Food and Farming across the Golden Horseshoe

For Chris Sidiropoulos, the business of bees runs deep into the family tree. Chris spent his early years around his grandfather, who was a beekeeper in Greece. Now, Chris and his wife Freda own Belicious, offering pure, raw honey in York Region. They currently have 70 hives spread across the Greenbelt, and their Belicious Products can be found at a number of retailers and farmers' market in the area.

We hope you celebrated Ontario Agriculture Week earlier this month! There was lots to do, whether it was simply buying local food (which is always a good idea!), learning about local agriculture (have you checked out the Always in Season toolkit?), and/or attending a farm tour. Farm & Food Care Ontario partnered with AgScape and 4-H Ontario to host some virtual food and farm field trips — if you missed out, you can still watch the recordings here!

The governments of Canada and Ontario have announced they are investing up to $3 million to help Ontario food, beverage and other agri-food businesses improve the productivity of their operations. Until October 20, 2021, applications are being accepted under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support projects that will help the food and beverage manufacturing industry improve labour and production efficiency, and waste reduction.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded a $1.75 million renewal of Technology Access Centre (TAC) funding to the Niagara College Research & Innovation division’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre for another five years, at $350,000 per year.

In the early days of the pandemic, a handful of restaurants faced with the indefinite closure of their dining rooms pivoted to introduce food and grocery delivery services. The Canadian Grocer has published an article looking at whether those restaurants will remain in the grocery business as the country slowly moves back to some level of normalcy.

A recording is now available from the Durham Agricultural Advisory Committee’s 2021 Virtual Farm Tour!

This year’s tour visits Smalley's Produce Ltd, a family farm that has deep roots in the Township of Uxbridge. The potato farm is truly a field to fork business, involved with almost every step of the potato value chain. On the tour, viewers will learn about each step involved in producing high quality potatoes and their journey to our tables. Watch it here.

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Greenbelt Foundation has been highlighting stories of Women in Agriculture on their social media.

Check out this video featuring our Executive Director Janet Horner, and stay tuned on their Twitter page for more videos of great #WomenInAg!
2021 Agri-Food Forum
A reminder that the 2021 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Forum is being held virtually from November 3 to 4, 2021!

This year’s theme is enabling “Innovation & Resiliency in the Agri-Food Sector”, with panel sessions focused on agri-tech, entrepreneurship, exploring innovative ways of doing business and building a resilient agri-food sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a great opportunity for those with an interest in regional and local economic development and land use planning to learn, network and share experiences.