The Green Economy: From the Margins to Centre Stage

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Presentation by Karen Hutchinson, Executive Director, Caledon Countryside Alliance at the 2009 Ontario Trillium Foundation professional development conference.

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  • 1. Iowa, Michigan, Vermont, Pennsylvania, the West Coast and many other locations are all involved in re-powering their local food systems. Systems. 2. Eat Fresh and Grow Jobs Study, Michigan, Sept 2006 – economic model to show Michigan can improve economy by creating linkages between farmers and consumers. 3. From Leopold Centre in Iowa, local produce = local profits – farmers’ markets, CSA’s, institutional sales. 4. Chicago – November 2008 – Brian Snyder Presentation from Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture - New evidence that small farms are now breaking into higher income brackets and building a new local food and farm economy with serious growth potential - Building alliances and networks to supply bigger orders - A number of Pennsylvania farms are grossing more than $500,000 with the CSA model – most still are in the under $50,000 bracket - Hooking up farms with their local markets is a proven path to increased farm profitability
  • Who is involved in Local Food: Sustain Ontario – Alliance for Healthy Food and Farming (www.sustainontario.com) Local Food Plus – local and sustainable food for institutional and retail procurement and certification (www.localfoodplus.ca) Toronto Food Policy Council Caledon Countryside Alliance/Eat Local Caledon Foodlink Waterloo Food Down the Road - Kingston Ontario Culinary Tourism – Ottawa, Niagara, Muskoka, Prince Edward Country, Norfolk and many more Slow Food Foodshare The Stop GTA Agricultural Action Committee Farm Fresh Maps – Waterloo, Wellington, Peel, Halton, Durham and more Farmers, chefs, foodies, environmentalists, business people, government, academics, gardeners And so many more in villages, towns and cities across the Province
  • Main organizers and co-sponsor for Toronto Food Policy Council’s Annual Local Food Conference from 2003 -2006 2003 - Eat Local, Buy Local, Sell Local 2004 - Eat Local, Buy Local, Sell Local - Community Farmers Markets 2005 – Farm Folk, City Folk – How New Alliances Can Bring Local Food to the Table 2006 – Local Food Success Stories from London and the UK 2006 - What Does Local Food Really Mean? Getting Down to Business with Local Jobs, Sales and Economic Development Worked with a larger committee, to organize and sponsor the 2009 Annual Local Food Conference 2009 – Building the Infrastructure for Local Food in Ontario
  • In Waterloo Region local production of total vegetables (excluding greenhouse vegetables) increased by 129.1 % between 2001 and 2006 while the provincial and national data indicated decreases for these crops during the same time period: 8.6 % in Ontario and 6.5 % in Canada (Statistics Canada). Region of Waterloo Public Health created Foodlink to building capacity for the local food economy. Foodlink helped develop the Elmira Produce Auction Cooperative (EPAC), a group operated by members of the local farming community that sells locally-grown produce three times a week by means of an auction. It is likely that EPAC has been an impetus for farmers to grow more vegetables.
  • 2002 – Buy Local Guide for Headwaters 2003 – 2006 – Key organizer and sponsor of Local Food Conferences 2006 – Founding partners on Grown in Peel Guide 2007 – First Eat Local Week 2007- 2009 – Making Connections, Local Dinner Series, Monthly Newsletter 2008 – Launch of Inglewood Farmers’ Market Launch of www.eatlocalcaledon.org 2008 - 2009 – Eat Local Month 2008 – Launch of Caledon Crunch 2007-2009 - School Work (cooking classes, seed starting, school gardens) 2009 – Founding partner on Caledon Farmers’ Market 2009 – Caledon Crunch – 4000 Caledon elementary students and staff at 8 schools and staff at Town Hall crunched on a Caledon grown apple at once joined by live broadcast on Radio Caledon 2009 – Take a Bite Out of Climate Change Program– promoting a climate friendly diet with workshops, demonstrations, information at public events including markets with a local food pledge
  • This is already happening Detroit where Motor City is changing to a food and farming haven.
  • The Green Economy: From the Margins to Centre Stage

    1. 1. Repowering Our Local Food System The Green Economy – From Margins to Centre Stage Karen Hutchinson, Executive Director Caledon Countryside Alliance – Eat Local Caledon Ontario Trillium Foundation Conference New Thinking for New Times, November 6, 2009
    2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><li>Message: Why we should be repowering Ontario’s Local Food System to be a foundation of the new green economy and our communities </li></ul><ul><li>What is Local Food? </li></ul><ul><li>What is Local Farming? </li></ul><ul><li>Economic, Social and Health Impacts of Local Food </li></ul><ul><li>Who is involved ? </li></ul><ul><li>Community Case Example: Caledon Countryside Alliance and Eat Local Caledon </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why Local Food and the Green Economy? <ul><li>There are 11.5 million people eating in Ontario... </li></ul><ul><li>If 5 million Ontarians spent $10 of their grocery budget on local foods each week… </li></ul><ul><li>There would be a $3 billion influx into the local economy each year! </li></ul><ul><li>Based on research by Lewis A. Soroka, Professor of Economics, Brock University,  [email_address]  (through Sustain Ontario) </li></ul>
    4. 4. But I don’t like root vegetables…So let’s get the barriers out of the way first!
    5. 5. Local Food 101 <ul><li>Local food isn’t about suffering, it is about savouring and enjoying foods and choosing local when available at the peak of freshness. It is also about eating for health, climate, food security and culture. Along the way, be prepared to discover some great new foods growing on our doorstep </li></ul><ul><li>Be rest assured…there are Marco Polo exceptions and it is hard to imagine North Americans without coffee </li></ul>
    6. 6. Local Food from Caledon and Area on April 30, 2009
    7. 7. Back Story <ul><li>Apples from Albion Orchards, Caledon </li></ul><ul><li>Wild Mushrooms from Windy Fields, Grand Valley </li></ul><ul><li>Wild Leeks from Bailey’s Farm Produce, Caledon </li></ul><ul><li>Maple Syrup from Norman Jewison/Putney Heath Farms, in Caledon </li></ul><ul><li>Rhubarb (forced) from Lenox Farms in Shelburne </li></ul><ul><li>And what did Chef Suman from Sudexo Canada prepare? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Lunch at Building the Infrastructure for Local Food In Ontario Conference in Toronto on May 1, 2009
    9. 9. What is Local Food? <ul><li>Grown and produced as close to home as possible, within the geographic limit of Ontario </li></ul><ul><li>Grown and produced in rural, near-urban and urban locations </li></ul><ul><li>Hallmarks of local food – in season fruits and vegetables (also used frozen, preserved and stored), honey, maple syrup, meat, dairy, breads, grains, lentils, seeds, nuts and beverages, with more culturally diverse crops and foods being grown all the time </li></ul>
    10. 10. What is Local Food Farming? <ul><li>Agriculture produces food, fibre and fuel for local or export markets </li></ul><ul><li>Food grown for the local market is usually sold directly to consumers by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>on-farm market or pick your own or CSA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>farmers’ markets; restaurants; small shops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>distributors; co-ops or grocery stores </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Local food can also be grown as a raw product and then processed – eg. goat’s milk for cheese, flour for bread, cabbage for kimchi, etc. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Ontario’s Economy <ul><li>The agri-food industry contributes more than $33 billion to the Ontario economy and employs about 700,000 people </li></ul>
    12. 12. What is involved in getting Local Food from Field to Fork? <ul><li>Farms of all sizes and types in rural, near-urban and urban settings </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution networks and facilities for direct, retail and institutional sales </li></ul><ul><li>Post harvest handing and processing facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Small, medium and large food producers (jam to cheese to Kimchi – increasing including culturally diverse foods) </li></ul><ul><li>Bakeries, butchers, retail shops, restaurants and much more with the local food multiplier effect </li></ul>
    13. 13. Other Factors - Local Food Policy, Planning and Economics <ul><li>Food Policy Councils and Food Charters </li></ul><ul><li>Social Policy to provide good, fair and clean food, as a right for all </li></ul><ul><li>Planning, taxation and economic development policies for agriculture in rural near-urban and urban locations </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional (hospitals, schools, governments, etc.) and retail local food procurement policies </li></ul><ul><li>Culinary tourism </li></ul>
    14. 14. Consumers Want Local Food <ul><li>Consumers see many benefits to locally grown food such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Help their local economy (71%), </li></ul><ul><li>Support family farmers (70%), </li></ul><ul><li>Taste better (53%), </li></ul><ul><li>Are Cheaper (50%) </li></ul><ul><li>Healthier (46%), </li></ul><ul><li>Safer (44%) </li></ul><ul><li>Environmentally friendly (43%) </li></ul><ul><li>Ipsos Reid 2006. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Farmers See the Opportunity <ul><li>New opportunity for agriculture after years of low income, a cheap food policy in North America, food and farming scares and a lack of new young farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Future farmers, especially non-farm youth, see local food as an opportunity to get into agriculture that doesn’t require large capital outlay, eg. SPIN Farming </li></ul>
    16. 16. Economics of Local Food <ul><li>From Farmers’ Markets Ontario </li></ul><ul><li>The 154 markets in Ontario had estimated sales of $427 to $641 million and economic impact of $641 to $1.9 billion in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Average shopper spending at a FMO market was $27.60 per visit and sales at farmers’ markets are growing by 7% per year </li></ul><ul><li>From Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>In 2005, on-farm marketing provided seasonal employment for 10,000 Ontario residents including 4,500 students. </li></ul><ul><li>Represents $116 million in annual gross receipts. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Economics of Local Food and Farming Around the World <ul><li>US - Iowa and Michigan did early studies in 2006 looking at the relationship between local food, local jobs and the economy </li></ul><ul><li>Vermont and the West Coast have developed local food systems due to culture </li></ul><ul><li>A number of Pennsylvania farms are grossing more than $500,000 with the CSA model </li></ul><ul><li>Hooking up farms with their local markets is a proven path to increased farm profitability </li></ul><ul><li>Growing Power – urban farm combines environmental and social responsibility in Milwaukee and Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>UK – Jamie Oliver’s school meals and Fifteen Restaurants </li></ul>
    18. 18. From Sustain Ontario >55,000 farms in Ontario From 1996-2006 Ontario lost 15% of its farms Negative net farm incomes Average age of farmers is 53 years 4 companies control over 80% of market share in food retail Food is a social determinant of health Over 35% of children 2-11 overweight or obese 1/3 adults overweight or obese Cost of obesity over $7 billion nationally Poverty induced costs related to health care are $3 billion in Ontario Health, Food and Farming in Ontario
    19. 19. Tipping Point <ul><li>Society is at a tipping point for understanding how this sector can repower our economy, create jobs, re-vitalize rural communities and city neighbourhoods by offering local green collar jobs that will sustain and survive in the long-term </li></ul><ul><li>Health, society, farming and the economy are converging to form a golden opportunity for local food </li></ul>
    20. 20. The Sustainability Spin Off Possibilities are Endless… <ul><li>Green roofs growing food in cities, season extension growing, greenhouses powered by renewable energy, food transported by foot, bicycle or public transit </li></ul><ul><li>Street youth training to be chefs </li></ul><ul><li>Community engagement with farmers’ markets, community gardens and much more </li></ul><ul><li>Revitalized rural communities and urban neighbourhoods </li></ul><ul><li>Embracing a food culture </li></ul>
    21. 21. Local Food is a big movement and it’s Popular <ul><li>Farmers, chefs, bakers, butchers, food processors, cheese makers, winemakers </li></ul><ul><li>NGO’s promoting eat local, food security and culinary tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Government – Food Policy Councils, Health Departments </li></ul><ul><li>Foodies, locavores and gardeners </li></ul><ul><li>Restaurants, shops, Farmers’ Markets </li></ul>
    22. 23. Caledon Countryside Alliance and Eat Local Caledon <ul><li>A rural/near urban NGO in the Town of Caledon formed in 1998 around the mantra “countryside is an option” and that has evolved to “ensuring a vibrant and productive countryside in Caledon so that future generations have clean water, clean air and lands for food production”. </li></ul>
    23. 24. Community Programs <ul><li>Weedgee Kidz (2002 on) </li></ul><ul><li>Buy Local (2002 on) </li></ul><ul><li>Clean Air, Clean Energy (2002 on) </li></ul><ul><li>Building a Local Food System (2003 on) </li></ul><ul><li>EcoEnergy Home Visits (formerly Caledon Dufferin Reep, 2004 on) </li></ul><ul><li>Idle Free Caledon (2004 on) </li></ul><ul><li>Caledon Community Map (2006 on) </li></ul><ul><li>Eat Local Caledon (2007 on) </li></ul>
    24. 25. Re-powering Caledon’s Local Food and Farming System <ul><li>Buy Local Guide (2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Local Food Conferences (2003-2006 and 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Grown in Peel (2006-2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Eat Local Caledon (2007-2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Take a Bite Out of Climate Change (2009) </li></ul>
    25. 26. Inspiration From Waterloo Region <ul><li>Total vegetable production (excluding greenhouse) increased by 129.1% between 2001 and 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Ontario decreased by 8.6% and Canada decreased by 6.5% (Statistics Canada) </li></ul><ul><li>Foodlink (NGO) was created by Public Health to build capacity for the local food economy </li></ul><ul><li>Elmira Produce Auction Cooperative (EPAC) – impetus for farmers to grow more vegetables </li></ul>
    26. 27. <ul><li>2007 - 2009 Program To Date </li></ul><ul><li>Local Food Pledge and Take a Bite Out of Climate Change Local Food Pledge </li></ul><ul><li>Eat Local Caledon Monthly Newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Making Connections - Trade Meetings & Directory </li></ul><ul><li>Eat Local Caledon Dinner Series </li></ul><ul><li>Local Food Hero Recognition Program </li></ul><ul><li>School Program – Cooking Classes and Gardens </li></ul><ul><li>Eat Local Week September 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Eat Local Month September 2008 and 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Caledon Crunch – 4000 youth crunching local apple in 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Inglewood and Caledon Farmers’ Markets, </li></ul><ul><li>Take a Bite Out of Climate Change – climate friendly diets, eight easy guidelines to reduce food miles and greenhouse gas emissions for pledge </li></ul>
    27. 28. Youth Programs – School Gardens, Cooking Classes, Youth Grow Group
    28. 29. School Cooking Classes
    29. 30. Youth Grow Group – Summer Cooking and Gardening
    30. 31. Caledon Crunch – 4000 Students and Staff at 8 Caledon Schools, 5 Caledon Apple Orchards, Town Hall Staff at 11:00 am on September 29 th , 2009 - all crunching apples connected by a live countdown on Radio Caledon
    31. 32. Inglewood Farmers’ Market
    32. 33. Caledon Farmers’ Market
    33. 34. Local Dinner Series
    34. 35. Staff Canning Bee
    35. 36. Eat Local Caledon’s Success Stories <ul><li>2002 – Buy Local Guide for Headwaters </li></ul><ul><li>2003 – 2006, 2009 – Key organizer and sponsor of Local Food Conferences </li></ul><ul><li>2006 – Founding partners on Grown in Peel Guide </li></ul><ul><li>2007 – First Eat Local Week </li></ul><ul><li>2007- 2009 – Making Connections, Local Dinner Series, Monthly Newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>2008 – Launch of Inglewood Farmers’ Market </li></ul><ul><li>2008 - Launch of www.eatlocalcaledon.org </li></ul><ul><li>2008 - 2009 – Eat Local Month </li></ul><ul><li>2008 – Launch of Caledon Crunch – 3000 students </li></ul><ul><li>2007-2009 - School Work (cooking classes, seed starting, school gardens) </li></ul><ul><li>2009 – Founding partner on Caledon Farmers’ Market </li></ul><ul><li>2009 – Caledon Crunch – 4000 students </li></ul><ul><li>2009 – Take a Bite Out of Climate Change Program– climate friendly diets with local food pledge based on eight guidelines delivered at workshops, demonstrations, information at public events including farmers’ markets </li></ul>
    36. 37. Caledon Residents Support Local Food <ul><li>Importance of buying locally grown foods and products – 2004 at 82% and 2008 at 91% total important </li></ul><ul><li>Having a strong vibrant agricultural community – 2004 at 85% and 2008 at 93% </li></ul><ul><li>Preserving agricultural lands – 2004 and 2008 at 90% </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Issues in Caledon, Caledon Countryside Alliance, June 2008 </li></ul>
    37. 38. The Future: Spirit Tree Estate Cidery <ul><li>Caledon farm family developed apple orchard, cidery, bakery and local food products on the Niagara Escarpment </li></ul><ul><li>Green building – straw bale construction and geothermal heating, wood fired stone oven, fermentation cellar, advanced IPM growing techniques and more </li></ul>
    38. 39. Vision for Caledon <ul><li>When you look at our farmland and countryside (including the 27,000 acres in Caledon’s White Belt) start to imagine the potential of local food.  Instead of more houses, imagine building the foundation of a new green economy - a local and sustainable food system with family farms, orchards, market gardens, vineyards, farm market stores, bakeries, dairies, butchers, local businesses and much more and all eco-friendly.  Let’s start thinking seriously about the legacy we are going to leave for future generations.  Farmland doesn’t have to be land waiting to be developed – there is a higher and better use. </li></ul>
    39. 40. Vision for Rexdale <ul><li>When you look at our vacant lots and abandoned factories, start to imagine the potential of local food.  Instead of more infill houses or strip malls, imagine building the foundation of a new green economy - a local and sustainable food system with market gardens, orchards, shops, culturally relevant food production facilities, bakeries, butchers, local businesses and much more and all eco-friendly. Let’s start thinking seriously about the legacy we are going to leave for future generations.  Vacant lots don’t have to be land waiting to be developed – there is a higher and better use. </li></ul>
    40. 41. Again, Why Local Food? <ul><li>Remember the numbers: $3 billion influx into the local economy each year with 5 million Ontarians spending $10 of their grocery budget on local food each week. </li></ul><ul><li>We have the opportunity to build a new green economy that doesn’t leave anybody behind. We have the opportunity to build a good, fair, clean and eco-friendly food system for all. That’s why local food. </li></ul>
    41. 42. Thank you to the staff and volunteers of the Ontario Trillium Foundation for believing in our vision and supporting us to deliver leading edge programs.

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