ENHANCING LOCAL FOOD
Food security is a priority for Northern Ontario residents as they often pay higher prices for food due to transportation costs. Issues of health and wellbeing subsequently arise and can be directly linked to the consumption of food. As food sovereignty/security are intrinsically linked to local food systems, it is important to understand what food is available locally and what potential currently exists to increase access to local food in Northern Ontario. This project sought to understand current food production and distribution systems in Northern Ontario as a strategy to improve access to locally produced food.
To address issues of food sovereignty & security in Northern Ontario, it is essential to understand the circumstances that limit local food access. To do so, one must identify and evaluate the challenges that producers and processors encounter in getting their products through the value chain to the end consumer. This toolkit was compiled with the intent to assist Northern Ontario municipalities on how to encourage and enhance agriculture and access to local food and ultimately, promote healthier Northern residents.
The following paper provides an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the Mennonite community in Algoma District, specifically in the Bruce Mines area. This analysis is based on a series of interviews that were conducted in April 2016 and a focus group in November 2016. The initial SWOT analysis was presented at the focus group and has been updated based on the feedback from the focus group. This research forms part of a larger project on the expansion of agriculture in northern Ontario conducted by Dr. Wayne Caldwell at the University of Guelph.