A diverse group of people and organizations is working together to gather building blocks for a Food Systems Framework for Niagara. This work is being facilitated by Niagara Connects, in partnership with the former Healthy Living Niagara, and Niagara Region Public Health.
Environmental scan building blocks already in place include:
- Getting Curious about Niagara’s Food System: A Preliminary Exploration of Potential Opportunities, Next Steps and Future Directions – FINAL REPORT, November, 2013
- Niagara Food Systems: Who is Doing What in Food Systems in Niagara and Beyond – FINAL REPORT, 2014 | Twelve (12) Food Systems Categories and people and organizations working within them are identified in this report. Having this information provides the opportunity to form the basis for a framework for shared learning, increased connections, broader/deeper understanding, and strengthened planning within and across Food Systems in Niagara.
- Niagara Region Agri-Food Strategy (2015). The draft strategy was developed between November 2014 and March 2015. It was presented to the Niagara Region Agricultural Policy & Action Committee on April 10, 2015. The Strategy Work Plan is being finalized for presentation to Niagara Region Council in the Fall of 2015.
Work to gather additional framework building blocks includes:
- Visualizing Connectivity in Food Systems in Niagara: Niagara Connects is facilitating the work of a core group of people working in Food Systems in Niagara who completed a Network Map in early 2015. Analysis of the map indicates rich opportunities exist for strengthening connections between people and organizations working in and across the 12 Food Systems Categories.
- The Future of Food Security in Niagara: Through the Lens of Environmental and Climate Implications – Greening Niagara is hosting an event: The Future of Food Security in Niagara: Through the Lens of Environment and Climate Implications on November, 12, 2015 at the Balls Falls conservation area. Funding support is provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Niagara Connects is providing community engagement and knowledge transfer support. This event will gather people to learn about and describe the future of food security in Niagara, in terms of environment and climate implications. Presentations will highlight opportunities and challenges for the future of growing food in Niagara, including:
- heat and drought effects;
- how farmers are adapting to change; and
- urban agriculture models that are working in Ontario and beyond.
If you would like to be involved in building the Food Systems in Niagara framework, please reach out to us at any time!