News & Events

Place-Based Food Systems 2018:  Making the Case, Making it Happen

Metro Vancouver, August 9-10th, 2018
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Richmond, BC

A two-day conference will draw together scholars and community leaders to share the latest research and actions, building capacity for place-based food systems. Participants will leave fortified with knowledge and understanding of the latest and best work making the case for place-based food systems, as well as innovative practices putting place-based food systems into action. The event aims to give participants an empowering vision of the critical role that place-based food systems can and will play in achieving our sustainable economic, ecological, and societal futures, as well as a revitalized dedication to strategic, collaborative, and forceful strategies moving forward.

The conference is being convened by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), in Richmond BC. “We absolutely need a food system that is about growing wholesome, nutritious food for people. And we need a food system that is configured and operates for the benefit of people and communities as opposed to the coffers of transnational corporations,” says Dr. Kent Mullinix, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at KPU and conference co-organizer. “This conference is about bringing together researchers and practitioners to advance that critical vision.” Continue reading “Place-Based Food Systems 2018:  Making the Case, Making it Happen”

New paper scans programs for training a new generation of North American farmers

June 2018

Farmers play a critical role in food systems, rural economies, ecological sustainability, and the social fabric of communities. As farmers age, new farmers are needed to maintain the stability of the agricultural sector. Without skilled individuals willing and able to take up farming as a career, the future of domestic food production is in jeopardy. This has a range of environmental, social, and economic implications.

In a new JAFSCD viewpoint article, authors Laura Schreiner, Charles Z. Levkoe, and Theresa Schumilas present initial findings from an exploratory community-campus partnership research study that aimed to explore, document, and categorize existing and emergent models of practical farmer training in North America.

After reviewing practical farmer training programs across North America, the authors propose a typology of five categories:

  1. Informal farm internship associations
  2. Centralized internship programs
  3. Private, nonprofit course-based programs
  4. Formal academic programs
  5. Independent and self-directed learning

This typology can serve as a springboard to support future research—and to better support the development of new practical farmer training programs. Continue reading “New paper scans programs for training a new generation of North American farmers”

A Taste of Diversity: The 2018 Conference of the Canadian Association for Food Studies

June 2018

By Andrea Noriega

In keeping with the Congress 2018 theme of “Gathering Diversities” the theme of this year’s Canadian Association for Food Studies (CAFS) conference was “Growing Diversities,” and it held true to it’s name! With the sensory saturated experience of last year’s conference still ringing in the minds of CAFS attendees, the open-arm-hospitality of the University of Regina (host of the 2018 Congress) was an unexpected but welcome change for many.

Neatly nestled in the quiet but picturesque skirt of Wascana Park, this year’s conference surely reminded many about what the different shades of Canadian diversity can look like. And, in contrast to the 2017 Congress, the term diversity—particularly as it pertains to food studies—took on a more salient meaning than in has in past years. Continue reading “A Taste of Diversity: The 2018 Conference of the Canadian Association for Food Studies”

FLEdGE Affiliates Talk Food Policy in Europe

By Diana Bronson and Peter Andrée

We recently had and extraordinary opportunity to discuss what is happening on food policy with European experts and organizations, as well as colleagues from around the world, in events in Brussels (29-30 May), Budapest (30 May-1 June) and Brighton (June 4-5). Here are some of the highlights of those events with some of the resources for people who are interested in knowing more.

The first event was the EU Food and Farming Forum in Brussels, organized by IPES Food—the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food. IPES Food is, in some ways, the international counterpart of Canada’s Food: Locally Embedded and Globally Engaged (FLEdGE) research group, and one FLEdGE co-investigator, Molly Anderson from Middlebury College in Vermont, is an active member of both groups. IPES Food has published a number of thought-provoking reports since 2015 on the role of international governance mechanisms in the transition towards sustainable food systems. Continue reading “FLEdGE Affiliates Talk Food Policy in Europe”

Wilfrid Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems project receives funding for project: “Testing on-line farmers’ markets in food insecure neighbourhoods”

June 11, 2018, OTTAWA – Today, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority announced 28 organizations from across Canada who will receive a grant from its Community Investment Program. This program provides roughly $1 million annually to Canadian not-for-profits, charities and academic institutions doing good things for and through the Canadian internet. To date, CIRA has provided $5.45 million in grants for projects that improve digital literacy, internet infrastructure, access and online services.

“We are excited to embark on the fifth year of CIRA’s Community Investment Program by funding 28 new and innovative projects,” says David Fowler, vice president of marketing and communications at CIRA. “CIRA has an ambitious goal to build a better online Canada and we know this can’t be achieved on our own. The Community Investment Program is one of the key ways we invest in Canada’s internet and we’re proud of the many organizations we’ve funded over the years, including these latest recipients.”

Among the recipients of the CIRA grant is Wilfrid Laurier’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems for Dr. Theresa Schumilas’ project, “Testing on-line farmers’ markets in food insecure neighbourhoods.” This project brings two under-represented groups (urban food insecure communities and isolated rural ecological farmers) into the rapidly expanding digital food economy using open access tools. These new tools can improve efficiencies for small-scale producers and enhance the internet experience for urban food consumers. Continue reading “Wilfrid Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems project receives funding for project: “Testing on-line farmers’ markets in food insecure neighbourhoods””