press story.

 

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Love animals and hard work? You could take over this Smiths Falls, Ont., farm — for free

If you love animals, are prepared to work hard and long for the bucolic lifestyle, Stephen Overbury has a proposition for you. Overbury is looking for someone to take over his farm near Smiths Falls, Ont., as he prepares to return to Japan, where he had lived for about 15 years. But instead of selling it or renting it out, the 62-year-old is offering it up to the right person, in perpetuity — and it won’t cost a dime to take it over. CBC 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

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

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 — Ontario

The Future of Local Food

Local food in Ontario is thriving with increased investment in production, expanded distribution and greater consumer awareness. It all adds up to a solid foundation that the local food sector can build upon in the months and years ahead. By increasing the awareness, access and supply of local food, the Ontario government will help to continue to grow the sector, create more jobs and ensure more Ontario consumers are eating fresh, high-quality local products. Excerpt 2015/16 Ontario Local Food Report.

 

GHFFA Meets Local Food Entrepreneurs at Toronto’s Food Starter

Last year, the GHFFA provided $10,000 in funding to the incubator as part of our Action Plan to Foster Innovation, so it was fitting for the Alliance to get a first-hand look at what’s happening within their entrepreneurial walls. Essentially, Food Starter helps drive food entrepreneurs’ ideas from concept to shelf, offering the intricate support, tools and equipment needed along the way. Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance post.

 

Fighting GTA’s sprawl with urban farms

Ran Goel is a farmer — an urban farmer, that is. As founder of Fresh City Farms, he left the law profession to do something he considered more meaningful. And in urban farming, he’s found a way to “reconnect people with food in a way that is very positive,” he said. Toronto Star story.

 

Ontario farm family builds premium local food brand

Persall got his start cold-calling influential chefs in Toronto hoping to get them interested in his cold-pressed virgin oil products. It was a nerve-wracking experience for him, but one that ultimately paid off. His products are now sold through two larger food service distributors, as well as online at foodiepages.ca and penguinfresh.com and in some retail locations. And his efforts have not gone unnoticed. Pristine Gourmet was awarded a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence several years ago and was selected by Toronto Life as one of the 100 Must-Try-Before-You-Die Tastes of Toronto. Ag Innovation Ontario post.

 

Thunder Bay residents encouraged to be ‘local ambassadors’ this summer

If you’re well acquainted with the local food scene, or know the region’s hiking trails like the back of your hand, then Thunder Bay’s manager of tourism says you could be an asset when it comes to selling the city to visitors. “We’re seeing a shift in consumer demographics globally, where there are more visitors that are looking for something authentic when they travel,” said Paul Pepe. CBC News story.

 

A New Urban Agriculture Resource from DIG

DIG (Durham Integrated Growers) just released a new urban agriculture resource, Digging for a Just and Sustainable Food System: A Scan of Municipal Policies Influencing Urban Agriculture Projects across Durham Region. The report investigates urban agriculture as it relates to the Durham region food system. Using a broad definition of policy, the report surveys official plans, by-laws, strategies and municipal planning documents that relate to land use decision making. Digging for a Just and Sustainable Food System aims to identify policies in support of and acting as barriers to urban agriculture in Durham region. Gaps where policy could create a more supportive environment for urban agriculture are also highlighted. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Ontario Public Institutions and On-site Food Production: Visualizing the Future for Health Care

Project SOIL (Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands) is a feasibility study that explores the potential of on-site food production for public institutions through arrangements with local producers, particularly where access to land for food production is limited and/or expensive. Funded by the New Directions Research Program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the project builds on emerging production models that can flexibly adapt to institutional resources, as well as land tenure models that could contribute to community food production. Project Soil website.

 

Mohawk College looking for food partners

Mohawk College is spearheading an endeavour that is aimed at getting more locally grown and produced food into the hands of students at Ontario’s 24 community colleges. The college, in a partnership with the Greenbelt Fund and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, recently published a report of the current food procurement situation and examined potential opportunities for getting more local fare onto the campuses. Now, according to Alan Griffiths, manager of sustainability at Mohawk, they are looking to turn those opportunities into action. Hamilton News story.

 

Growing Local Food Literacy, Wednesday April 19, 2017, 3:30 – 4:30

Webinar will focus on how to teach local food literacy while engaging students in developing gardening skills in various educational settings. Packed with hands-on tips and resources, our speakers are Ecosource (Region of Peel), Growing Up Organic (Ottawa), and the Kids Can Grow Program (Manitoulin Island). Sustain Ontario webinar.

 

Farmland is for Farmers

Emery Huszka, NFU-O President, presented at the Ontario Farmland Trust forum on March 30 about the impact to farmland when farmers no longer own it. “The NFU has been calling for farmland to remain in the hands of farmers since its inception. There are protections for farmland in other parts of this country but not in Ontario. If legislators in Ottawa and Queen’s Park refrained from eating for a few days prior to debating agriculture laws, I’m pretty sure we would have better legislation in favour of farmers,” Huszka noted. National Farmers Union – Ontario release.

 

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Little Brick Pastoral celebrates story of Australian agriculture with Lego farmer minifig

A tiny plastic farmer wearing a wide-brimmed hat and green overalls is doing his bit to raise awareness of Australian agriculture. He is the Lego Farmer, 4.5cm tall and becoming quite a national, if not international, celebrity as he sows the message of agriculture in schools and via social media. The farmer spends his day working hard, fixing machinery, baling hay, checking the harvest, planting crops or hanging out with his working dog. And his ‘home’ is with Little Brick Pastoral, a blog started by agribusiness graduate Aimee Snowden, who lives on her family’s irrigation farm at Tocumwal, in the southern Riverina in New South Wales. ABC News story.

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.

 

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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 — 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.

Local Food News — Ontario

Opportunities for Growth: An Urban Agriculture Toolkit

The toolkit is now available online as a resource for municipal governments, urban growers, planners and organizations to help advocate for policies that support urban agriculture. With examples of different forms of urban agriculture, case studies from municipalities around the province and tools for enacting change in communities, the toolkit prepares readers to take positive steps toward creating communities that support and incorporate urban agriculture practices. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Innovative tech helps Holland Marsh growers protect crops

Weekly photos are taken of the vegetable fields in the Marsh using an octocopter drone. Lead researcher Mary Ruth McDonald and her team at the University of Guelph’s Muck Crops Research Station run the IPM program and use the images for early detection of diseases and insects so growers can take appropriate measures to protect their crop and prevent or minimize damage. “The technology we are able to access through this project makes our crop scouting program more effective and lets growers be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to crop protection,” explains Sheppard. “It’s very quick for a grower to have a problem area identified early and then decide how to treat it correctly to keep the crop healthy.” Food in Canada story.

 

New College Boréal agricultural technician program will train the next generation of farmers

The program is unique in Northern Ontario, and will have two focuses: animal sciences and plant sciences. Students will have to choose one to specialize in, although they won’t specialize too narrowly. The students will be learning a variety of growing methods including traditional, hydroponic, and sustainable methods that are adapted to modern agricultural and environmental trends. Management courses that cover finances, human resources and labour will accompany more hands-on courses in plant and animal management. The school is hoping to have a rooftop greenhouse built for the project, similar to the existing greenhouse the college’s forestry program uses. Northern Ontario Business story.

 

Sudbury food strategy consultations hear from local restaurateurs

The Greater Sudbury Food Policy Council is in the midst of putting together its food strategy for the city, which is expected to propose solutions to issues surrounding food that Sudbury residents think are important. Some of the input is being taken through a series of short, lunch-hour submissions called “4-minute foodie” presentations, which give stakeholders the chance to pitch why their organization matters to Sudbury’s food landscape. CBC News story.

 

Humber offering courses and workshops on Sustainable Urban Beekeeping

The Humber Arboretum is now offering a series of courses and hands-on workshops on Sustainable Urban Beekeeping. The program takes a look at the opportunities and challenges associated with running a small-scale urban apiary, with a focus on native bees and sustainable hive management practices that build resilience in the colony. Sign up for individual courses or complete all eight required courses and two electives to earn a Certificate of Participation in Sustainable Urban Beekeeping from Humber College (sign up for the full certificate in advance and you’ll save over $300!). The first round of one-day core courses will run in winter 2017, preparing learners to get hands-on at the Humber Arboretum hives beginning in the spring. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Dairy Goat Farm Management Program

Ontario dairy goat producers looking to improve or expand their operations, increase their business management skills, and boost their bottom lines are invited to take part in the Dairy Goat Advanced Farm Management Program.  The program is offered through a partnership between the Agri-food Management Institute and Ontario Goat and is designed for licensed dairy goat farm owners and managers. It will consist of five, one-day intensive sessions starting in March, 2017. Agri-food Management Institute post.

 

Ontario Local Food Report

Ontario is an agri-food powerhouse. Our farmers harvest an impressive abundance from our fields and farms, our orchards and our vineyards. And our numerous processors — whether they be bakers, butchers, or brewers — transform that bounty across the value chain into the highest-quality products for consumers. Together, they generate more than $35 billion in GDP and provide more than 781,000 jobs. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food post.

 

Ontario Public Institutions and On-site Food Production: Visualizing the Future for Health Care

Project SOIL (Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands) is a feasibility study that explores the potential of on-site food production for public institutions through arrangements with local producers, particularly where access to land for food production is limited and/or expensive. Funded by the New Directions Research Program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the project builds on emerging production models that can flexibly adapt to institutional resources, as well as land tenure models that could contribute to community food production. Report summary.

 

Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy

The strategy was developed by a dedicated group of key actors with the goal of strengthening Ontario’s food systems and improving the health and well-being of Ontarians. Vision: Productive, equitable and sustainable food systems that support the wholistic health and well-being of all people in Ontario. Mission: To develop a cross government, multi-stakeholder coordinated approach to food policy development and a plan for healthy food and food systems in Ontario. Strategy.

 

Ontario’s Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt’s Natural Capital

A new report from Green Analytics and Sustainable Prosperity finds that in addition to storing over $11.17B of carbon, the Greenbelt provides $3.2B annually in ecosystem services to the region. The report, commissioned by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, assessed the value of final services provided by the Greenbelt that Ontario residents benefit from. The report uses the National Ecosystem Services Classification methodology to identify a series of ecosystem service accounts that directly benefit residents – for example bird watching, flood protection, and clean air to breathe. Greenbelt Foundation post.

 

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Province approves boundary deal

The provincial government has approved the Brantford-Brant County boundary adjustment. Approval of the deal, which will transfer 2,719 hectares of county territory to the city as of Jan. 1, 2017, was announced by city and county officials Tuesday. It brings to an end more than a decade of negotiations. Brantford Expositor 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.

 

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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.

Local Food News — Ontario

Economics of Local Food in Ontario

Our agri-food sector generates $63 billion in sales to consumers each year, and employs 767,000 people. In this double-page Toronto Star feature, read about the financial benefits of fresh, homegrown food; farmers’ stewardship of the land; overcoming the challenges of bringing food from the farm to the table; and why fostering food literacy at the grassroots level benefits the province and Ontarians at large. Greenbelt Foundation post.

 

Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food

2017 Kenneth R. Farrell Distinguished Public Policy Lectureship. Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center Director, Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy, University of California, Davis. Thursday, February 16, 2017. 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Delta Hotel and Conference Centre (John McCrae Room), 50 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario. Free admission, all welcome. To register for this event, please RSVP by February 9 to Debbie Harkies at dharkies@uoguelph.ca. Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Guelph post.

 

My Sustainable Canada’s Local Food and Ontario’s Long Term Care Sector Report

This report documents the current state of local food usage in Ontario’s long-term care sector. Greenbelt Foundation post.

 

Linton Pasture Pork

Jeffrey Linton has been in the pig business all his life working with his parents on their farrow to finish operation in Huron County, Ontario. In 2010, Linton spent 3 months in Scotland working on an outdoor sow farm with 500 animals. During this time, he developed and refined his husbandry skills and learned how to raise pigs outside and work in close contact with them. He then returned to Canada where he utilized his skills and started Linton Pasture Pork. Linton pasture pork is a small farrow to finish family run farm located in Walton, Ontario. Website.

 

New program combines cooking and commerce

In what is being called a first for Canadian post-secondary education, George Brown College is launching a bachelor of commerce program with a specialization in culinary management to better prepare chef school students to succeed. The program, officially known as honours bachelor of commerce (culinary management), intends to provide a four-year degree tailored towards management and operations in the food and beverage industry, a niche previously neglected in Canadian schools. The Dialog, George Brown College post.

 

Fence row farming: Uncovering the secrets in the soil

DEAN GLENNEY PLANTS his corn and soybeans on exactly the same rows, drives on the same tracks, and never tills his fields. It’s a farming method he has used for nearly 20 years now; and it has given him corn yields averaging 275 bushels an acre (bu/ac) and soybeans averaging around 60 bu/ac. In 2012, Glenney’s highest corn yield was 301.88 bu/ac. Ontario Grain Farmer story.

 

Certificate in Food Security

The certificate explores the challenges of creating sustainable food systems based on social justice and democratic decision-making that will ensure the right of dignified access to healthy food. The program’s perspective on food security is local and global covering both rural and urban situations. Participants will learn how to strengthen the sustainability of city food systems through the development of innovative urban agriculture policy and practices.  They will also learn the challenges facing rural farming communities worldwide and explore the possibilities for supporting farming livelihoods and rebuilding local food systems for the public good. Ryerson post.

 

Farmland Health Incentive Program Tightens Focus For 2017

Changes to the 2017 Farmland Health Incentive Program (FHIP) will create an even greater focus on managing water quality in the western and central Lake Erie basin. For the past two years, FHIP, part of the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI), has focused on supporting and funding Ontario farmer stewardship efforts in an area that extends anywhere south of a line from Tobermory to Niagara Falls. Margaret May, regional program lead with Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (which administrates the program), explains that the target area has now been narrowed to anywhere south of Highway 402 with a jog north to the Stratford area, then south to Lake Erie. Real Agriculture story. Program.

 

78,000 Ontario farmers call for an end to urban sprawl

Over 52,000 farms and 78,000 farmers have a united message for the Provincial Government: freeze urban boundaries now and stop urban sprawl to protect farmland in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). This includes Melancthon farmer Ralph Armstrong who says, “It is important to keep the message out there that farmland is limited. If we protect it, the land will feed us every year.” Ralph Armstrong is a sixth generation farmer who was one of the first to sound the alarm regarding the manoeuvres of the Highland Companies’ land acquisitions of Honeywood farmland as the hedge fund corporation prepared to apply for a 2,400 acre open pit mine on the headwaters and first class prime farmland. Shelburne Free Press story.

 

Teaching Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools

Did you miss our Teaching Local Food Literacy webinar? It’s not too late! The recorded webinar and presentation slides are now available for you to view. This webinar was the first in our Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools webinar series.  Recorded on November 30, 2016, this webinar provides tangible lessons for how to bring local food literacy education into the classroom. Sustain Ontario post.

 

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Rural SMEs, Innovation and Ontario’s Community Colleges

In 2002 the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act was updated, providing an official and clear mandate for colleges to engage in applied research and encouraged colleges to enter into partnerships with business and industry, creating new opportunities for establishing relationships with SMEs and opportunities for partnering in innovation. However, there is little empirical research that has been conducted on these new opportunities in Ontario (1 study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, 2010), and no rural empirical research. This research offers a rural perspective, focusing on the rural context. LinkedIn post.

Local Food News — Canada

Food-systems planners are playing a growing role in municipal policy

“Food systems are actually one of the most ancient urban issues,” she says. Only in the past decade has there been a “renewed recognition of the legitimacy of food systems as an important urban system.” As rural depopulation, paired with the rise of mechanized farming, led to long-distance food transportation and refrigeration, it resulted in fewer food producers and a larger gap between urbanites and food sources. Food-systems planning bridges that divide. Maclean’s story.

 

Sometimes the best way to fix a system is to build a new one!

Open Food Network Canada is the Canadian ‘node’ in a global network of organizations working to turn the food system on its head and put greater control in the hands of sustainable food farmers, purveyors and eaters.  Using this open source platform as a starting point, we are a registered not-for-profit working to connect, enable, and ignite Canada’s local, green, healthy and fair food initiatives, connect them to eaters, and contribute to a global food commons that connects such initiatives around the world. Website. Video.

 

Sustainable Diets and Canada’s Food Guide, November 29

Sweden, Brazil, Qatar and Germany have integrated sustainability principles into their national dietary guidelines. With the recently announced revision of Canada’s Food Guide, we have a strategic opportunity in Canada to do the same. Health Canada is undertaking an initial 45-day consultation with Canadians and stakeholders on Canada’s Food Guide until December 8, 2016. Input received will be used to develop new dietary guidance tools that better meet the needs of different audiences. Food Secure Canada webinar.

 

New Brunswick Releases Local Food Strategy that Supports Healthy Local Food in Schools

Last month — fittingly during National Farm to School Month — the New Brunswick Ministry of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries released a Local Food and Beverages Strategy that includes significant support for healthy local food in schools. Stakeholder discussions that helped inform the strategy identified a number of opportunities, one of which included to encourage procurement for local food in public institutions and promote agriculture in schools. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Industry disruptors change food culture slowly: Andrew Coppolino

Newspapers and TV, taxi services, the hotel industry: these businesses are in the midst of cultural disruption. And like many aspects of our society whose stability we had taken for granted, food culture is also subject to disruptions. How could it not? Our modern food system – the way our food is grown, harvested, processed, packaged and distributed – is more than 50 years old. But there’s innovation in food, altering that system, albeit slowly. CBC News story.

 

Edmonton food sharing company flouts rules, follows in Uber’s steps

A small local food-sharing company is following on the heels of global ride-sharing company Uber, flouting the rules while operating in Edmonton. Kian Parseyan launched food-sharing firm Scarf on Sept 1, after failing to receive government approval. Parseyan said a politician he spoke with, who he refused to identify, suggested it was better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, so he decided to go ahead with the business. CBC News story.

 

Vegetable thieves raiding Whitehorse’s community garden

It’s harvest time at the community garden in downtown Whitehorse, but not every picker or digger is supposed to be there. Some folks have been helping themselves to other people’s veggies. “We have had some enthusiastic people come forward and say, ‘we need to catch these people, we need stakeouts, we need to have surveillance cameras,'” said Randy Lamb of the Downtown Urban Gardeners Society (DUGS). “But the last thing we want at the community garden is a little camera on a pole, and ‘Big Brother is watching you.'” CBC News story.

 

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Bets on Local Food

Over the past six months, alongside Food Matters Manitoba, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries has doubled the amount of local food purchased for their two casinos, the Club Regent Casino and McPhillips Station Casino. Both casinos are home to highly popular restaurants. Not only does this provide their customers with the best our province has to offer, but provides an opportunity for a crown corporation to support the local food economy. Wire Service media release.

 

100km Foods Inc. Is Delivering More Than Local Food; Honored for Overall Positive Community Impact

100km Foods Inc., a local food distribution company in Ontario, has been recognized for creating the most positive overall community impact by B the Change Media based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the independent nonprofit B Lab.  100km Foods Inc. is a Toronto based local food-distribution company founded in 2008 that sells, markets and distributes products from small and medium sized Ontario farms to Ontario restaurants, hotels, independent retailers and institutions. Canadian Insider story.

 

Why a new national strategy on food can’t satisfy all

Mr. Meredith, an assistant deputy minister at Agriculture Canada who will chair the committee that works on the policy, approached the mic. “Thank you,” he said, gesturing at Ms. Bronson, “for raising expectations so high that it’s impossible for me to do my job.” If Mr. Meredith is feeling pressure, it’s no wonder. For years, groups like Ms. Bronson’s have lobbied for such a policy, arguing that it could help address issues such as food insecurity in Canada’s North and the rising cost of food. And, because food touches so many areas – agriculture, the environment, health and international trade – they say it could bring under one umbrella the many piecemeal programs that currently exist under different departments. The Globe and Mail story.

 

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University of Saskatchewan lands new Canada Excellence Research Chair

The University of Saskatchewan’s new research chair hopes his work will help farmers around the world grow as much food in the next 35 years as they produced in the last 10,000. “It’s a daunting task,” said Leon Kochian, whose appointment as Canada Excellence Research Chair in Food Systems and Security is funded by $10 million from the federal government and $10 million from the U of S. Kochian, an expert in plant root systems, comes to the university’s Global Institute for Food Security from Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. He said he expects to spend the next seven years working on better tools and systems for plant breeders. Saskatoon StarPhoenix story.