February 2017 

FEED the Social photo
photo provided by FEED the Social
Food has a unique power to bring people together. So what better way to welcome newcomers to a community than over a good meal?

Dinner is just what Brittani Farrington's church had in mind to welcome Syrian refugee families that had travelled the arduous journey from Syria to Jordan to Toronto to Hamilton--except a few of the Syrian women generously insisted that they be the ones to cook for their new neighbours. 

A clear opportunity began to reveal itself at the welcome dinner when the Syrian dishes were a huge hit. And so began the journey of a soon-to-be blossoming catering business.

Are you a student in Ontario with a great idea for a new food and beverage product or process?

Taste Your Future, initiated by Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO), has launched a  Student Bursary Contest to get young Ontarians interested in and excited about the diversity of careers in the food and beverage processing sector, with the chance to win $2,000!

Read more about the contest here. Students have until March 31st to enter.

The City of Hamilton is in the process of implementing a  Food Strategy that has been developed with comprehensive cross-departmental collaboration and a system-wide approach.

We spoke with Sandy Skrzypczyk, MHSc, RD, Hamilton's Public Health Services, about the development and importance of such a strategy. 

The strategy identifies  4  strategic goals,  14  food system recommendations (which all contribute to achieving one or more of the goals), and  46  food system actions. Read more about this progressive strategy on our blog.
An  Exploring Value-Added Opportunities Workshop in Durham Region has been designed to help farm and rural entrepreneurs generate value-added opportunities for their businesses on  Friday, March 31from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in Sunderland.

The course aims to help participants increase their profits through the creation of new products and services or value-added opportunities. Learn more here.

Greenbelt Microgreens has received $640,585 in funding to modernize a new 3.5 acre greenhouse facility with state-of-the-art technology in Hamilton.

The investment, made through the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program, will allow producers to increase production of Canadian certified organic microgreens, bringing jobs and more local produce to the area.

One final reminder that  Niagara's 2017 Food and Beverage Convention is fast approaching,  taking place on March 3rd in Niagara Falls at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.

Convention highlights will include :
  • Tradeshow with food businesses and support companies
  • Food business demos
  • Concurrent breakout and panel sessions covering scaling up from a business perspective
  • Keynote speaker John F.T. Scott and afternoon wrap up address by Dana McCauley

The  Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) has released  a second set of Fact Sheets, which look at several aspects of  precarious employment  in rural Ontario.

Focus on Rural Ontario is a series of two-page fact sheets providing socio-economic data and trends for rural Ontario geographies.

To browse through the fact sheets, visit the ROI website here.
Janet Horner, Executive Director,
Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance