Saturday, July 18, 2009

Local Food in the News

Here is a quick round-up of some news items about local or seasonal foods that I came across this week in blogs and mainstream media. Not all of the articles are new, but they did catch my attention.

The Conference Regionale des Elus de Montreal recently announced an initiative to bring more organic food into Montreal. Over $390,000 will be invested in the program over the next three years, whose main objective is to encourage the creation of new businesses in the organic food sector. The provincial government is also a partner in the project. Read the press release (in french) here.

Earlier this month, five southwestern Ontario grocery stores went independent, ending their franchise relationship with Sobeys. In an interview with CBC, the owner of one the stores said that his customers were asking for locally-produced food but Sobeys' corporate policies prevented him from buying local products. Read the full story here.

An article in the Montreal Gazette a couple of months ago talks about the artificial economy created by Quebec's Farm Income Stabilization Insurance program, including the frustration of local farmers who want to buy farmland to supply the increasing demand for local vegetable crops but can not because banks prefer to lend money to larger, more financially stable companies who use the land to supply feed for livestock. It's an interesting read. You can find it here.

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