Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance
Successful Headwaters Food Summit and Local Trade Fair inspires development of a resilient local food system in the Headwaters Region.
The 2nd Annual Headwaters Food Summit and Local Trade Fair presented by the Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance, attracted over 100 participants to the Royal Ambassador Event Centre in Caledon on November 25th, 2013. The day started with an update on the progress made by HFFA over the past 18 months highlighted by the Education, Access and Literacy Working Group Co-Chair announcement of Primrose Elementary School winning the OntarioFresh.ca Farm to School Challenge. HFFA also unveiled their new logo and tagline “for food. for farming. for our future.”, created by local ad firm, Sprout Advertising and Design.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Ralph Martin, Loblaw Research Chair of Sustainable Food Production at the University of Guelph inspired the crowd with facts and stories offering local solutions to global issues. His presentation, to be aired on the local Rogers channel on the Podium show, was a fast paced look at global food issues that affect us all and how the building of a local food system can improve a community’s resilience and economic sustainability. Inspiratio
Inspirational presentations from Bonnie Den Haan of Sheldon Creek Dairy and Rebecca Landman of Landman Gardens reaffirmed that good planning, hard work, quality product and the right attitude can make the family farm a viable business. The experts on hand walked the participants through break-out sessions that addressed the topics of the Business Case for Local Food Systems, Community Challenges of Food Education, Access and Literacy, the Policy Challenges related to a Local Food System and how to become a destination through Culinary Tourism.
Janet Horner, member of the Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance Hub and Executive Director of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance said “Now is the time for action, the time for meetings is over”. The Local Food Fund, a new funding program offered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food is a great opportunity to get some projects rolling in the Headwaters Region. Jennifer McCorriston, Program Manager of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, said addressing healthy eating as a means of preventing chronic disease must be part of a bigger agenda to promote local healthy food across the entire food system. Theresa Sauren of Dufferin.Biz was clear in stating the work ahead is daunting, but by working collaboratively progress will be made and Michele Harris of the Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association issued the group a challenge, “this is not a situation of “what will HFFA do”, but what can we do together. So how will each and every one of you here today get involved?”
Over 15 vendors showcased their wares at the Local Food Trade Fair that followed the summit. Cheese, local vegetables, fresh bread, preserves and local spirits were sampled while learning about the provenance of the products and the richness of choice available in the Headwaters region.
The Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance is well positioned to champion the development of a strong food and farming sector in this region that will leverage the strengths of the community and the partners engaged to build a resilient food system that can benefit the entire community.
The Headwaters 2nd Annual Food Summit Report
- Keynote speaker, Dr. Ralph Martin, Loblaw Research Chair of Sustainable Food Production at the University of Guelph
- Rebecca Landman of Landman Gardens
- Bonnie Den Haan of Sheldon Creek Dairy
The Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance is a collaborative initiative which oversees and supports activities across multiple Working Groups with a vision to foster a food system in the Headwaters that is productive, sustainable, transparent, and fair; supports the health and well-being of our residents and food providers; and contributes to the prosperous and equitable economy. The primary objectives of HFFA are to grow a stronger local economy through the development of a local food system that includes residents who have access to healthy food and have the skills needed to support healthy eating, a diverse and sustainable farming system and local leaders who embrace the development of a local food system through development of supportive policies.
For more information on the Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance visit www.headwaterscommunities.org.