Local Food Resources

Get your local food project started with these resources.

Northern Food Distribution

Cloverbelt Local Food Cooperative

Local food distribution successes and challenges in northwestern, Ontario with Jennifer Springett, President of Cloverbelt Local Food Cooperative (CLFC) based in Dryden, Ontario. CLFC’s innovative approach to local food distribution goes against traditional brick-and-mortar food hubs, and instead leverages a network of existing infrastructure and regional assets to distribute local food in a geographically expansive and sparsely populated region, which includes remote and isolated communities in Emo, Sioux Lookout, and Kenora. https://www.cloverbeltlocalfoodcoop.com/


Engaging Youth in Local, Wild and Cultivated Foods of Northern Ontario

Matawa Education Centre and Roots to Harvest

Matawa Learning Centre (MLC), a community based educational support centre for seven Matawa First Nation schools: Aroland, Eabametoong, Nibinamik, Long Lake #58, Ginoogaming, Neskantaga, and Webequie First Nations. MLC is a key collaborator and partner of Roots to Harvest - a not-for-profit organization and local food leader based in Thunder Bay. MLC partnered with Roots to Harvest to implement a “Forest Meets Farm” initiative to empower and increase First Nation youth awareness of traditional local food in the Thunder Bay region.


Procuring Traditional Food in Healthcare

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre - Nourish Initiative

Traditional food programs in northern Ontario and how traditional food can be a pathway to reconciliation. Kathy Loon, Program Manager of Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre and lead of traditional food programs in northern, Ontario was interviewed and shared the importance of local and traditional food on patient health, and the benefits of sourcing local food in health centres in the north.

Meno Ya Win Health Centre is the only hospital in Canada to have special legislation that allows them serve traditional and local uninspected food, like wild meat and game.

 


Food Hub Key Performance Indicators

Many hubs have begun using key performance indicators (KPIs) to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their unique businesses. KPIs are quantifiable measures used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, etc., in meeting objectives for performance.

In this webinar, created in partnership with the Wallace Centre, you’ll hear from two different hubs who have leveraged their financial data to create and track their own KPIs. Although their markets and models are different (one hub sells wholesale, one direct to consumers), by actively monitoring and analyzing their financial data, they each have increased their efficiency, and thus their bottom lines.

View the webinar here.


Community Kitchens, Incubators and Accelerators

Value-added food production has great potential for communities, as well as individual entrepreneurs. This is, in part, because food production can be profitable even at small scales. One key to smaller scale production success is shared equipment and space.

In this webinar, created in partnership with the Wallace Centre, we bring two traditional examples to the fore: La Cocina in San Francisco and Union Kitchen in Washington, DC. You will hear the impacts of these operations, as well as some of the challenges, and details of what it is like to actually run an incubator. We will also hear from The Food Corridor, a virtual food hub that connects food entrepreneurs to commercial kitchen space.

View the webinar here.


Value Chain Coordination: Creating Partnership Through Policy

Value chains rely on multiple entities working together, even when their goals may not always align. One role of value chain coordination is to help these entities figure out how to collaborate. In this webinar we will look at how value chain coordinators engage in "policy thought leadership."

Vanessa Zajfen, of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, will share wisdom on working with institutions and look at which policies are effective for creating real impact on communities. Dan Hobbs, of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, will share ideas on how to create policies that respect the needs of all parties, while bringing them success. This webinar was created in partnership with the Wallace Centre.

View the webinar here.


Value Chain Coordination: Making Matches

A value chain is a set of linked businesses who work together to serve their customers' needs while also addressing larger societal goals.

In this webinar, created in partnership with the Wallace Centre, we look at how a third party goes about the work of linking the elements of the chain; a role we call “matchmaking.” Presenters from very different contexts—nonprofit, university, independent consulting—will illuminate the art of successful matchmaking.

View the webinar here.


Fresh. Local. Fair: Trust in Farmers’ Markets - marketing toolkit

The Greenbelt Farmers' Market Network's interactive marketing campaign utilizes positive messaging to address issues around transparency, relationship building, affordability, and accessibility. The tagline: Fresh. Local. Fair: Trust in Farmers’ Markets uses survey results to re-enforce the elements most appreciated about farmers’ markets. Featuring arresting visuals with bold statements, the campaign also makes use of humor and colloquial language that applies to multiple age groups while maintaining a focused and direct message of trust-building. 

Read the Fresh. Local. Fair. Farmers' Market marketing campaign user guide


City of Toronto - Long Term Care Local Food Purchasing Practice Assessment

The City of Toronto successfully undertook to increase the procurement of locally sourced and processed foods foods in their Long Term Care and Services from 19% to 25%. This presentation summarizes the communication tools, food substitutions and other steps that made this Broader Public Sector project a success. 

Read the City of Toronto - Long Term Care Local Food Purchasing Practice Assessment presentation


It's in Our Roots - canning and preserving local food

In order to increase the consumption of local food and impact the local economy, Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation developed a set of thirteen canning classes, four PD Day Camps for youth, and eight culinary classes to teach canning and preserving fresh local food. Hundreds of participants signed up and classes sold out. Learn how to create and promote these popular courses in your community by reading the toolkit.

Read the It's In Our Roots toolkit to creating popular local food canning and preserving classes


Forest Meets Farm Toolkit and Webinars

For their local food literacy project, Forest Meets Farm, Roots to Harvest created and led a series of four hands-on, experiential workshops designed for four local high schools. The workshops explore the many aspects of our local food system, highlighting foraging, hunting and fishing, farming and preserving. The youth learned to celebrate the wild and cultivated foods of Northern Ontario as the project engaged community partners and indigenous knowledge keepers.

Find the toolkit with lesson plans and recipes here

Watch the first webinar on the project: An Overview and The Curriculum

Watch the final webinar on the project: Evaluation Findings and Toolkit


A School Focused Work Book to Build a Micro-Farm

Everdale's “A School Focused Work Book to Build a Micro-Farm” is a practical guide and toolkit for learning about and planning a Micro-Farm, and  for facilitating discussion between parents, community members, school faculty and administration.

Read A School Focused Work Book to Build a Micro-Farm


Current State of Local Food Awareness and Utilization in Meal and Snack Programs Targeted to Young Children in Ontario

The Greenbelt Fund and the Nutrition Resource Centre (NRC) at the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) collaborated on a research project, in partnership with the Food Innovation & Research Studio (FIRSt) at George Brown College (GBC) and the Helderleigh Foundation, and released its final report: Current State of Local Food Awareness and Utilization in Meal and Snack Programs Targeted to Young Children in Ontario.

See also their infographic: Opportunities for Local Food and Food Literacy in Child Care and Student Nutrition Programs

Read more

Northern Food Distribution Network - Draft Action Plan

In the fall of 2016, the Greenbelt Fund approached food system stakeholders from Northern Ontario to assess opportunities to collaborate on food distribution in the region. This push to bring people together resulted in two in-person meetings, and over 20 teleconference meetings where stakeholders from across the North shared their understanding and perspectives on the challenges associated with the food value chain. This lead to a core group of people striking a steering committee to move this work forward.

Read the Northern Food Distribution Network - Draft Action Plan. 


Northern Ontario Food Distribution Workshop

Food distribution in Northern Ontario presents a conundrum for food businesses as well as advocates of food security and food sovereignty. The region is greater than the size of France, with only 780,000 people inhabiting the vast territory, translating into scant transportation infrastructure. Thirty-six communities, with a population of approximately 15,000, are considered remote, relying on ice roads, ships or airplanes to leave their communities or bring in supplies, including food. The high cost of food in small and remote communities (over twice as much in some communities1), due in part to the high cost of distribution, presents an obstacle to food security.

Read the Northern Ontario Food Distribution Workshop document. 


Summary of Northern Distribution Meetings

In the fall of 2016, the Greenbelt Fund approached food system stakeholders from Northern Ontario to assess opportunities to collaborate on food distribution in the region. This push to bring people together resulted in two in-person meetings, and over 20 teleconference meetings where stakeholders from across the North shared their understanding and perspectives on the challenges associated with the food value chain. This lead to a core group of people striking a steering committee to move this work forward.

Read the Summary of Northern Distribution Meetings document. 


Northern Food Distribution Network - Terms of Reference

The Network works in collaboration with communities across Northern Ontario to improve the efficiency, resilience and accessibility of Northern Ontario food value chains.

Read the Terms of Reference document

 


Knowing Your Power to Purchase Local

Halton Healthcare is harnessing their sector’s potential to change the food system. With three community hospitals serving more than half a million patient meals a year, Halton Healthcare is using its purchasing power to bring more healthy, Ontario food to market.

Read Knowing Your Power to Purchase Local


Feast On - Certified Taste of Ontario Impact Report

Feast On is a certification program by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance that recognizes restaurants committed to sourcing and celebrating Ontario Food and Drink. This report shows the impact of the program on Ontario Food Purchases and looks at the importance of food tourism and building Ontario's local food identity and culture.

Read the Feast On Impact Report


Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers - Our House to Yours

In response to increasing public interest in understanding where their fresh food comes from and how it is grown, the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers developed a greenhouse storybook to educate consumers on their sector. 

Created by a local illustrator, this storybook is an easy, enjoyable read for family members of all ages.

Read Our House to Yours - The Story of Ontario Vegetable Growers


Local Food Procurement Course

Mohawk College has developed an online course in Local Food Procurement designed for professionals working in a foodservice setting at public institutions to grow their local food and sustainable procurement knowledge, and learn strategies for identifying, procuring and promoting local foods. Learn more about the course and register online at: mohawkcollege.ca/local-food-procurement


Breaking Down Local Food Barriers: Food Forward Contracts in Thunder Bay

As far back as 2008, the City of Thunder Bay has been working to strengthen and connect their local food system to their municipally-run facilities. The City has emerged as a leader in food systems planning in the province, having adopted the Thunder Bay Food Charter, the Community Environmental Action Plan, a Community Garden Policy and supported the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy.

Read Breaking Down Local Food Barriers: Food Forwards Contracts in Thunder Bay


Local Food Solutions Vol. 18

People: Food Hubs and Aggregators

It can require too much additional effort for distributors and foodservice companies to work with multiple, smaller suppliers to source local food.

Read Local Food Solutions Vol. 18 - People: Food Hubs and Aggregators


Local Food Solutions Vol. 17

Access: Rebates 101

Rebates can create supplier lock-in by providing deep discounts to customers. 

Read Local Food Solutions Vol. 17 - Access: Rebates 101


Local Food Solutions Vol. 16

People: Organizational Culture

Organizations have internal cultures and routines that often present barriers to making changes to buy and use more local food.

Local food initiatives sometimes struggle to reach their goals because it can be difficult to create the organizational conditions necessary for sustained changes. Too often, a new initiative is at odds with the ingrained practices, attitudes and reward structures of the existing organizational culture.

Read Local Food Solutions Vol. 16 - People: Organizational Culture


Local Food Solutions Vol. 15

Access: The Price of Local Food

Assumptions around price can make institutions and businesses cautious about buying more local food.

Many institutional food buyers assume that local food is generally more expensive. The reality is often the opposite.

Read Local Food Solutions Vol. 15 - Access: The Price of Local Food


Food Entrepreneur's Journey Guide

The Agri-Food Management Institute launched 'The Food Entrepreneur’s Journey’, to help budding food manufacturers with practical step-by-step advice on how to build a thriving business from idea to commercialization.

The guide takes the reader through all the activities that need to be performed in five basic stages: idea, proof of concept, product and business development, pre-commercial trials and sales, and finally commercial sales.

Read The Food Entrepreneur's Journey


E-Guide to Locally Grown World Foods

Learn about where to shop for fresh, locally grown multi-ethnic African produce and other world crops to meet your tastes at a farm, farmers’ market or grocery store in Ontario’s Greenbelt. Munye Kitchen's e-guide includes two delicious recipes and many resources.

Read the E-Guide to Locally Grown World Foods


Serving Up Local

The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance (GHFFA) project, Serving Up Local, is a partnership with Durham and Halton regions, and the City of Hamilton, to increase the amount of local foods offered in their facilities with a special focus on long-term care homes. To help build the capacity of other regions wanting to take on a similar initiative they have generated case studies, a project manual, and communications pieces which are available on their website.


Whole Grain Hearth video on how they make their Red Fife Bread

Whole Wheat Hearth, a Greenbelt Fund grantee, has made a video on how they make their red fife bread.


Food Literacy Attitude and Awareness Report

An extension of its Six by Sixteen food literacy project, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has published a report on food literacy attitude and awareness.

The report focuses on three specific demographics: parents with kids at home, early millennials (age 18-26), and teenagers.

Some thematic findings include:

  • Cost and convenience key factors impacting food consumption
  • Teens are not involved in family meal planning and preparation
  • Teens have limited cooking skills
  • Social media and the internet are perceived as credible sources of information
  • Limited knowledge of Ontario agriculture and local food production

Read Food Literacy Attitude And Awareness Research Report.


Increasing Local Food Procurement at Ontario's 24 Colleges

Informed by industry research conducted through a targeted literature review, in-depth interviews with stakeholders from across the college foodservices supply chain, and a province-wide student survey, this report identifies a set of common challenges to local food procurement in the Ontario college system, and lays out a series of opportunities with recommended actions that will support increased local food procurement at Ontario’s 24 colleges.

Read the Research Report: Increasing Local Food Procurement at Ontario's 24 Colleges


The Local Food Framework for Ontario Colleges

Mohawk College has created a scalable, transferable toolkit that includes a step-by-step guide, resources, along with tools to increase local food procurement at Ontario’s 24 colleges. While it's focus is on colleges that use third-party foodservices operators the ideas and initiatives described may be applicable to self-operated foodservices and other institutions throughout the public sector.

Read The Local Food Framework for Ontario Colleges: A step-by-step guide to bringing more local food to Ontario colleges

You can also review the guide and download the related tools and templates here: oncollegefood.com

 


Campus Food Report Card: Local Food on Ontario University Campuses

Meal Exchange's Campus Food Report Card: Local Food on Ontario University Campuses measures the success of Ontario universities in providing locally-grown food - as rated by students, campuses themselves, and the physical food environment. It includes a review of initiatives by campus foodservice providers to provide local food to students.

Read the Campus Food Report Card - Local Food on Ontario University Campuses


The State of Food on Ontario University Campuses

Meal Exchange's Campus Food Report Card: State of Food on Ontario University Campuses measures the success of Ontario universities in providing locally-grown, sustainable, healthy, and accessible food - as rated by students and campuses themselves

Read the Campus Food Report Card: State of Food on Ontario University Campuses

The Local Food release of the Campus Food Report Card focuses on student satisfaction with local food on Ontario university campuses, as well as a look at the initiatives by campus foodservice providers to provide local food to students

Read the Campus Food Report Card: Local Food on Ontario University Campuses

 


Presentations from Local Food Symposium Opening Plenary Panel

Redefining Local Food Systems

The Greenbelt Fund Local Food Symposium opened with a plenary panel featuring Jim Barham, of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service at the USDA, and John Fisk, of the Wallace Center at Winrock International, moderated by Michael von Massow of the University of Guelph. 

Presenting on local food systems including food hub networks, clusters and value chain coordination, John and Jim provided great insights into how Ontario's local food system can grow over the next decade. 

To learn more, download their presentations below:

Value Chain Coordination in Regional Food Economies - John Fisk PhD

Getting to Scale: Food Hub Networks and Innovation Clusters - Jim Barham PhD


Procuring Local Food in Schools Tipsheet

Want to start introducing local food into your school but don't know where to start?

Sustain Ontario has published a tipsheet on where and how your school can take the first step in bring local produce & products to your school's cafeteria.

Read Tips For Procuring Local Food In Schools


Marketing and Social Media Strategies for Local Food Literacy Campaigns

Brianne Meikle, Graduate Researcher student at York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies, examines four Greenbelt Fund's grantees who leveraged social media in their marketing campaigns to promote their commodities: Ontario Apple Growers, Ontario Pork, Veal Farmers of Ontario, and National Farmers Union | Ontario.

Read more

Regional Food Hub Pilot Project Report

A new report from the Greenbelt Fund details the experience in piloting an integrated regional system in southern Ontario. The project linked producers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to a large institutional food service buyer through a regional food hub and a broadline distributor.

Read Regional Food Hub Pilot Project Case Study

Read Regional Food Hub Pilot Project Regional Profiles


FAQ Teaching Local Food Literacy in Schools

Sustain Ontario created a FAQ sheet for teachers interested in teaching students local food literacy. Find answers to 11 common questions such as:

  • How do I get my students excited and engaged in local food literacy?
  • What can I do to reduce the risks and fears of our health department
    relating to eating food that we grow or that we get direct from
    farmers?
  • How can I deal with the mismatch between the growing season and
    the school year?

Read the Frequently Asked Questions: Teaching Local Food Literacy in Schools


Case Study: City of Hamilton Supporting Local Meats in Long-Term Care

The City of Hamilton’s two municipally-run long-term care homes successfully incorporated local meat substitutions, finding products that were higher in protein per gram of meat than imported alternatives used in healthcare. This case study gives a quick synopsis of their activities and results with Serving Up Local. 

Read the Serving Up Local Case Study: City of Hamilton Supporting Local & Sustainable Meats in Long-Term Care


Case Study: Halton Region Championing Local Along the Food Value Chain in LTC

Nutrition Services staff in Halton Region increased local food purchases by 43.5% in their long-term care homes. This 2 page case study gives a quick synopsis of their activities and results with Serving Up Local. 

Read the Serving Up Local Case Study: Halton Region Championing Local Along the Food Value Chain in Long-Term Care


Case Study: Region of Durham Refreshing Food in Long-Term Care

The Region of Durham’s four Regionally owned and operated long-term care homes are successfully changing the perceived bias around health care food by increasing the amount of local foods offered in their facilities. This case study gives a quick synopsis of their activities and results with Serving Up Local. 

Read the Serving Up Local Case Study: Region of Durham Refreshing Food in Long-Term Care


Local Food Literacy in Schools Webinar Series

Packed with hands-on tips and resources from local food educators, Sustain Ontario’s series of 5 webinars provide:

  • A wide range of ideas for how to get students (elementary and high school) excited about local food
  • Curriculum connections for various grade levels and subject areas (including math, science, social studies, and health & physical education) and includes sample lesson plans and activities
  • Tip sheets and access to high-quality, ready to use resources

See below for links and descriptions.

Read more

TIPSHEET 1 - Tips for Teaching Local Food Literacy in the Classroom

Local food is an excellent tool to teach math, history, literacy, science, geography, art and other subjects. Sustain Ontario’s tipsheet series contains ideas, activities, and resources to make it fun and engaging for students to learn about good, healthy, local food. Tipsheet 1 covers a range of topics including: top 5 tips and elements of successful local food literacy programs.

Read Tipsheet 1 Tips for Teaching Local Food Literacy in the Classroom

If you like it, be sure to look at the other 5 tipsheets in their 6 part Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools Series.

#2 - Eating for Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#3 - Cooking Up Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#4 - Growing Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#5 - Embracing Local Food Literacy: Shifting your School Food Culture

#6 - Building Field to Table Connections: Tips for Procuring Local Food in Schools


TIPSHEET 2 - Eating for Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

Local food is an excellent tool to teach math, history, literacy, science, geography, art and other subjects. Sustain Ontario’s tipsheet series contains ideas, activities, and resources to make it fun and engaging for students to learn about good, healthy, local food. Tipsheet 2 covers a range of topics including: connecting the cafeteria and classroom, and potential funding opportunities for your project.

Read Tipsheet 2 Eating for Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

If you like it, be sure to look at the other 5 tipsheets in their 6 part Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools Series.

#1 - Tips for Teaching Local Food Literacy in the Classroom

#3 - Cooking Up Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#4 - Growing Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#5 - Embracing Local Food Literacy: Shifting your School Food Culture

#6 - Building Field to Table Connections: Tips for Procuring Local Food in Schools


TIPSHEET 3 - Cooking Up Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

Local food is an excellent tool to teach math, history, literacy, science, geography, art and other subjects. Sustain Ontario’s tipsheet series contains ideas, activities, and resources to make it fun and engaging for students to learn about good, healthy, local food. Tipsheet 3 covers a range of topics including: cooking without a kitchen and food safety considerations.

Read Tipsheet 3 Cooking Up Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

If you like it, be sure to look at the other 5 tipsheets in their 6 part Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools Series.

#1 - Tips for Teaching Local Food Literacy in the Classroom

#2 - Eating for Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#4 - Growing Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#5 - Embracing Local Food Literacy: Shifting your School Food Culture

#6 - Building Field to Table Connections: Tips for Procuring Local Food in Schools


TIPSHEET 6 - Building Field to Table Connections: Tips for Procuring Local Food in Schools

Local food is an excellent tool to teach math, history, literacy, science, geography, art and other subjects. Sustain Ontario’s tipsheet series contains ideas, activities, and resources to make it fun and engaging for students to learn about good, healthy, local food. Tipsheet 6 covers a range of topics including: food system mapping and student led change.

Read Tipsheet 6 Building Field to Table Connections: Tips for Procuring Local Food in Schools

If you like it, be sure to look at the other 5 tipsheets in their 6 part Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools Series.

#1 - Tips for Teaching Local Food Literacy in the Classroom

#2 - Eating for Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#3 - Cooking Up Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#4 - Growing Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#5 - Embracing Local Food Literacy: Shifting your School Food Culture


TIPSHEET 5 - Embracing Local Food Literacy: Shifting your School Food Culture

Local food is an excellent tool to teach math, history, literacy, science, geography, art and other subjects. Sustain Ontario’s tipsheet series contains ideas, activities, and resources to make it fun and engaging for students to learn about good, healthy, local food. Tipsheet 5 covers a range of topics including: finding and engaging multiple champions, and succeeding by building on multiple access points.

Read Tipsheet 5 Embracing Local Food Literacy: Shifting your School Food Culture

If you like it, be sure to look at the other 5 tipsheets in their 6 part Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools Series.

#1 - Tips for Teaching Local Food Literacy in the Classroom

#2 - Eating for Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#3 - Cooking Up Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#4 - Growing Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#6 - Building Field to Table Connections: Tips for Procuring Local Food in Schools


TIPSHEET 4 - Growing Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

Local food is an excellent tool to teach math, history, literacy, science, geography, art and other subjects. Sustain Ontario’s tipsheet series contains ideas, activities, and resources to make it fun and engaging for students to learn about good, healthy, local food. Tipsheet 4 covers a range of topics including: the benefits of engaging students with a school garden, gardening without a garden, funding opportunities for school gardens.

Read Tipsheet 4 Growing Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

If you like it, be sure to look at the other 5 tipsheets in their 6 part Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools Series.

#1 - Tips for Teaching Local Food Literacy in the Classroom

#2 - Eating for Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#3 - Cooking Up Local Food Literacy: Tips for Schools

#5 - Embracing Local Food Literacy: Shifting your School Food Culture

#6 - Building Field to Table Connections: Tips for Procuring Local Food in Schools


Urban Agriculture Toolkit

Check out Sustain Ontario's New Urban Agriculture Toolkit!

The toolkit covers a wide range of urban agriculture topics, including: raising hens, growing on private property, school garden, community garden, beekeeping, farmers' market, and more!


Local Food and Ontario's Long Term Care Sector Report

This report by My Sustainable Canada documents the current state of local food usage in Ontario’s long-term care sector.

Most of the 600+ homes in Ontario do not track local food usage and many report barriers to adding these items to their menus. With an estimated annual raw food spend in excess of $210 million, Ontario’s long-term care sector represents a significant opportunity for local producers.

Read Local Food and Ontario's Long-Term Care Sector.


Guide to Food and Beverage Manufacturing in Ontario 2015

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs created a comprehensive guide for people looking to enter the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

The guide contains step-by-step guide covering the basics of starting a food manufacturing business, product development, manufacturing, marketing, food safety, price-setting, and other pertinent information.

Read Guide To Food and Beverage Manufacturing In Ontario 2015


Local Food Procurement Model for the City of Thunder Bay

The City of Thunder Bay had recently put into action its Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy, which seeks to scale up the purchase of local/Ontario-grown food for four daycares and three long-term care facilities for whom the city procures food for. 

The city met the 2% benchmark with ease, and this baseline report outlines next steps in meeting the 10% and opening opportunities for increase of local food by public sector buyers, while also presents the findings from the first task in developing the local food service model for the City of Thunder Bay.

 

Read more

Connecting University Classroom with Campus Cafeteria through Local Food Procurement

Meal Exchange has developed an applied student research toolkit for colleges and universities interested in designing coursework that can encourage university foodservices to introduce local food into their kitchens. 

The toolkit offers step-by-step instruction on transforming academic endeavour into real-life changes in post-secondary local food procurement, including useful tips such as potential academic departments to tap for research opportunity, backgrounder resources, research design template, and more!

View Applied Student Research Toolkit


Getting it There: The Role of New England Food Distributors in Providing Local Food to Institutions

“Getting it There: The Role of New England Food Distributors in Providing Local Food to Institutions” presents in-depth findings and makes specific, data-based recommendations for food distributors – including food hubs – as well as government officials, funders and institutions.

Read more

City of Toronto's Local Food Procurement Policy

In 2011, City of Toronto adopted a Local Food Procurement Policy that requires that 51% of all products purchased to be grown in Ontario, and 80% of all processing costs to be returned to Ontario. The move helps reduce food miles while supporting local farmers and processors.

Read The City Of Toronto's Local Food Procurement Policy


Alternative Avenues for Local Food in Schools: Ingredients for Success

The Alternative Avenues for Local Food Procurement in Ontario Schools project seeks to address the need for assessment, analysis, training, and barrier identification to increase the quantity of local food procured in Ontario School Boards. 

The project aims to build stronger value-chain links in Regional communities between school food procurement practices and local suppliers through multi-stakeholder coalition action. 

Read Alternative Avenues for Local Food in Schools: Ingredients for Success


Local Sustainable Food Procurement For Municipalities and BPS

Sustain Ontario has developed a toolkit geared towards Ontario municipalities and broader public sector institutions looking to initiate sustainable procurement policies and programs in their regions. Learn more about the Local Sustainable Food Procurement For Municipalities and BPS on Sustain Ontario's Website.


Local Food Solutions Vol. 14

Product: Meat Regulations

To no one’s surprise, food service operations in the Broader Public Sector (BPS) purchase a lot of meat products. In fact, the category of meat products often constitutes the largest food spend within the BPS after dairy and value added entrées, such as shepherd’s pie, lasagna,  and macaroni and cheese. Given the amount of money that is spent on meat products in the BPS, it would seem that Ontario’s livestock farmers and independent meat processors would be keen to become a supplier for this market. However, to date it has been difficult for the province’s smaller processors to tap into it.

 

Read more

Farm to Institution: the Power of Public Sector Purchasing

This case study explores how public institutions can use the procurement process to maximize the impact of their collective $750 million annual food spends. The case described spans four years and focuses on how a public sector group purchasing organization leveraged its buying power to enable a local sustainable cattle-processor to break into the institutional food service market. The case demonstrates how public sector purchasing contributes to bringing local and sustainable farming an food businesses to scale.

Read Farm To Institution: The Power Of Public Sector Purchasing


Conducting Food Origin Audits: A Step-by-Step Guide

St. Joseph’s Heath System created a guide to help organizations and institutions conduct food origin audits. The guide includes steps involved in food origin audits, details, and examples for each of the steps, as well as useful tools, such as a template for a letter of endorsement.

Read Conducting Food Origin Audits: A Step-by-Step Guide 

 


Farm Tour 101

Here is all the information you need to plan a successful and rewarding farm tour as an engagement and education piece for your local food program. A well-rounded tour includes visiting a produce farm, farm-raised meats shop, a dairy or cheese facility, and providing a meal, showcasing local menu items.

Read Farm Tour 101


The Road to Local Food: Increasing Local Food in Broader Public Sector Organizations

Guelph Community Health Centre’s Local Food Toolkit helps organizations overcome challenges in sourcing and serving more local food. The toolkit features stories from partners who were at various stages of their local programs, as well as a series of tools with more information about local food policies, seasonal purchasing, local wholesale suppliers and distributors, and worksheets to facilitate the transition of a BPS kitchen.

Read The Road to Local Food: increasing Local Food in Broader Public Sector Organizations


Classroom Connects

A curriculum guide developed by Ecosource in partnership with the Durham District School Board and Compass Group Canada, to begin the conversation with secondary school students about the local food system.

Read Classroom Connects


Local Foods to Health Care Facilities Final Report – The Corporation of Norfolk County

This report outlines the Corporation of Norfolk County’s experience with putting a system in place to increase the amount of Ontario food served in the Broader Public Sector. 

Norfolk County highlights four phases of the project: product of origin assessment; increased local foods; equipment; and communications, procedures, and policies.

Read PDF


Ontario’s Broader Public Sector (BPS): New Opportunities for the Province’s Food and Beverage Processors

This discussion paper was developed by Food and Beverage Ontario and outlines common procurement processes in the BPS and provides guidance on specific business opportunities for the province’s food and beverage processors while acknowledging the unique challenges and needs of the BPS.

Read Ontario’s Broader Public Sector New Opportunities For Ontario’s Food and Beverage Processors


The Role of Co-operatives in Local Food Systems Development – United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development

The Role of Co-operatives in Local Food Systems Development – United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development

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Ontario Food Preserves Project – George Brown College, Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts

Ontario Food Preserves Project – George Brown College, Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts

Read more

Local Food, Beyond the Market 6 of 6: Benefits – Guelph Community Health Centre

Local Food, Beyond the Market 6 of 6: Benefits – Guelph Community Health Centre

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Local Food, Beyond the Market 5 of 6: Developing Relationships – Guelph Community Health Centre

Local Food, Beyond the Market 5 of 6: Developing Relationships – Guelph Community Health Centre

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Local Food, Beyond the Market 4 of 6: Identifying Sources – Guelph Community Health Centre

Local Food, Beyond the Market 4 of 6: Identifying Sources – Guelph Community Health Centre

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Local Food, Beyond the Market 2 of 6: Where to Begin – Guelph Community Health Centre

Local Food, Beyond the Market 2 of 6: Where to Begin – Guelph Community Health Centre

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Local Food, Beyond the Market 1 of 6: Expensive – Myth or Fact?

Developed by the Guelph Community Health Centre, this video features knowledgeable local experts who share their experiences to inspire the Broader Public Sector to infuse more local food onto menus.


Ontario Fruits and Vegetables Availability Guide

Foodland Ontario makes it easy for consumers to buy Ontario fruits and vegetables in this availability guide.

Get The Guide


Fresh and Nutritious, Green Your Life with Local Foods

In this promotional piece, the City of Toronto provides high-level information on why you should buy local food and where you can buy it. This marketing tool also includes a list of resources for buying local.

Read Fresh & Nutritious, Green Your Life With Local Foods


Regional Child Care Local Food Values Charter

Niagara Regional Child Care Centres created a Charter to increase local food procurement within their facilities and support Ontario farms and producers.

Read Regional Child Care Local Food Values Charter

Read Children's Regional Child Care Local Food Values Charter - Promotional Piece

 

 


Local Food Procurement Policy

This Local Food Procurement Policy was put in place by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Seniors Home Inc. in Barrie, to ensure residents are provided with fresh seasonal foods purchased from local vendors. IOOF Seniors Home Inc. developed local food menus to help make sure that purchasing practices take into consideration seasonal availability of produce while managing cost impacts of local procurement. 

Read IOOF Seniors Home Inc. Local Food Procurement Policy


Ross Memorial Hospital Decreases Ecological Footprint With Wholesome, Nutritious Local Food

In this case study, Ross Memorial Hospital, in the City of Kawartha Lake, dispels some of the myths associated with local food procurement. This article originally appeared in the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care.

Read Ross Memorial Hospital Decreases Ecological Footprint With Wholesome, Nutritious Local Food


Local Food Solutions Vol. 13

Product: Food Safety and Local Food

Food safety often comes up in conversations about local food, and for many, proving that food is safe is a pre-requisite to doing business with the Broader Public Sector (BPS). 

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 12

Policy: Rules and Regulations in the BPS

The Broader Public Sector (BPS) has many rules that affect food procurement. Previous Green Papers have already explored some of these, but there are a number of other rules that have implications for local food procurement.

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 11

Policy: What Exactly Is Local Food? 

Defining local food can be a difficult task, because it often means different things to different people. In general, when people are looking for local food they are looking for products that shorten the distance between where it was produced and where it is eaten. It gets tricky when trying to draw the line for what is in and what is out. Indeed, if you ask consumers how they define local, you are bound to hear everything from product of Canada to food from within 100km.

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Video Series: Introduction to Food Safety & Certification Workshop

The Greenbelt Fund and Ontariofresh.ca, in collaboration with 100km Foods Inc., CanadaGap, GS1 Canada, NSF-GFTC, OSCIA, and OMAFRA brought together farmers with professionals from different sectors and institutions dealing with food safety at the Introduction to Food Safety and Certification Workshop on April 3 and 4 2014.

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Agriculture by the Numbers: Understanding the Greenbelt’s Unique Advantages

This report from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation outlines changes in agriculture over time in the Greenbelt, compared to the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Ontario. Using data from Statistics Canada’s 2001, 2006, and 2011 Census of Agriculture, the paper looks at key variables such as number of farms, area farmed, use of farmland, production levels, and farm revenue.  

Key findings from the study include:

  • The Greenbelt includes 5,501 farms and 856,424 acres of farmland; it accounts for 10.6% of Ontario’s farms and 6.8% of its farmland.
  • While there has been a decline in the number of farms across Ontario, the size of farms has increased. 
  • In comparison to other areas of the province, the Greenbelt has several natural advantages in agriculture including climate, soil types, and geography, reflected in the specialized production in its two Specialty Crop areas.
  • The Greenbelt’s proximity to the Greater Golden Horseshoe supports local food supply chains by producing a large share of Ontario’s fruits and vegetables.
  • The decline in livestock in the Greenbelt largely parallels trends across the province reflecting market realities beyond farmers’ control, as well as some specific challenges related to proximity to urban development. These include complaints about odours, and constraints such as availability of supporting infrastructure and minimum acreage requirements.

Read Agriculture by the Numbers: Understanding the Greenbelt’s Unique Advantages


Local Food Solutions Vol. 10

Policy: How Food is Purchased in the Broader Public Sector

The way food is purchased in the Broader Public Sector (BPS) ranges from simple to complex. At its simplest, institutions such as schools and daycares “shop the specials” and buy food at grocery stores. At its most complex, institutions such as hospitals and universities have multiple food outlets, each operating under different purchasing conditions.

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 9

Policy: Trade Agreements

Trade agreements are used to reduce barriers for trade between two or more regions.

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 8

People: Making Connections

As the food system became more industrialized and commercial, we became disconnected from the people who grew and produced our food. 

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 7

People: Effecting Change

Public institutions are large, often complex organizations that face many challenges to implementing and sustaining changes to procurement. In many cases, getting more local food into them is less about finding Ontario food options and more about getting buy-in from the staff that will be impacted by directives to source Ontario food.

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Cook Global, Buy Local!

Check out this informative and insightful presentation by Dr. Michael Brownbridge from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, presented on the Ontario Pavilion Stage at the 2014 CRFA Tradeshow. In the presentation, Dr. Brownbridge shares new data on the outstanding opportunities that locally grown world crops offer restaurant owners, chefs, and foodservice companies.

Read It's Not Just Cabbage And Cauliflower Anymore: Cook Global - Buy Local!


Local Food Solutions Special

A Regional Food Distribution Pilot Project

Ontarians are increasingly supporting the health, social, economic, and environmental benefits that come with the choice of buying local food. This shift towards local food is gradually giving new shape to Ontario’s food system.

By moving to meet the demands of their customers, the value chain is finding ways to provide more local food as part of their business model. However, desire alone on the part of customers and suppliers is not enough to effect permanent and systemic change in Ontario’s food system.

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10 Reasons to #buylocal

1)  Locally grown food tastes and looks better.  There is no comparing tomatoes that ripened on the vine two days before with tomatoes that ripened in a truck a week earlier.

2) Local food is often better for you. The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food.

3) Local food supports local families and neighbouring businesses.  The agri-food sector is a huge economic driver in the province and supporting those who play into this sector helps keep our whole economy strong.

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 6

People: Attitudes and Beliefs

The majority of broader public sector (BPS) institutions are large organizations and making organizational change in one area can affect the jobs of many people. As such, moving forward on changes without broad support from relevant staff members can lead to a myriad of setbacks. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the attitudes and beliefs of all involved staf

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Getting Students Involved

Looking to get your students more involved in the Ontario Farm to School Challenge? We have some really simple ideas to keep them engaged and having fun!

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Local Food Provision in Ontario’s Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities: Recommendations for Stakeholders

This report is the third deliverable for Food for Health Project 200218 - “Exploring the Feasibility and Benefits of Incorporating Local Foods into Ontario’s Healthcare System”

The project objectives are to:

  1. Establish the current state of food provision in Ontario's healthcare system.
  2. Gain an in-depth understanding of the opportunities and constraints impacting food provision decisions in Ontario's healthcare system.
  3. Provide alternative perspectives on healthcare food provision and the potential for changing these practices.
  4. Understand implementation details for making changes at the individual facility level.

Read Local Food Provision in Ontario’s Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities: Recommendations for Stakeholders


Assessing and Identifying Opportunities to Buy More Local Apples in the Broader Public Sector

Public sector institutions are sourcing apple products from across the continent, and whole apples from around the world. But most facilities would love to integrate more Ontario product into the menus, meals, and snacks.

Working closely with the Ontario Apple Growers, My Sustainable Canada identified product opportunities for Ontario's apple growers to more strategically develop, pack, and market products to Ontario health care facilities, public school boards, colleges/universities, and correctional facilities, in order to increase the sales of Ontario apple products.

Read Procurement Steps for Schools

Read Procurement Steps for Universities & Colleges

Read Procurement Steps for Healthcare Facilities

Read Procurement Steps for Correctional & Youth Justice Facilities


Connecting the Links: Foodservice in the Broader Public Sector

Institutions of the broader public sector (BPS) have become motivated to introduce more locally grown and processed foods in their menus to better serve their customers, be they students, hospital patients, or residents of long-term care facilities (LTCs).

This report provides an introduction to the various actors involved in the foodservice supply chain, as well as an overview of how foodservice works in universities and colleges, school boards, hospitals, municipal LTCs and child care centres. It is not intended to capture the deeper complexities of foodservice in the BPS.

Read Connecting the Links: Foodservice in the Broader Public Sector


Local Food Solutions Vol. 5

Access: Aggregating Ontario Product

Historically, farmers in Ontario have delivered their produce directly to local grocery retailers, restaurants, and institutions. This practice has largely disappeared for two reasons. First, distributors emerged as a one-stop shop for restaurants and institutions to obtain product, eliminating the need for multiple suppliers. Second, as franchises and corporate foodservice companies became more dominant, fixed contracts with select distributors to supply categories of products have become the norm.

 

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 4

Access: Identifying Processed Food Origin

Previously, we talked about the challenges associated with identifying and tracking Ontario foods in order databases. There are more challenges, however, when it comes to processed foods. There is currently no industry-wide accepted definition for “Ontario Processed Food”. 

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 3

Access: Identifying Fresh Ontario Food

Knowing where fresh food comes from plays an important role in the ability of an institution or their foodservice operator/distributor to buy Ontario product.

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 2

Access, People, Policy and Product

Motivated by the growing demand for locally grown food, public sector institutions have begun making the switch to local food for their clients.

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Healthy Food in Health Care: A Pledge for Fresh, Local, Sustainable Food

Created in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm as part of their Healthy Food in Health Care Initiative, and The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge is a framework that outlines steps to be taken by the health care industry to improve the health of patients, communities and the environment.

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Local Food Solutions Vol. 1

Local Food Solutions: Addressing Barriers to Ontario Food Procurement

Consumers are increasingly asking for and consuming more locally grown food. The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association has listed local food as the top food trend for the past three years, while the creative food economy has seen an annual growth rate of 15-25%.

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Working with Local Food Suppliers

Although it was once dismissed as a fad, it’s clear that the 100-mile diet is here to stay. Every year, the demand for organic and local foods grows up to 25 per cent, with eight out of 10 Ontario consumers indicating that they prefer to eat locally, whenever possible.

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The 2012 Innovation Report

Introducing the inaugural issue of The Innovation Report - Vineland Research and Innovation Centre's first-ever research magazine.  Since 2007 the organization has made a concerted effort to make linkages with stakeholders along the value chain, bringing innovation and research into the heart of Canada's horticulture infrastructure.

Some features you can look forward to:

  • Drought-resistant petunias, cold-tolerant tomatoes, what’s next?
  • In the market for some locally grown okra?
  • The myths (and some facts) about Canadian consumers
  • For robots, it’s all in a day’s work
  • Tackling national challenges, one research project at a time
  • Biocontrols: on the hunt for bugs that kill other bugs
  • The art and science of green roofs

Read The 2012 Innovation Report


New "Product of Canada" Labeling

Why buy Canadian? Canadian farmers and food processors bring some amazing food products to your table. Whether it's a sizzling steak on your barbeque, pork chops oozing with apple sauce or succulent fresh fish with wild rice for dinner, there is a huge variety of Canadian food to explore!

Now, the Government of Canada has developed a labeling program to help consumers understand claims that labels make about Canadian content in our food products. When consumers see the Canada brand logo on a product label, they can be sure it contains Canadian ingredients or was made in Canada.

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From the Ground Up: A Primer for Community Action on Kingston and Countryside's Food System

Prepared for the National Farmers Union by Aric McBay & Holly Grinvalds

This document is meant to serve as a primer for people working on local food issues in Kingston. In part, it is meant to build common ground and a common language for people coming from diverse backgrounds. It serves as a concise reference where information and perspectives about Kingston and countryside’s local food system have been gathered from a range of academic and community sources. It does not suggest one way of solving our problems, but identifies many different models and opportunities for us to choose from. Gaps have been identified for further research. This is meant to be a living document – one that is added to and improved with time.

Read From the Ground Up: A Primer for Community Action on Kingston and Countryside's Food System

 


Product Profile: Ontario Distilled Vodka and Whiskey

Ontario’s Still Waters Distillery is gaining a lot of attention with their award-winning, artisanal single malt vodka. They are Ontario's first craft distillery, and one of the newest members of Ontariofresh.ca.

Still Waters has adapted single malt distilling methods normally used by whisky makers. While most vodkas are made with a mixture of different grains like corn, wheat and barley, or potatoes, Still Waters Distillery uses only malted barley and no other grains. In their finished product, owners Barry Stein and Barry Bernstein show the care they put into each bottle. While it is their vodka that is gaining the most attention, Stein and Bernstein have released a small line of blended whiskies that feature 10% of their own production, made with Ontario-grown rye and corn. Tasters at the 2012 Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York awarded their product a finalist in the Canadian Whisky class, stating it is "Excellent" and "Highly Recommended." Noting its pale amber color, their tasting notes conclude that its "opening nose is charred and toasty upfront, then turns deeply grainy. The flavor menu features lean tastes of corn syrup, poppy seeds, trail mix and dried apricot." As their own barrels mature, Still Waters will be showing what a lot of pride, passion and good taste can do to Ontario-grown and distilled spirits. 


Plan to Grow: Scaling up Local Food in Kingston & Countryside

Plan to Grow is a research-based initiative of the NFU’s New Farm Project, designed to gather information from farmers, processors, retailers, buyers, and food security advocates in the Kingston area, with the goal of assisting the New Farm Project chart a path toward a sustainable local food system for Kingston and its countryside. Perspectives were gathered from over 40 food system participants about the assets, challenges and opportunities within our local food system, in order to develop priorities for action that will stimulate both the supply and demand for local food.

Engagement with participants identified the need for active coordination across many food and farm initiatives in order to better influence policy, generate funding support, and be strategic with the resources available to us. Active coordination can be achieved by working with the existing initiatives identified through our outreach, by taking advantage of existing data and studies currently being carried out, and by partnering with future studies and initiatives.

Read Plan to Grow: Scaling up Local Food in Kingston & Countryside


The Economics of Local Food

Last February a day of programming at the Food Summit was capped with a lively debate, held at Glenn Gould Studio at CBC’s Toronto headquarters. The question foisted upon the panel of experts was, local food: for, or against? 

The Locavore herself Sarah Elton and New York food writer Mark Bittman squared off with their “for” arguments as Brit author of “Panic on a Plate” Mark Lyons stood beside Andrea Mandell-Campbell with their reasons against. As polarizing as the movement is, the discussion remained fairly light, swaying here and there into the territory of the economic impacts of buying (or not buying) locally.

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Asian Crop Research - Chinese Green Onion

Chinese green onion is a popular vegetable due to its nutritional and medicinal value. With $80,685 in approved funding under the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), the Canada-China Agriculture and Food Development Exchange Centre will assess the suitability of growing Chinese green onions in Ontario. 

Funding for these projects has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the CAAP. In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC).

Read Asian Crop Research - Chinese Green Onion


Accessing the Broader Public Sector Marketplace: Local Food Hub Business Plan and Implementation Strategy

The Erie Innovation Centre worked collaboratively with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association to provide a business plan for accessing Broader Public Sector institutions.

The business plan includes: a market assessment; challenges; and how to determine the best option for a regionally based local food distribution system.

Read Accessing the Broader Public Sector Marketplace: Local Food Hub Business Plan and Implementation Strategy


Strategic Directions for Agricultural Development in Northeastern Ontario

Cochrane District in Northeastern Ontario has a long history of agriculture which continues to have an important presence in the area. However, this sector faces several obstacles, such as aging farm operators with limited succession planning. Therefore, action must be taken in order to ensure the sustainability of current farming operations as well as take advantage of the vast agricultural opportunities present in the area. With this in mind, this study undertook to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats inherent for agriculture in this part of Cochrane District as well as present strategic actions which could be undertaken in order to expand agriculture in the area.

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Current and Future Opportunities for Agriculture in Northeast Ontario: A Regional Development Perspective

Cochrane District in Northeastern Ontario has a long history of agriculture which continues to have an important presence in the area. However, this sector faces several obstacles, such as aging farm operators with limited succession planning. Therefore, action must be taken in order to ensure the sustainability of current farming operations as well as take advantage of the vast agricultural opportunities present in the area. With this in mind, this study undertook to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats inherent for agriculture in this part of Cochrane District as well as present strategic actions which could be undertaken in order to expand agriculture in the area.

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Ontario's Local Food Champions 2012: Cultivating Change in the Broader Public Sector

The growth of Ontario food in our public institutions is inspiring. Today we celebrate those who change the food on plates in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and educational institutions. The Ontario’s Local Food Champions report recognizes five organizations from across the food value chains that exemplify leadership and provide solutions to incorporate more Ontario food on their menus.

“In just under a year we have seen outstanding growth in sales and volumes of Ontario food served in public institutions,“ said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “This report recognizes a few of the many champions working to make local food the standard at our hospitals, schools and daycares.”

This year’s Ontario’s Local Food Champions represent the dynamic changes happening across foodservice.

Read Ontario's Local Food Champions 2012: Cultivating Change in the Broader Public Sector


Cultivating Consciousness at the Food School

When you grow up, what will you be? A chef, a farmer, a botanist? Chris Jess, a secondary school teacher with the Centre Wellington District High School, is teaching his students that they don’t have to wait until after high school to become an entrepreneur. Now, this is not your usual Home Economics: Chris has created an entire integrated program based on the culinary arts with a strong agricultural bent. It’s called The Food School, and it’s teaching students from soil to plate to soil again.

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QR Codes: A New Frontier of Product Labeling

It has been said that in food retailing 50 per cent of the time that a product is taken off the shelf, the shopper will buy it. This means that on-product labels are a very important component of success. But how do you make a label pretty enough to attract a shopper, considering how much information must be included, from product details to corporate information?

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The Traceable Fruit Label... What Does it all Mean?

When labels first started appearing on fruit, they were intended to let the consumer know who picked and packed. Like the ubiquitous Dole Banana label, every bunch had one to create brand identification but the aggravation of pulling a label off a perfect apple, the embodiment of nature's bounty, presented a unique problem. Most adhesives are not suitable for human consumption so the labeling industry had to find the perfect adhesive; FDA/EU food contact compliant, to create the perfect apple label. Made from micro-thin bright gloss paper or film to conform around curved and uneven fruit surfaces and printed with EAN, UPC or DataBar code, the new fruit labels are ideal for edible skin fruit.

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Traceability, Provincial Premises Registry, and your Business

Looking for new ways to market your products? It may not seem like the most conventional of marketing techniques, but getting a sturdy food traceability plan in action is one way of drawing attention to your business in many markets and on Ontariofresh.ca.

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Benefits of Buying Local

Watch webinars and videos on success stories and the benefits of buying local.

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Defending Better Food

When I was growing up, food was a central part of our life as a family.  Most of the talking, fighting, loving and growing we did was around the dinner table.  And if you were sick, food was a central part of the cure – chicken noodle soup for colds, tea and toast for an upset stomach, ice cream and popsicles for a sore throat.

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A Guide To Developing A Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy

This document is intended to help universities, colleges, hospitals, and other institutions – as well as those advocating for food system change – create, promote and implement practical sustainable food purchasing policies. 

It draws from the successes and lessons learned by a variety of institutions from within the United States, and from the experience of for-profit and nonprofit partners that have worked with institutions in this arena. This document does not promote any particular policy positions, but rather offers a framework to help you develop policies that will be meaningful and achievable for your institution. This document is a product of the Sustainable Food Policy Project, which was initiated in 2006 to support efforts by educational, healthcare and other institutions to have a positive impact on the food system through purchasing. 

Read A Guide To Developing A Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy


Best Practice In Sustainable Public Sector Food Procurement

Many regional public procurement strategies are now being developed and are actively seeking to meet wider sustainability aims. 

Creativity in defining the procurement need may be one of the strongest lines of opportunity for realizing sustainable development objectives. If the objective is to provide healthy meals for schoolchildren, for example, there may be several ways in which this can be done. For example, through setting up separate supply and delivery contracts, linked to initiatives that support opportunities for local trading such as ‘meet the buyer’ events and more proactive approaches to inviting interest by local producers. 

Read Best Practice In Sustainable Public Sector Food Procurement


Creating a Food Revolution - Sarnia Lambton

This report presents a community food system plan developed through community consultation to guide action for the creation of a healthy food system for Sarnia-Lambton. 

The "food system" includes all of the activities and relationships related to every aspect of the food cycle, including growing, harvesting, transporting, processing, distributing, marketing, selling, preparing, consuming, and disposing of food. A healthy community food system integrates all of the pieces of the food system to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a community.

Read Creating a Food Revolution: A Healthy Community Food System Plan for Sarnia-Lambton


Local Food Procurement Policies: A Literature Review

Our food system has become increasingly globalized over the past few decades. Whereas a century ago most food was consumed in a relatively short distance from where it was produced, our diets today consist of foods from all corners of the globe.

The trend toward increasing distances between producers and consumers has prompted many to question the environmental and social sustainability of our food choices. Local farms are struggling to compete with larger, more industrialized farms in warmer climates. Products from California, for example, are dependent on publicly funded roads and transportation networks, and on vast subsidized irrigation networks that are not factored into the cost of food. This food is sent all over the continent, supplanting local production, because the price of the food is not reflecting the real costs associated with its production. The real costs of food production include environmental costs, such as the effects of climate change due to increased CO2 emissions from increased food transportation, as well as social degradation due to the loss of farms and rural communities, to name a few. 

Read Local Food Procurement Policies: A Literature Review


Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) - A Local Food Adventure

Metro Toronto Convention Centre's - A Local Food Adventure

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Metro Toronto Convention Centre's (MTCC) Local Food and Beverage Procurement Policy

With a view to providing exceptional quality of service to guests and clients, MTCC drafted a Local Food and Beverage Procurement Policy in 2012.

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