Local Food News — World

The Local Food Summit 2017, August 6 -16

Through a combination of online interviews and presentations, plus live webinars, hear from and interact with more than 60 of the most significant on-the-ground leaders, activists, practitioners, authors and elders who are at the front lines of the local food movement—all for free. Join us in catalyzing a revolutionary acceleration and expansion of the local food movement’s impact, effectiveness, and scale! Website.


Sustainable Food Trust

The Sustainable Food Trust was founded by Patrick Holden in 2011 in response to the worsening human and environmental crises that are associated with the vast majority of today’s food and farming systems. His observation was that, for all of the hard work of food and environmental organisations over the last half century or so, there were still a number of major barriers preventing large scale uptake of sustainable food production and healthy diets. These include the lack of an enabling policy and economic environment for sustainable food production and consumption; a tendency towards reductionist and siloed thinking amongst scientists and some campaigning organisations; and a myriad of conflicting messages, often perpetuated by those with vested interests, leading to considerable confusion amongst consumers and policymakers alike about what to eat to be healthy whilst at the same time supporting just and sustainable food systems. Website.


Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone

The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone (UAIZ) is a new state program (AB 551) adopted by the California State Legislature in 2013. This program aims to incentivize urban agriculture in urbanized areas in California by offering reduced property tax assessments in exchange for converting vacant or unimproved property to an agricultural use through a contract agreement for an initial period of five years. On September 12, 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion directing that a local UAIZ program be implemented Countywide in accordance with AB 551. Los Angeles County post. Ordinance.


Could tax breaks turn empty lots into urban farms? Long Beach hopes so

Long Beach is crafting two new programs that would encourage more urban farms to crop up in vacant lots across the city.  The first step in the process involves laying out a local framework for an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones program, which would grant tax breaks to property owners who lease vacant lots for small-scale agricultural uses. The second deals with creating a vacant lot registry that would track how property owners care for empty lots. Some 618 properties have been determined eligible for the registry. The goal is to maintenance standards and routine inspections as part of a larger effort to curb negative impacts tied to empty and often blighted lots. Long Beach Press Telegram story.


Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice

The food truck on the corner could be a brightly painted old-style lonchera offering tacos or an upscale mobile vendor serving lobster rolls. Customers range from gastro-tourists to construction workers, all eager for food that is delicious, authentic, and relatively inexpensive. Although some cities that host food trucks encourage their proliferation, others throw up regulatory roadblocks. This book examines the food truck phenomenon in North American cities from Los Angeles to Montreal, taking a novel perspective: social justice. It considers the motivating factors behind a city’s promotion or restriction of mobile food vending, and how these motivations might connect to or impede broad goals of social justice. Book overview


Nutrition Information Abounds, But Many Doubt Food Choices

Americans are consuming food information from more sources than ever before, yet our nutritional literacy is sorely lacking—and our health may be suffering as a result. Those are among the findings of the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 12th Annual Food and Health Survey. “As in previous years, the Food and Health Survey has shown that Americans feel overwhelmed by conflicting food and nutrition information,” said IFIC Foundation CEO Joseph Clayton. “But this year, we’re finding troubling signs that the information glut is translating into faulty decisions about our diets and health.” International Food Information Council Foundation release.


The Ag Tech Market Map: 80+ Startups Powering The Future Of Farming And Agribusiness

We used CB Insights data to identify more than 80 private companies in agriculture tech and categorized them into eight main categories. We define ag tech as technology that increases the efficiency of farms (in the form of software), sensors, aerial-based data, internet-based distribution channels (marketplaces), and tools for technology-enabled farming. We only include companies that primarily target the agricultural sector. CB Insights post. Ag Tech map.


Revisiting the third grocery sector: the rise of the grocerant trend

A recent Wall Street Journal article connected food retailers’ increasing emphasis of store perimeters with flatlining sales of iconic center store CPG brands and underscored that the emerging concept of supermarkets as “grocerants” is maturing into the mainstream. This is hardly a startling new revelation to us or to many across the food and beverage industry. For more than a decade now, here at The Hartman Group, we’ve been telling the tale of the fresh revolution and the redefinition of quality away from packaged and processed food products that led to the center store migration. For the past twenty years we’ve observed a single, overarching theme encompassing the vast cultural shift in the food world: namely, the pursuit of all things real — expressed here primarily though cultural distinctions of “fresh.” Hartman Group post.


Barilla puts sustainability centre stage

Barilla believes it has a good story to tell on these issues and has chosen to make sustainability a very public and very prominent part of its identity, under the banner “Good for you, Good for the Planet”. That Barilla considers its sustainability mission so core to its business that it can be the primary emphasis of the company’s annual public statement on its performance provides further proof of how critical sustainability has become to companies whether public or privately held. Just-Food blog.


Linking Environment And Farming (UK) Global Impacts Report 2017

We are delighted to be publishing LEAF’s fifth Global Impacts Report, reflecting on our collective achievements in 2016. Over the last five years we have strengthened our reporting significantly and are immensely proud of the progress we are making in monitoring, measuring and communicating the impacts our members are making to the environment, economy and society. LEAF report.




The Grocery Store Of The Future Is Mobile, Self-Driving, And Run By AI

In Shanghai, a prototype of a new 24-hour convenience store has no staff, no registers, and the whole thing is on wheels, designed to eventually drive itself to a warehouse to restock, or to a customer to make a delivery. The startup behind it believes that it’s the model for the grocery store of the future–and because it’s both mobile and far cheaper to build and operate than a typical store, it could also help bring better access to groceries to food deserts and rural areas. Fast Company story.


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 — 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




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

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.




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 — Ontario

Creative Partnership Results In New Sausage

WindsorEats, along with Robbie’s Gourmet Sausage Co., have come up with a sausage unlike any other, by combining the delicious juicy flavors of Robbie’s sausages, with the spicy fresh flavour of sriracha. “We want to work closely with local food producers in the region to create fun, unique and high quality products,” said Pina Ciotoli, co-owner of WindsorEats. Windsorite.ca News story.


Local Food Week June 6 to 12

See list of events that are happening across the province to celebrate Local Food. If you have an event that you would like listed, please submit the event details. Website.


Don’t get fooled by fast food ‘farm-washing’

The rising popularity of local food and sustainable agriculture makes the big fast food companies nervous. Increasingly, people want to know where their food is coming from and how it was raised. Eaters want to support farms where animals are treated well, where workers are paid properly, where soil and water are taken care of. They want to eat healthier foods, not hormone-laden beef or pesticide lettuce. Fast food companies like McDonald’s have tried to steal back the limelight. Kingston Region post.


Ontario honours grocers who promote local food

“Buying local food not only provides families with healthy and delicious options, but creates jobs and economic growth in communities across the province. I applaud grocery retailers for looking at innovative ways to connect consumers with their food and the people who grow it so they have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the good things grown in Ontario,” says Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Food in Canada story.


OntarioFresh Seeks ‘Ride Share for Local Food’ Feedback

OntarioFresh.ca is seeking feedback on its “Ride Share for Local Food” app from sellers, distributors/carriers or food hubs and covers both Just-in-time and Scheduled distribution opportunities.  How can the app help you grow your local food business? Sustain Ontario post.


Ontario farmers find sweet success with birch syrup

What began as Bert and Kathy Beilke’s passion to grow food and connect with nature more than 20 years ago, has since turned into an innovative new food product. Golden birch syrup is a semi-sweet flavoured syrup made from sap of yellow birch trees on the Beilkes’ Wagram Springs Farm in Wellington County near Moorefield. Food in Canada story.


Farm to Table Market and Kitchen

The Farm to Table Market and Kitchen is your one stop shop for local, farm fresh, organic and artisanal food in the heart of Collingwood. We are open to the public. Anyone can shop here! Members receive a discount and volunteers qualify for an even greater discount. Member or not, smiles are always free:) Website.



FarmStart works with a diverse group including recent immigrants, some of whom have farming experience from before they came to Canada. Often they know how to grow foods from their home country and find an eager market in the greater Toronto area and beyond. Other new farmers are young and may be fairly new to farming. FarmStart helps farmers through incubator farms, training programs, and through their FarmLink program. FarmLink connects new farmers with established farmers and farmland owners, helping them to access farmland once they are ready to get established on their own. Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario blog.


Sustainable Local Food Certificate Program

This certificate explores the practices, principles and philosophies involved in local food system development. The focus is on increasing both academic and hands-on knowledge of regional food initiatives across Canada, alongside international best practices. There is a specific concentration on applied learning, online networking, and community research. This certificate is the first of its kind in Canada, providing a cutting edge advantage when competing for work in the sustainable local food sector. St. Lawrence College of applies Arts & Technology post.


A Short Guide to Food & Farming Terms

The Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network has compiled a short guide to food and farming terms that are commonly used to describe agricultural practices and products. Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network post.




Be Ready to Laugh

John Oliver discusses how and why media outlets so often report untrue or incomplete information as science. Youtube video.

Local Food News — World

Informal Urban Agriculture: The Secret Lives of Guerrilla Gardeners

The book explores how unused and under-used urban spaces – from grass verges, roundabouts, green spaces – have been made more visually interesting and more productive, by informal (and usually illegal) groups known as “guerrilla gardeners”. The book focuses on groups in the English Midlands but the work is set in a broad international context and reveals how and why they undertake this illegal activity. Guerrilla gardening is usually viewed uncritically and promoted as a worthwhile activity: this study provides a more balanced evaluation and focuses on its contribution in terms of local food production. Springer book listing.


Communal Meat Lockers Could Help Scale Up Sustainable Meat

When frozen food was first introduced, home freezers were not yet prevalent and shoppers needed a place to store the frozen meat they bought. So butchers and grocers set up chilled rooms adjacent to their shops. These “meat lockers” were filled with individual bins—often complete with their own keys—that consumers rented and could visit whenever they needed to pick up their meat. Today, people who want to buy and store the quantities of meat that many farmers sell directly, through meat-buying clubs, or in community supported agriculture (CSA) meat shares, are in a similar bind. Civil Eats story.


At This Supermarket, The Produce Section Grows Its Own Produce

At the end of the produce aisle in the Metro supermarket in Berlin, an indoor farming company is testing the ultimate in local food: Greens and herbs are growing inside the store itself. The greens grow inside glowing modular boxes, in a design that the company behind the project, Infarm, says is so efficient that it can finally make vertical farming affordable on a micro scale. Fast Company story.


Asda begins selling ‘wonky veg’ to Scots

A MAJOR supermarket chain yesterday began selling “wonky veg” in almost 30 branches across Scotland in response to customer demand. The family-sized produce box includes nine in-season winter vegetables, all of which have been deemed to have sub-par shapes despite being otherwise edible. Asda trialled the £3.50 offer, aimed at reducing food waste levels and aiding farmers, in the south of England last week, when Scottish shoppers and politicians urged them to expand the scheme north of the border. The National story.


A Ski Town Greenhouse Takes Local Produce to Another Level

The Wyoming soil, iced over for eight months of the year, is not particularly hospitable to heirloom tomatoes, baby basil or lettuce plants. Instead, vegetables are trucked in from California, Mexico and other more fecund parts of the world. Yet starting this spring, Vertical Harvest, a farm in the resort town of Jackson, will begin churning out a projected 100,000 pounds of fresh produce a year. Vertical Harvest uses hydroponic farming methods inside a three-story greenhouse on a 4,500-square-foot downtown lot. It is engaging in a relatively new practice called vertical farming. The New York Times story.


Indoor Farms of America Announces Issuance of Patent

Indoor Farms of America, LLC — maker of unique vertical aeroponic indoor farm equipment, is pleased to announce the issuance of their U.S. Patent covering the entire vertical aeroponic farm system, developed to increase indoor farm production and reduce costs of installation and ongoing operational expenses through superior design and function of each area of the farm. Indoor Farms of America news release.

5 Startups at Foodbytes! Brooklyn Highlight Sustainability

This article will focus on five companies that are trying to preserve the planet’s resources. They focus on sustainably-caught fish, vegan fish, the preservation of corn diversity, enabling city folk to connect to the land, and enabling farmers to reduce losses. The Epoch Times story.


Food Delivery via Drone Will Soon Be a Reality

Someday very soon, your Chinese takeout or pizza may be dropped at your doorstep by a drone. CNBC reports that food delivery app Foodpanda is testing out drone delivery technology in Singapore. The push towards using unmanned aircraft to feed customers is part of an effort by Foodpanda to improve delivery times and outpace its growing competitor, Deliveroo. Foodpanda has already cut delivery times from an average of 60-70 minutes down to 30 minutes in Hong Kong, and hopes to drop that number even more. “As our deliveries get faster, we notice customers increase their order frequency to multiple orders per week.” Eater story.


It’s not demeaning when served with local food-DCE

Mr. Alhassan Mohammed Sorogodoo, the Sangnerigu District Chief Executive (DCE) has appealed to Ghanaians to have strong taste for the local foods, especially, locally-produced rice, at social functions. He said they should not consider it demeaning when served with these, pointing out that, the high preference by many for foreign cuisines had been making it almost impossible for organizers of programmes including state ones, to serve some local dishes, something that was unhelpful to the growth of the economy. Modern Ghana story.


USDA Makes Payments Available for Organic Field Border Buffers

Many organic farmers install conservation buffers strips around the edges of their crop fields. These ‘field border’ buffers provide multiple conservation and environmental benefits, and also help farmers meet U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification requirements, which include protecting soil and water quality and enhancing biodiversity and habitat). In some circumstances, the buffers can also protect organic farms against pesticide or genetic drift from neighboring operations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) runs a program called the Continuous Sign-up Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) that provides farmers with rental payments on land set-aside for conservation buffers for a period of 10-15 years. Cost-share payments also made available to help farmers with the financial burden of establishing the buffers. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition post.




Factory farming divestment: what you need to know

The fast food chain Subway is latest to join the backlash against antibiotic use in the farm sector. It has launched a new chicken sandwich in the US made with meat from animals raised without antibiotics. The move is a sign of the growing consumer and business interest in the welfare and environmental impact of animals reared for meat, dairy and eggs, with most of the blame directed at intensive, factory-style farms. The Guardian story.

Local Food News — Canada

Fresh thoughts from Changing the Menu conference on school food

Imagine broccoli and raspberries growing at 24 Sussex Drive when the prime minister’s residence is renovated for Justin Trudeau and his family. The latest change to be proposed for the Ottawa property concerns the garden and came last weekend in Montreal at Changing the Menu, Canada’s first national conference on school food, where 450 delegates were urged to promote schoolyard gardens in order to show children what real food looks like and how to grow it. “Could we get him to dig up the lawn of 24 Sussex?” Bays asked. “We should Twitter that,” she suggested to cheers from her audience of school officials, health professionals, farmers and researchers. Montreal Gazette story.


National Food Policy in Agri-Food Mandate Letter

On Friday November 13th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the federal mandate letters, describing the duties and responsibilities his ministers need to fulfill. An exciting highlight is the Agri-Food mandate letter including promising language of a national food policy that promotes healthy living and Canadian-grown foods. Not only is this a tribute to governmental transparency, it also reveals the duties and responsibilities all the Cabinet Ministers. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.


MacAulay has been given his list of marching orders

The Liberals are said to have taken a close look at studies by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute that show Canada has an $8-billion-a-year deficit in the trade of processed food and beverages. Displacing imports with more homegrown food would create more jobs in the Canadian manufacturing sector. Manitoba Cooperator story.


Vancouver co-op Knives & Forks allows investments in local food producers

A new investment co-operative in Vancouver is giving foodies who like to eat local a way of investing local too. The Knives & Forks Community Investment Co-op enables people to invest in local food production and distribution firms. “We’ve seen tremendous movement and tremendous success in the farmers’ markets,” said Rory Holland, co-founder and director of the co-op. “We wanted to take it one step further and provide an opportunity for people to actually invest in these farms so we could help farmers be financially viable and sustainable over a long term,” Holland said using the co-op structure allows them to provide a way for anyone who has the funds to invest between $2,400 and $4,800. CBC News British Columbia story.


Business leaders debate what being a ‘trusted’ food supplier means

For Michael McCain, the suggestion that Canada should become the world’s most trusted food system is a dangerous one. “Higher cost — in our view — will never be universally valued,” he told industry stakeholders and policy-makers at the Forum on Canada’s Agri-Food Future in Ottawa. “Because our marketplace… isn’t homogenous, and that’s where the danger shows up.” The president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods made the remarks in response to a provocative question asked at the recent forum hosted by Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI): Can and should Canada become the world’s most trusted food system? Manitoba Cooperator story.


Yukon shop gets egg-grader approved, sells out of eggs daily

Local egg production in Whitehorse is ramping up now that the territory has an egg-grading station in operation. The Farmer Robert’s store set up the grading station earlier this year and in October it was certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. “Every day we’re sold out. It lasts two hours and then we don’t have any eggs left,” said Samuel Martineau Dubois, while demonstrating how the grading machine works. CBC News North story.


SFU’s RADIUS Slingshot program to boost B.C.’s sustainable food industry

Insect-based protein powder, First Nations tea blends, and home-delivered healthy snack boxes are just some of the local food-related ventures that will receive a jump-start from their inclusion in Simon Fraser University’s third annual RADIUS Ventures Slingshot Accelerator. The intense six-month cohort program for high-impact ventures is run by RADIUS, a social innovation lab and venture incubator based at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. This year’s cohort, supported by program partners Vancity Credit Union and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), will focus solely on B.C.’s sustainable food sector. Simon Fraser University News post.


Growing support for local food business

A smorgasbord of information was available to budding food entrepreneurs at a community seminar at Georgian College’s Orillia campus this week. Food Entrepreneurship: Producing Economic Growth in Ontario’s Lake Country was full-day program that brought more than 120 people to the campus to get a better idea of what it takes to turn their food-based dreams into a tasty reality. Orillia Packet & Times story.


Vancouver Community College celebrates 50 years of culinary education with 50 chefs

Collin Gill runs Western Canada’s largest culinary school, one that has produced more than 12,000 chefs since it opened in 1965. As a graduate himself of Vancouver Community College, Gill is proud that the institution has contributed to the growth of the local food scene. “Our grads are everywhere in the city, so we do feel like we’re a big part of what the city is,” Gill told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. “And it’s true: Vancouver is a world-renowned city for its food.” Straight.com story.


Salt company to add some taste to Comox Valley food scene

Vancouver Island Salt Co aims to add some more flavour to the Comox Valley’s economy and food scene. The Cowichan Valley based company that was started by chef Andrew Shepherd in 2009 in Cobble Hill, wants to expand its operation here. The company, which is Canada’s first commercial sea salt harvestry, is rapidly growing. The reason Vancouver Island Salt Co has chosen the Comox Valley is because the region can provide them a supply of beautiful clean unrefined sea salt from the globally recognizable clear waters of Vancouver Island, which the company has based its international brand on. Comox Valley Echo story.




Iconic soup maker Campbell Canada celebrates 85 years

A tip of the can to Campbell Canada! Just recently this iconic food company celebrated 85 years of being part of the Canadian meal landscape at a special art event honouring the work of the late Andy Warhol. And we all know the role the famous red and white Campbell soup can played in his work. It was also an opportunity to meet company president, Ana Dominguez who spoke of the partnership the company has always enjoyed with the local food purveyors, particularly farmers who have been doing business with the company for decades – the carrots found in the soup most likely came from Ontario’s famous Holland Marsh, as an example. Toronto Sun story.

Local Food News — World

The quest for perennial crops

All the tilling, sowing, and harvesting which is required for annual crops leeches nutrients from the soil and contributes to erosion. It also requires more energy-intensive machines and materials. Perennial crops, on the other hand, could survive for many seasons lessening farming’s wear-and-tear on the environment. Some varieties could also have longer, lusher root systems that would sink deeper into the ground, helping maintain soil health and curbing erosion. The trick, however, will be coaxing crops into simultaneously surviving year-round and growing plump and harvestable seeds. Plants tend to prefer one or the other. Future perennial crops could simply be plugged into the current monoculture system, grown in mixtures or in mosaics which could break farmland up into smaller patches containing a wider variety of plants to provide both economic and environmental benefits. Landbased Library Online Briefing 2179.


City Region Food Systems – Part I – Conceptualization

In this blog-post FCRN-member Professor Michael Hamm discusses a number of contested issues linked to the challenges posed by growing urbanisation. This is the first in a short series of postings by Mike in which he explores the value of city-region food systems, obstacles to their development, and possible ways forward. Food Climate Research Network post.


The New Science of Sustainable Food Systems: Overcoming Barriers to Food Systems Reform

Who holds the power to shape food systems, and who sets the terms of debate when it comes to reforming them? These were the questions asked by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, IPES-Food, as it launched its first report. IPES-Food is a new independent panel for food systems reform, co-chaired by Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, and ex-UNICEF nutrition expert Olivia Yambi. It features 18 top experts from various fields connected to food systems. Executive Summary.


Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement

The report highlights practical, effective strategies for communities to add locally sourced food to their institutional food systems; recommends ways to conceptualize and measure economic and health impacts; suggests effective funding strategies; and includes Critical Analysis of Economic Impact Methodologies, which discusses the literature on the economic impact of local foods. Illinois Public Health Institute post. Executive summary.


Michigan Food Innovation Hub Fosters Collaboration between Local Food Producers

Local food producers in Northwest Michigan are entering an era of collaboration thanks to the emergence of the Grand Traverse Food Innovation Hub. The food hub is an important step toward a more connected and cooperative local food community in the region and is in the early stages of bringing diverse local food companies together to share a workspace and possibly more, if everything goes according to plan. Sustainable Cities Collective post.


Local farmers get creative to compete in crowded CSA market

Beougher’s crops are certified organic, which attracts a certain customer-base, and he raises a small number of hogs, chickens and lambs, which subscribers can buy to supplement their produce. This year he added a new feature. “We have a personal chef that will create recipes for everything that’s in the box,” Beougher said. “So when you get that kohlrabi or eggplant that you’ve never cooked before and don’t know what to do with, she’ll have a recipe to help you make something out of it.” Harvest Public Media story.


Urban farming is booming, but what does it really yield?

Food that’s grown and consumed in cities has other advantages: During times of abundance, it may cost less than supermarket fare that’s come long distances, and during times of emergency — when transportation and distribution channels break down — it can fill a vegetable void. Following large storms such as Hurricane Sandy and the blizzards of this past winter, says Viraj Puri, cofounder of New York City–based Gotham Greens (which produces more than 300 tons [272 metric tons] of herbs and microgreens per year in two rooftop hydroponic operations and has another farm planned for Chicago), “our produce was the only produce on the shelf at many supermarkets across the city.” ENSIA story.


Land-Grant Institutions Move To Support Urban Farmers

There is only a single land-grant in the nation that is exclusively devoted to urban interests, and that’s the University of the District of Columbia. Mchezaji “Che” Axum runs its 143-acre research farm in Beltsville, Maryland (coincidentally, the site of the USDA’s National Agricultural Library, which might be considered the nation’s ag equivalent of the Library of Congress). The farm provides demonstration areas showing the diverse ways urban agriculture can work in communities. There are orchards, fish farming and greenhouses. The farm also serves as the headquarters for the area’s Master Gardener Program. UC Food Observer post.


Gut feelings and possible tomorrows: (where) does animal farming fit?

It takes as its starting point the observation that while most of us may agree we have a food problem, there is less unanimity as to what the causes are, what or who is to blame and why. One particular issue exemplifies both the complexities of the problem and the discord it engenders. This is the ‘meat question.’ This paper takes a closer look at who the stakeholders are in the debate around livestock, the different narratives that they construct about the livestock problem – and the solutions they propose.  It presents and describes four future scenarios, each of which imagines a different livestock ‘solution,’ and explores the values that underpin them. What might happen if the world were really like this? How is success defined in these futures, what sort of dynamic tensions might start to manifest themselves, and what new problems might emerge? Food Climate Research Network think piece.


The Color of Food: These Sisters are Building a Second Career as Farmers

I am standing on the family’s land listening to the tiller’s engine run. Behind it walks Carol Jackson; her sister, Joyce Bowman, walks behind her, planting sweet potato slips. These two sisters grew up in Burgaw, North Carolina; both became teachers for special needs children and after retirement returned to the land where they were raised to grow organic vegetables together. They call their farm My Sister’s Farm because both are too modest to take credit for the idea and each jokingly blames the other for getting them into it in the first place. They started more than ten years ago, slowly, first to keep busy and active in retirement and then to sell their excess harvest as production grew. Civil Eats story.




Climate-friendly gardening

So what is a climate-friendly gardener? Just as a wildlife-friendly gardener tries to help wildlife in their garden, so a climate-friendly gardener aims to garden in ways that reduce greenhouse gases and absorb carbon dioxide, and so help the climate remain suitable for the Earth’s existing species, including ourselves. This website isn’t about adapting to the inevitable climate change that we’ve caused already (though we’ll need to do that too) but about doing something to help slow down climate change and stabilise our climate. Life in some form or other will go on whatever the climate, but we need a climate that suits us, the climate that we have evolved for and to which we’re adapted. Website.

Local Food News — Ontario

ECO Wants Local Food Conversation Expanded

Ontario’s Environment Commissioner calls the provincial Local Food Act an important starting point for a much larger conversation. Gord Miller’s recent report suggests increasing the focus on food production as close to market as possible is one part of creating a food system that encourages consumers to make more sustainable choices. But Miller says the test will be whether the Minister of Agriculture seizes the opportunity to establish and implement quantifiable and ambitious targets. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

Garden Feeds Residents at St Paul’s College

After 6 months of hard work and perseverance, my dream became a reality. I hoped that this could become a space for learning about local and sustainable food issues, for community-building and for students to experience an improved connection to the land and their food. I did my best to ensure its success at St. Paul’s and hoped that it could influence the broader University of Waterloo community as well. I had no idea how far it would go. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

“Niche to mainstream” a hot topic at fourth annual Local Food Conference

Local food is a powerful source in our agri-food system, yet not all local food shoppers are buying the same. Kingston hosted the Fourth Annual Local Food Conference— where local food business owners, producers, distributors and those passionate about local food explored the topic of creating space in a crowded market or staying niche. The two-day conference on Nov. 24 and 25 was presented by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), in partnership with Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO); it launched with a tour of local businesses. Attendees visited MacKinnon Brothers Brewery Company, Patchwork Gardens and Farm Boy, where a representative discussed ways of getting local products into the store. KingstonRegion.com story.

Food365: What is local food?

There are a number of benefits that support Local Food practices. One of the most obvious is the reduction of distance and therefore, time required to transport food products. The transportation of food products requires the burning of fossil fuels. The longer the travel time, the greater the amount of CO2 is produced and the more unstable global climate change becomes. Local production also allows for less packaging, preservatives at an ideally lower cost. In addition, the food will be much fresher because it hadn’t needed to travel thousands of kilometres. UeaT – University of Toronto post.


Guelph community food hub gets $267,000

A $267,300 seed has been planted to grow a new organization aimed at eliminating poverty and food insecurity in Guelph in a new way. Seed Community Food Hub Project, known as The Seed, received the Trillium Foundation funding Friday. Guelph MPP and Ontario Minister of Education Liz Sandals called the announcement “extra special,” and the result of exemplary, broad-based community involvement. “It’s always a delight when you’ve got an issue and you see it come through, with the community coming together in a way to solve a problem and to create something that’s new and exciting,” Sandals said. Guelph Mercury story.

Making It Simple To Give Local

The items listed below come packaged in our reusable burlap shopping bags, and are ready-to-give, with vibrant tissue paper already included. This year, we’ve incorporated an extra special element, as the bags will feature artwork by local artist Julia Veenstra. We have chosen a delightful selection of local products that will make your mouth water! All bags will contain the same items, except for the option of choosing icewine tea or seasonal coffee. The Mustard Seed post.

Halton Healthcare Services Receives Ogvg’s First Local Food Week Award

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) are pleased to announce that Halton

Healthcare Services (HHS)/Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital site has received the first OGVG Local Food Week award. HHS is a multi-site healthcare organization and is comprised of three hospitals serving the communities of Milton, Oakville, Clarkson and Halton Hills in Ontario, Canada. OGVG General Manager, George Gilvesy, and Foodservice Representative, Nancy Hewitt, presented the first Local Food Week award to Marianne Katusin (HHS Manager, Operational readiness, Food Services) and Elma Hrapovich (HHS Director of Nutrition and Foodservices). This team developed multiple locally-themed OGVG promotional displays creating a lot of excitement and awareness about this celebratory week. Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers post.

Hamilton Sustainable Victory Gardens

The Hamilton Victory Gardens is a non-profit team of community volunteers dedicated to alleviating hunger and food insecurity in our communities by transforming empty city lots into places of community, education and growth. Through an innovative approach which combines urban agriculture and charitable giving, students and  volunteers learn about the sustainable agriculture methods we employee to grow thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food banks and hot meal programs. Website.

ECO Wants More Effort On Soil Health

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario wants OMAFRA to institute a process for identifying the province’s innovators in soil health and determining the key factors in their success. Gord Miller’s latest report highlited three of those farmer innovators. He suggests integrating that information along with more detailed and effective educational material into the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan, updated Best Management practices, seminars and workshops. Blackburn AgriMedia story

Walmart–Evergreen Green Grants

Walmart Canada and Evergreen have partnered to offer this national program, funding community-based initiatives across Canada. Projects supported through the Green Grants program include, but are not limited to: native planting initiatives, community food gardens, environmental workshops and educational events. Amount offered: grants of $10,000, $5,000, and $3,500 are available (up to 50% of the total project budget). The 2015 deadline for applications is Monday, February 2, 2015. Evergreen post.


New partnership launched to protect water quality and support Ontario agriculture

The Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) and the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) are piloting 15 4R Demonstration Farms as part of the project entitled, Expanding Marketability of Soybeans through Roundtable for Responsible Soy. The project is funded through the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program. Producers will receive grants for committing a portion of land to field trials under a 4R Nutrient Stewardship management plan. Analysis of this pilot will allow Canadian producers to better understand the current demands for sustainability in the marketplace, where the operational challenges are, and modifications and improvements necessary to meet consumer and retailer demand. Canadian Fertilizer Institute post.

Local Food News — World

Locavore movement takes to deer hunting across USA

Decades-long national decline in the number of hunters has prompted states to tap into a new group of hunters — people who demand locally produced food, but don’t know the first thing about bagging a deer. Books and blogs on the topic are numerous, and state wildlife departments are offering introductory deer hunting classes in urban areas to recruit newbies who want to kill their own local, sustainable and wild meat in what some say is an ecologically friendly way. The Trentonian story.


200 Small Food Producers To Secure Listings With SuperValu Through Food Academy

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD today welcomed the announcement that 200 small food producers will secure retail listings with SuperValu worth €10 million, through the Food Academy programme in 2015. In addition, 30 high performing small food companies will graduate to Food Academy Advance, the next stage of the programme. The Food Academy programme is a joint initiative between Bord Bia, the Local Enterprise Office Network and SuperValu to support local food companies in Ireland. The initiative will provide these companies with expertise in branding, market research, business development and distribution to allow scaling to secure national listings with the supermarket chain. Checkout Magazine story.


SPC Ardmona local food push gains momentum

Representatives from the Victorian food industry have increased their efforts to lobby the government to buy locally grown foods for government-run institutions. In the lead-up to the Victorian election, the Pro-Local Supply Working Group developed the Full Value for Victorian Food Procurement Policy, a proposal that urges members of parliament to put locally sourced food on the agenda to support the Victorian food industry. The Australian public is also backing the policy move, showing their support for locally sourced foods via the social media campaign #demandlocalsupply. Sparked by an initial post on Facebook by SPC Ardmona, a member of the Pro-Local Supply Working Group, thousands have now pledged their support for the campaign, sharing the post and signing the online petition at www.demandlocalsupply.com.au.

mmg.com.au story.


Heritage Radio Network grows in Bushwick

On a recent rainy afternoon in Bushwick, Erin Fairbanks was interviewing Will Harris of the Georgia farm White Oak Pastures for her radio show “The Farm Report.” Fairbanks is the executive director of Heritage Radio Network, a nonprofit, Web-based station that covers food and everything the subject touches. As she and Harris discussed the synergies of multispecies production systems, family farms and vertical integration, hungry people devoured Roberta’s pizza topped with speck, broccoli rabe and Calabrian chilies just beyond the glass that separates the restaurant from the station. AM New York story.


Sydney to feature Eyre Peninsula products

EYRE Peninsula products will be showcased at a group of high end Sydney restaurants early next year in an effort to keep building the Eyre Peninsula brand. The campaign is part of the Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula’s Food and Beverage Ambassador program, which recently received funding from Primary Industries and Regions SA to allow it to be rolled out over the next two years. The ambassador program includes in-market and in-region marketing and promotional activity for the Eyre Peninsula Brand program and participating businesses. Port Lincoln Times story.


Dublin Foodie Caroline Byrne is appointed new Secretary General of Euro-Toques Ireland

Euro-toques – the European Community of Chefs – was established in Brussels in 1986 by the top chefs in the region. Their purpose was to form a network of chefs committed to quality local food sourcing and to be a voice for the industry to protect Europe’s traditional foods and culinary heritage. Irish Food Guide Blog post.


Unilever commits to sourcing sustainable palm oil

From the first quarter of 2015, Unilever’s local food factories will begin using traceable and certified (RSPO segregated) palm oil, with the transition expected to be complete by the end of 2015. The announcement comes three years after Unilever ANZ confirmed all of its local palm oil use was covered through Green Palm certificates. Clive Stiff, chairman and CEO of Unilever ANZ, said “The move to RSPO segregated palm oil for our locally produced foods products is an important step on our journey towards achieving full traceability and sustainability across our supply chain. FOOD Magazine – Australia story.


From pumpkins to policies: engaging in sustainable food behaviour

Pumpkin Rescue was the first public campaign run by my charity Hubbub, using Halloween as a way of raising awareness and provoking a debate around food waste. The focal point for the campaign was a Pumpkin Festival in Oxford, England, where we worked with a coalition of local food groups lead by Good Food Oxford and Oxford City Council on activities to bring the campaign to life. The Guardian story.


Burleigh Court first to achieve Gold with Green Tourism’s new assessment criteria

imago’s four star hotel Burleigh Court has been recognised for its comprehensive monitoring of energy, water and wastage across all areas of the business to ensure annual  targets are achieved. The hotel also strives to support the community and encourage sustainability by sourcing local produce and supporting local producers and suppliers. It is the third time in a row Burleigh Court has achieved the Gold standard. The latest assessment was marked against the new Green Tourism Version 5 Criteria making Burleigh Court the first hotel in England to achieve the accolade. Travel Daily News International story.


Australia’s Food Processing Sector Committee Report

I rise tonight to speak on the report from the Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Food Processing Sector, for which the government’s response was handed down this week. It is 12 months since we have came into government, and of the 35 recommendations of this report the government has noted all 35 of them. Importantly, we are a government of action and we have actually started dealing with many of these recommendations. We are not only dealing with them but putting them into action. I want to speak about that a little bit tonight. Open Australia Senate debates, Bridget McKenzie, November 27, 2014.




The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food

It is hard to avoid the question of the future of food these days. Filmmakers, scholars, activists and book authors are fretting over what is to be done. Joining the fray is Dan Barber, ‘chef activist’ at Blue Hill Restaurant at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York, and at Blue Hill New York City. His book, The Third Plate offers a culinary vision of the future where “the entirety of the landscape, and how it fits together” is served on a dinner plate (8). Barber has famously been a practitioner of the farm to table cooking, a cooking that is reliant on a host of farmers and chefs who work together to produce good food while also trying to make a living in two enterprises—farming and restaurants—that are famously money-losers. Book review.