World Crops Panel

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Speaker: Barbara Emanuel
Session: Building Systems for Local Production of World Crops: Opportunities and Challenges

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • Influence price,
    Image – denormalizing
    Accessibility (get it and do it)
  • in Canada we produce or import almost 50% more food calories than is needed to feed everyone, every day BUT approx. 10% of households report not being able to regularly put enough food on the table
  • TO is a wealthy city in a wealthy country, vibrant community & NGO scene, lots of assets in terms of land, food production and a diverse population
  • Mobile vending should be simple
    In reality, it’s complicated
    Many layers of policies, licensing & fee requirements, and by-laws from a number of City Divisions and former municipalities
  • Insight Gathering:Mobile Food Vending, Peer Nutrition and Food Retail Map Initiatives indicated there was need for local, culturally appropriate food in low income, underserviced neigbourhoodsSummary of existing research on world crops and opportunitiesCommunity consultations, retails assessments and key interviewsBring Partners to the Table:Vineland Research and Innovation CentreMcConnell FoundationTen Community GardensGreenbelt FoundationGolden Groceries DistributionLongos
    Support and Create Initiatives: Research and Pilot Project to ensure that world crops being grown in Greenbelt are available for sale to newcomers in underserviced neighbourhoods.Field trips to Greenbelt to help Newcomers understand local food issues in Ontario and to provide input into the projectLearning Gardens events to build relationships and connections between non-profit organizations working on World Crops and foster learning about ideal conditions and market readiness for World Crops
    Identify Champions:Ten Learning Gardens partners were key champions in providing access to commuities, resources and insight into how World Crops can best be shared with low income, newcommer communities.Focus groups, education sessions, community kitchen space, etc. was provided by partners who animated the program on the ground
    Execute, Iterate and Refine:Food Strategy/Vineland repot will identify opportunities by summarizing research gathered through:Consumer GroupsTesting world crops to compare quality and taste to imported varietiesInterest in various world cropsTechniques to grow & prepare world cropsFarms:Growing world crops at 10 farm locations to test viabilityProviding education & tools to grow cropsConsultations and feedback on successes & challengesRetailers/Distributors:Focus groups to determine best distribution channels to reach low income neighbourhoods including alternative distribution networkdsIdentify opportunities and challenges in reaching low income neighbourhoods and food deserts
  • making connectionsn w comminity
    Making links between issues (seeing link b/w urban ag, environmental outcomes/food handler training to employment outcomes)
    Glasses – see opportunities for City to meet existing social, economic and health goals throgh food (see next slide for example)
    Leverage funding – looking for links and connections, we keep eyes oen to find creative ways to leverage creative funding. In last year we have been able to get money from McConnell, provincial money through into health, United Way, OCE to help us do more!
    use food to achieve multiple goals
    - progress through action – we try to just DO stuff together with partners in City and Community
  • Conducted community food mapping sessions too
  • World Crops Panel

    1. 1. World Crops Panel Bring Food Home Barbara Emanuel November, 2013
    2. 2. Toronto Food Strategy Approach  Everything in partnership with others  Leveraging resources  Top down & bottom up strategies for change  Research & evaluation
    3. 3. Toronto Food Facts 1 in 10 Number of Toronto households that are food insecure $8,001 Average annual income by Ontario farmers from agricultural activities 1.2 million Visits to food banks in the GTA in 2010 1 in 3 Toronto children are overweight or obese
    4. 4. modern food paradox we produce or import ∼50 % more calories than we need approx. BUT 10% often can’t put enough food on the table
    5. 5. Ethno-racial Breakdown of Population Ethno-racial Breakdown of population
    6. 6. Toronto’s Challenges Urbanization, 1M Urbanization, 1M people people
    7. 7. What Bureaucracies Can Be Good At Regulations Good Ideas
    8. 8. Key Health Equity Issues in Food • Affordability of food • Access to healthy, high-quality, and culturally appropriate food • Needs of newcomers • Basic food skills and knowledge • Community participation in policymaking
    9. 9. Locally Grown World Crops MANY OF THESE VEGGIES CAN BE GROWN HERE
    10. 10. Partnership with Vineland • Looking at continuum of World Crop regional value chain – from commercial market development to low income community access • Scale appropriate market development • Promotion of locally grown world crops to everyone
    11. 11. Key Community Research Findings • Price, variety, freshness and convenience key factors (research in Flemingdon/Scarb) • Majority cooked culturally specific foods at home, using traditional ingredients wherever possible • Many felt the food in Toronto is “too big”, “picked too early” and isn’t as flavourful compared to back home. • Since larger sized fruits and vegetables the norm in North America, newcomer consumers may have different priorities re: fresh produce.
    12. 12. Opportunity to Integrate with Other Programs/Initiatives • Looking at scale appropriate markets • World Crops broker/aggregation role under consideration to serve multiple markets. • Opportunity to integrate with other community programs, food strategy initiatives and TPH programs
    13. 13. Healthier Corner Stores Working with Existing Small Food Retailers
    14. 14.  Approx 8 convenience stores in Toronto for every supermarket
    15. 15. HCS Findings So Far  Problem in Toronto is NOT quantity of food stores but quality of retail in many areas  Less healthy food retail envir’t common across Toronto  Schools more likely to have fast food within 500m/1km vs surrounding areas
    16. 16. Explanations?  Density in problem areas doesn’t fit with traditional big food retail models (but they’re trying to adapt)  “Progressive” regulatory legacies can impede alternate food distribution models today  Little support for small food enterprises
    17. 17. Kabul Market- Scarborough
    18. 18. Insights from Research So Far  Wide variation in small food store models  Many practical barriers for owners to integrating healthier foods  Residents value customer service highly
    19. 19. Insights from Research So Far  Very little institutional support exists for small-scale food retail  Many store owners keen to serve community, provide healthier and culturally appropriate foods  Most successful examples prioritized positive relationships with customers
    20. 20. Many Different Market Opportunities • Small/medium chain and/or Independent supermarkets (likely through OFT) • Small food retail establishments (most flexible) • Institutional Buyers (schools, hospitals etc) • Direct market environments (farmers mkts) • Community food programs (eg. MGFM, FoodShare good food box)
    21. 21. Next Steps • Implement a pilot initiative (after developing a business plan) • Continue partnership with Vineland and a range of community and retail partners • Integrate world crops in all food strategy initiatives
    22. 22. Barbara Emanuel, Manager Toronto Food Strategy bemanuel@toronto.ca 416-392-7464

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