Food and Farming across the Golden Horseshoe
New Reports & Case Studies on our Agri-Food Sector

In collaboration with the Greenbelt Foundation, the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farm Alliance has released two new reports, Understanding How Greenbelt Agriculture Feeds the Regional Economy and Greenbelt Farmers: Economic Network Case Studies. Together these reports tell the story of the complexity of the agricultural and agri-food sector in the Greenbelt and Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), its relationships with other sectors, and the value of agriculture and agri-food businesses to the region’s economy.

The first report, Understanding How Greenbelt Agriculture Feeds the Regional Economy, identifies the level of agriculture production in the Greenbelt and follows that production through the value chain, tracing downstream economic activity to its source—Greenbelt agricultural production. This approach facilitates an understanding of how both the province of Ontario and individual segments of the economy benefit from primary agriculture in the Greenbelt. The research found that the Greenbelt’s agri-food sector generated $4.1B in GDP and close to 59,000 jobs. This shows that a strong and stable farming and food sector is critical to Ontario’s economy, now and into the future. 

The second report, Greenbelt Farmers: Economic Network Case Studies, tells the stories of seven local Greenbelt farms. It provides insight that is not always apparent through a more statistical overview of the agricultural system. These stories shed light on successes, challenges, and opportunities associated with farming within the Greenbelt, and offer policy insights direct from the farm.

Please feel free to share these reports with anyone who may be interested!
Toronto's Fresh City Farms is paving the way for a fresh, sustainable future. Not only does Fresh City employ 300 people and feed 40,000 people a month, the farm supports more than 20 farmers in growing their own vegetables, herbs and flowers to sell. Read more about Fresh City in a recent Canadian Grocer article.
How we can feed 10 billion people without killing the planet? This CBC Quirks & Quarks radio special considers this question, and looks at the latest science showing what the future of food should look like. The 3-part special features a number of food and agriculture experts on various topics. Tune in at the link below.
Congratulations to the Niagara Falls Farmers Market for receiving the Farmers’ Market of the Year Award from Farmers' Markets Ontario (FMO) for the 2021 season! Read more from FMO in the link below.
The Ontario Farmland Trust Board of Directors has launched a provincial search for a new Executive Director. See the full job posting, including how to apply, in the link below. The deadline to apply is March 21, 2022.
Urban Agriculture Survey
Dr. West Suhanic of Seneca College is conducting research in collaboration with Greenest City and Toronto Urban Growers, and is currently requesting participants for an Urban Farm Information Survey.

They are surveying the urban agriculture community to identify topics that will allow Seneca College to design effective and well-targeted training programs in urban agriculture. They are hoping to recruit as many urban agriculture enthusiasts, growers and business people as possible to understand which topics are most needed to support the continued development of a vibrant local agricultural economy. Those who agree to participate in the study will be offered a copy of the technical report developed from this survey. 

For more information and to access the survey, visit the Toronto Urban Growers website here
2022 Farmland Forum
A reminder that the Ontario Farmland Trust's 17th annual Farmland Forum is being held virtually on March 24, 2022!

Discussions throughout the day will explore how humans, plants, and animals can work harmoniously to produce agricultural commodities, create ecosystem services, and combat climate change.

Learn more about the forum and register online here.
Thinking of Diversifying Your Farm?

Are you a farmer interested in expanding your agri-business by adding a new or value-added enterprise to your operation?

Check out this two-part webinar series on diversifying your farm!

Through the 2 sessions (on March 25th and April 1st), participants will learn about:

  • How to approach on-farm diversification by reviewing the numbers through enterprise analysis, marketing, pricing, business structures for a multi enterprise business, potential impacts to the existing operation and resources available to assist
  • Review land use considerations when considering the addition of Agriculture Related Uses and On-Farm Diversified Uses
  • Real-world examples from successful diversified farm businesses

This free series is being delivered by the City of Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough & The Kawarthas Economic Development, Durham Region, York Region and Northumberland County.

Vertical Farming Resources
Last month, York Region, Durham Region and OMAFRA collaborated on a Vertical Farming 101 webinar series. 

If you’re interested in learning about vertical farming but missed the series, you’re in luck!

All four webinar recordings are now available on YouTube:

Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance