By Harrison Runtz
This past summer I had the privilege of working with Sustain Ontario, a non-governmental organization that works on connecting the needs/policy asks of different stakeholders in Ontario’s food networks. Sustain Ontario’s main goal is to transform our provincial food systems into more sustainable, community-oriented forms. My work was specifically related to the provincial iteration of their VoteONFood campaign. VoteONFood is an election-based effort to inform politicians on crucial areas of policy that are needed to address food systems issues. While my work focused on the provincial level, the campaign is currently targeting prospective municipal politicians. This initiative, which attempts to spread awareness of issues brought forth by experts working in these fields as producers, academics, scientists, and others, highlighted the intensely difficult task of breaking down partisanship and spreading best practices. While the issues of knowledge mobilization are many, I’ll outline two challenges that seemed particularly pertinent to the work in which I was involved. Continue reading “Sustain ON tries to engage politicians with varying success”
Programme Coordinator, Food for the Cities Programme
Rural and urban crop systems (AGPML) team
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP)
November 19, 2018
We are pleased to announce that the City Region Food Systems (CRFS) assessment and planning toolkit, jointly developed by FAO, RUAF Foundation, and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems in the framework of the Food for the Cities Programme, is now available online.
The CRFS toolkit aims to help local authorities and other stakeholders strengthen the understanding of the current functioning and performance of food systems in the context of a city region, within which rural and urban areas and communities are directly linked. In particular the toolkit provides guidance on assessing food systems and forms the basis for further planning to reinforce and promote the sustainability of CRFS. It is meant to be a resource for policymakers, researchers, and other key stakeholders and participants who want to better understand their own CRFS and plan for improvements. Continue reading “City Region Food System Assessment and Planning Toolkit Now Available!”
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 Patricia Ballamingie
July 15, 2018
Thanks to the international networking of FLEdGE PI Alison Blay-Palmer, FLEdGE researchers and partners were invited to present a panel on Building resilient food systems: Policy across multiple scales at the ICLEI World Congress 2018, held in Montreal, June 20-22.
Since ICLEI’s inception, urban resilience and sustainability have largely been framed in terms of climate change mitigation and adaption. But as food system scholars and practitioners know, food serves as a portal to those and so many other related socio-economic and environmental issues. And cities play a crucial role in achieving food security, optimizing health and advancing environmental sustainability. Food production and food access programs target predominantly urban populations; urban, peri-urban, and rural areas remain closely interrelated; and the municipal level proves the most effective and efficient for many food policies and programs to occur. Continue reading “Food systems are critical to urban resilience”
EAT Stockholm Food Fora have been held every year since 2014. As a “science-based global platform for food system transformation,” the EAT initiative partners with a range of foundations, academic institutions, organizations and companies. The underlying principle is that everybody on earth has the right to healthy diets within planetary boundaries.
For the first time, the 2018 forum, “Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone,” was co-hosted by EAT and the Swedish Ministry of International Development Cooperation and Climate Change and gathered more 600 participants from science, politics, business and civil society from over 50 countries. Continue reading “Report on the Fifth Annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum”
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”