If you’re subscribed to our newsletters, you may have noticed that you haven’t been receiving regular updates from us, and there is a very good reason for that — Josie Di Felice, who does much of our communications, welcomed baby Julia this summer! They are all doing well and Josie will be easing back into duties a little at a time.
In the meantime, we wanted to share a bit of what we have been up to in 2023…
Toronto Public Market Action Plan
The International Public Markets Conference hosted in June by the City of Toronto laid the foundation for Toronto City Council passing a motion to create a working group and develop a Public Market Action Plan for the City by 2025. The Action Plan will help to develop a network of public markets equitably distributed across the city to advance sustainable food systems, inclusive economies and social equity. Marina Queirolo of Marketcity TO presented to Council and was supported by many food organizations of the City and the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance. Check out the presentation here.
Urban Agriculture Policy Paper
October saw the grand opening of the Ajax Urban Farm for Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture at Durham College. The farm is ideally located beside a high school and will help students both at the college and high school level understand more fully about how food is grown and prepared for sale.
To assist municipalities deal with the many conditions, policies and bylaws that must be in place before an urban agriculture project is begun, the GHFFA have commissioned the Barrett Centre to develop a “best practices” document for use by municipalities. The policy paper will be available in Spring 2024 for comment.
Local Food in Long-Term Care
Following our 3-year research with the University of Guelph that highlighted how and why more local foods should be incorporated into the menu choices at Long-Term Care facilities, Dr. Sara Epp, Associate Professor, will be conducting a webinar on February 8, 2024. In the webinar, food service and procurement staff will be shown how to implement practices that will track and ultimately increase the amount of local foods currently offered to residents.
The long-term care sector has huge buying power that can translate into significant increases for local food sales by Ontario producers.
Dashboard Project for ConnectON
Our database called ConnectON has some brand new features thanks to funding from the Greenbelt Foundation and Toronto Global. ConnectON now has a dashboard that users can find data regarding the size, scope and characteristics of the Agriculture, AgriFood and Manufacturing Sectors in the province. Our libraries have been updated and lots of new data is contained in the database.
Stay tuned in 2024 for more exciting developments!