Breakout Sessions B (Local Sourcing Strategies, Operating a Food Hub, Entering the Public Sector, Local Food Processing Collaborative)
1. Across the Province: Local Sourcing Strategies
In the last year, My Sustainable Canada and the Greenbelt Fund travelled to Niagara, Toronto, Kingston, and Sudbury to bring together farmers, institutional buyers, distributors, and chefs to strategize on how to increase the amount of Ontario food served in public institutions, and to prepare for implementation of Ontario’s Local Food Act. This panel brings together key players from the regions to share their challenges, how they were able to address them, and future possibilities. Join them to learn about their experiences in making change on the ground, including modifying the request for proposal process, navigating food safety regulations, sourcing new suppliers, and more.
Panelists: Peggy Baillie, Eat Local Sudbury; Lisa Slack, Niagara Health System; Wendy Smith, MEALsource
Moderators: Hayley Lapalme, My Sustainable Canada
Location: Loyalist Room
2. The Nuts and Bolts of Operating a Food Hub
There are a great many decisions that can make or break a food hub business over the long-term. From setting prices and margins, inventory management, and coordinating logistics, it is crucial to understand the costs and benefits involved in making these choices. Hear from established managers about how they tackled critical challenges, and learn how implementation of these decisions can align your business for success.
Panelists: Wendy Banks, Wendy’s Mobile Market; Linda Reader, Grey County Chefs’ Forum; Paul Sawtell, 100km Foods Inc.; Evan Smith, Cherry Capital Foods
Moderator: Jeff Farbman, Wallace Center at Winrock International
Location: Somerset Room
3. Wholesale Strategies: How to Enter the Public Sector Foodservice Market
Why would a farmer choose to sell to the public sector foodservice? More and more, institutions are seeing the value in buying local. Farmers are looking to enter this lucrative market, but the prospect can be daunting, especially for those who are used to on-farm and farmers’ market sales or restaurants as their key customers. This panel includes a range of perspectives with information and tools to assist farmers in deciding if pursuing institutional foodservice makes sound business sense, and strategies from those who have done it successfully.
Panelists: Dror Balshine, Sol Cuisine Inc.; Steve Crawford, Gordon Food Service; Colleen Haskins, OMAFRA; Paul Hill, Willowgrove Hill Farms
Moderator: Elma Hrapovich, Halton Healthcare Services
Location: Trillium Room
4. Creating a Local Food Processing Collaborative
A theme that continues to resound among institutional foodservice is the desire for more processed and value-added food options. While processed food is available, products that use local ingredients, and are suitable for institutions are not as readily available. Join us for an interactive session where we invite participants to be part of shaping a new collaborative on food processing. The session is open to buyers, distributors, packers, processors, and producers to discuss ways to bring new products to market through problem solving with other stakeholders.
Moderator: Doug Alexander, Food and Beverage Ontario
Location: Grand Georgian Ballroom
155 Byron St
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
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