1. From Proposal to Slam-Dunk: Finessing Your Food Hub Funding
Food hubs focus on building the middle to bridge the gap between small producers and the larger markets they want to service. Like all businesses, a food hub requires a solid business plan, strong partnerships, and capital.
From private and government grant-makers to financial institutions, funders are keen to invest in food hubs. Finessing your funding means choosing the right funder, managing relationships, communicating effectively, and transforming a business plan into a convincing proposal to obtain capital. This session looks at funding models, strategies for applying for funding, and how to set up a hub for financial sustainability.
Panelists: Clinton Buttar, Farm Credit Canada; Kathy Nyquist, New Venture Advisors; Malini Ram Moraghan, FairAcre Traders
Moderator: Alex Barlow, Mentor Works Ltd.
Location: Loyalist Room
2. Notes from the North: Sourcing Success in a Cold Climate
Northern Ontario may, at first glance, seem like a challenging place to grow food, but don’t be fooled. From lower land prices to longer daylight hours for crops during the growing season, Ontario’s North is a productive agricultural region with distinct advantages. As in other parts of the province, the desire exists to support regional rural economies while ensuring seniors, students, and hospital patients are provided fresh, nutritious local food. This panel tells inspiring success stories from one region that demonstrate how a commitment to local food purchasing and unique challenges of growing, sourcing, and processing local food can exist harmoniously.
Panelists: Peggy Baillie, Eat Local Sudbury; Kevin Belluz, Belluz Farms; Raili Roy, Beanstalk Consulting
Moderator: Brendan Wylie-Toal, Greenbelt Fund
Location: Somerset Room
3. Breaking the Silos: Cross-Sector Collaboration
Operational models in restaurants and institutional foodservice can be quite different. The potential exists to learn from different models and scales of local food purchasing. This interactive session features change-makers from diverse sectors who have successfully made local food the cornerstone of their business. Following the panel presentation, session participants will brainstorm ideas, ground them in the institutional context, and discuss how to transform these ideas into reality.
Panelists: Joshna Maharaj, Ryerson University; Cory Van Groningen, VG Meats; Richard Willett, Metro Toronto Convention Centre; Eric Wood, PORT Restaurant and Maple Leaf Tavern
Moderator: Danielle Brodhagen, Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance
Location: Trillium Room
4. Ontariofresh.ca: New Services to Support Marketing and Distribution
Ontariofresh.ca is an online network and marketing service designed to help Ontario businesses buy and sell more local food. Over the past six months, the Greenbelt Fund conducted extensive consultations to determine how Ontariofresh.ca can best serve the agri-food industry in the future. Two services emerged as having the most value: providing affordable marketing and point of sale (POS) materials; and, creating an online distribution route map to allow farmers to book unused space on trucks already on the road.
Join us for a presentation about how these services are currently being envisioned, followed by a facilitated discussion.
Panelists: Chloe Brown, Greenbelt Fund; Megan Hunter, Greenbelt Fund; Franco Naccarato, Greenbelt Fund
Moderator: Ryan Turnbull, Eco-Ethonomics
Location: Grand Georgian Ballroom