News & Events

New Book Available Free for Download Everyday Experts: How Peoples Knowledge Can Transform the Food System

Book cover: Everyday Experts: How people's knowledge can transform the food system

We face a series of national and global food-related crises. In the UK and in many parts of the world there are record levels of obesity, while there are also rising numbers experiencing malnutrition, including some of those who are obese. A UK government minister says our soils may only last another thirty years because of their mismanagement. Continue reading “New Book Available Free for Download Everyday Experts: How Peoples Knowledge Can Transform the Food System”

Inspiring Change in Health Care

Since its inception seven years ago, the Therapeutic Garden at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, Ontario has been a leader in the field. The brainchild of Louise Quenneville, Project Manager at HGMH, the garden has grown steadily by maximizing resources, including a three-year partnership with Project SOIL (a FLEdGE partner project—see the case study here). The garden has brought well-deserved attention to HGMH and Louise, now recognized as one of Canada’s health care innovators

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Ontario Food Hub Infographics Now Available on

As part of an OMAFRA-funded research project that examined the role of food hubs in building food system resilience in community value chains, researchers at Wilfrid Laurier’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems conducted two province-wide surveys of local sustainable food hubs in Ontario. We surveyed food producers, processors, and distributors to find out how they defined local food, if/how they thought food hubs added value to food chains for producers and communities, where food hub funding is coming from, what kinds of expansion opportunities they could identify across the value chain, and how food hubs might increase local sales.

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Adopting a Food Systems Approach: A Case Study of Just Food, Ottawa

By Nadia Ibrahim

In recent decades, there has been a growing interest in food issues and, increasingly, awareness of the concept of the food system amongst academics, governmental representatives, civil society organizations, and the public. However, there remains a lack of clarity around the meaning of a food systems approach amongst food system actors themselves. Just Food, a non-profit organization that aims to work towards vibrant, just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region, has identified this dilemma. Continue reading “Adopting a Food Systems Approach: A Case Study of Just Food, Ottawa”

Engaging Discussions at the Bring Food Home Conference

By Kimberly Bitterman

The 5th Bring Food Home conference was held at the University of Ottawa from October 26-29th. This year the focus was on upstream collaboration and was hosted by Sustain Ontario and Ottawa’s Just Food. The conference brought together farmers, activists, local practitioners, and academics (among others), to enhance knowledge sharing and collaboration. The conference was an exciting opportunity to learn about some of the work currently taking place in Ontario on issues such as the protection of farmland, the reduction of municipal waste, the fight for better food in schools, and the enhancement and protection of soil. On Saturday, I attended back-to-back sessions that examined the barriers to new and young farmers in Ontario. The first session was focused on what is currently being done to help new and young entrants into agriculture and included presentations from Moe Garahan of Just Food, Pat Learmonth of Farms at Work, and David Thompson from the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN), in Sioux St. Marie. The second session, which was designed to be more of a discussion,  was facilitated by Moe Garahan and included a presentation from Sara Epp.

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FLEdGE: Reviving the “meet” in meetings and the “fun” in the fundamentals of sustainable food systems


Lesli Hoey– September 19, 2017

How often do you walk away from a conference or series of all-day meetings feeling energized, rather than drained? I was not only energized, but inspired after participating recently in the international meeting of the Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged (FLEdGE) Partnership, an initiative led by FLEdGE PI Alison Blay-Palmer, Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Centre for International Governance Innovation and founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems.

I might still be considered fairly green to the world of academia, starting my first faculty position in 2012, but I quickly learned to expect less of the world of conferences, academic retreats and research meetings than I had as a wide-eyed graduate student. I always expected to walk away from such time-intensive events renewed with new research ideas, challenged by provocative thinking, and excited to pursue new partnerships. This type of intellectual reflection and connection still happens on occasion, but it’s far less common than I imagined. At best, I learned that such events tend to be opportunities to catch up with old friends and colleagues, and to push yourself to get a new paper off the ground. At worst, much of the time can be spent listening to panel discussions that are uninspiring opportunities to naval gaze while your e-mail inbox piles up.
Continue reading “FLEdGE: Reviving the “meet” in meetings and the “fun” in the fundamentals of sustainable food systems”