Our community-based research tells us there are grounds for optimism in better connecting farmers, harvesters, and fishers to regional markets. As we documented in eastern Ontarioand with increasing relevance across the country, there are more and more thriving connections between consumers and local producers with the growing availability of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, game, poultry, grains, wines, craft beer and spirits.
- In Ontario, our 2015 sustainable food hub survey and case studiesfound that total gross income for the sector was over $29 million with farmers projecting potential production increases of over 135% for meat and poultry,nearly 80% for vegetables, and about 30% for fruit.
- To support food hubs, we developed a tool to calculate the dollar amount of product that needs to be picked up from a farm and sold by a hub to breakeven.
- In Toronto, two urban market garden projects were tested in communities designated as areas for improvement both to grow food for sale and build community capacity.
- We help developed a map for FoodShare, a community food organization, to understand food access and income data by neighbourhood so they could make an evidence-based short-list of communities to locate services for improved access to fresh healthy food.