Bring Food Home – Connecting Ontario Farm and Food Networks
Provincial Conference, March 4-6 at the Kitchener Delta Hotel.
“Bring food home” is a seemingly simple directive, one that immediately brings to mind a shopping cart and a family dinner table. But in the case of the upcoming conference sponsored by Sustain Ontario, FoodNet Ontario and other partners it means so much more.
To a low-income earner bringing food home necessitates sometimes difficult choices. It may be the choice between nutrition and empty, hunger-abating calories or the choice between food and some of the other necessities of life. To someone who works in their community promoting healthy choices, bringing food home encompasses the areas of nutrition, health, education and community engagement. Farmers, challenged by a global trading system that places control and profits in the hands of a few multinationals, are re-examining the opportunities to bring food home to local consumers. Others, conscious of the challenges of climate change, peak energy and environmental degradation, see the decision-making power that brings food home as a universal right. To a community, bringing food home is part of the discussion and planning to develop a local sustainable food system.
The conference will bring together a broad range of participants from diverse regions and sectors, including farmers, food enterprises, health promoters, community groups and government organizations. The purpose of this gathering is to facilitate our learning and working together to create food systems that are healthy, just, accessible, culturally appropriate, financially viable and sustainable.
The Conference has been organized into the following streams:
· Training for Emerging Farmers
· Community Food Security
· Strengthening Regional Economies
· Sustaining Food Production – Farm, City and Countryside
To date we have confirmed Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm and of Food, Inc. fame as one of several keynote speakers, as well as Martin Gooch from the George Morris Centre who will lead a workshop in value chain management. The FarmOn Alliance is planning a whole day of events related to new farmer training.