Sustainable food has been on the minds and lips of an increasing number of people in 2018. On the international stage, food has become an important part of discussions about climate change and sustainability with more attention being paid to how city-region food systems work across places and scales. Across Canada, sustainable food system researchers and community advocacy groups continue to provide input to the federal government as it develops “A Food Policy for Canada,” while at the same time working to address significant challenges within the food system at the local level.
2018 also saw substantial growth of the FLEdGE network. Our recent report, “Good Food Solutions: Building sustainable food communities for all Canadians” provides a snapshot of the work that we’ve done so far and outlines the five principles that ground our research practice as we work toward more sustainable food systems. We are delighted to be able to share the fruits of our collective research practice with you on our Resources and Results page and will continue to do so through 2019 and for the life of the FLEdGE project.
As 2018 comes to an end, we’d like to take the opportunity to wish you a very happy holiday season and send our best wishes for 2019. From all of us here at FLEdGE, may the New Year bring you health, joy, and good and sustainable food.
Written by Kristen Lowitt
In May 2018, members of the FLEdGE Northwestern Ontario Research Node hosted a “fish as food” roundtable session at the Community Conservation and Livelihoods Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The session featured community stories on “fish as food” from the Northwest Territories to Nova Scotia. Collectively, the stories illustrate the importance of not seeing fisheries solely as an assortment of fish harvesters or fish stocks, but as part of larger food systems that provide for community sustenance, cultures, and economies. Co-organized by Kristen Lowitt and Charles Levkoe, the session builds on their ongoing FLEdGE research exploring the links between sustainable fisheries and food systems in the Lake Superior region of Northwestern Ontario. Continue reading “Exploring Community Stories About “Fish as Food””
By Maggie Mills
In the summer of 2017, I had the pleasure of working with Grace and Paul from 100 KM Foods in Toronto, Ontario. 100 KM Foods is an award-winning local food hub that picks up food from local farms near Toronto and distributes it to retailers, including restaurants in the City of Toronto. Paul and Grace are so passionate about their business and provide an opportunity for Torontonians to enjoy the produce and livestock that is harvested right here in Southern Ontario. They have a dedicated team that works collaboratively to ensure that their business runs smoothly, and Paul and Grace are wonderful mentors.
While the food hub business model is still relatively new, 100 KM Foods is paving the way to ensuring that food hubs can be financially sustainable. As part of that work, Paul and Grace requested that we design a tool that food hubs can use to determine the minimum farm order required for a food hub to breakeven on a given food item. So, together we created the Food Hub Breakeven Analysis Tool. Continue reading “Working with 100KM Foods to Create New Tools for Food Hubs”
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.
Continue reading “Ontario Food Hub Infographics Now Available on www.fledgeresearch.ca”