Small Change Making a Big Difference: One-of-a-kind Program Brings New Products to a Farmers’ Market Near You
This harvest season there’s even more to celebrate with new products available at farmers’ markets in and around Ontario’s Greenbelt.
With support from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, more than $44,000 in small-scale or ‘microgrants’ are being provided to 68 farmers, helping them meet customers’ demands to bring more local food to their plates.
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is proud to congratulate Phil Short of Vortex Packaging who won the ‘Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation’ and Victory Organic Inc. who won a ‘Leaders in Innovation Award’. Both awards were handed out at the Ontario Legislature as part of the Ontario Premier’s Annual Agri-Food Summit.
September 15th marked the 5th annual Tour de Greenbelt. This year, cyclists, runners and hikers set out on marked routes throughout Rouge Park and the surrounding Greenbelt countryside.
Farmers’ market customers are looking for more value added and prepared foods, preserves, more variety, and more early spring and late fall produce. This information led us to pilot the New Products Program 2012, a microgrants initiative for farmers to invest in new crops and new products.
The program has been a great success so far, striking a chord with farmers in and around the Greenbelt. The grants offered small amounts of funding which gave farmers the incentive or “added-push” to bring new, innovative products to farmers markets. Feedback from these small-scale farmers has been incredibly positive, as they have expressed their appreciation for the Greenbelt Foundation’s financial and moral support.
Funding is provided to the Greenbelt Fund to establish a regional food hub pilot for the Greater Toronto Area in order to meet consumer demand for local food. The hub will open the door for small and mid-scale farmers, and those with differentiated products, to gain access to the marketplace where the majority of food spending occurs. This project confirms partnerships and develops an implementation plan to carry out the pilot.
The purpose of this study is to estimate the economic value of the ecosystem services and benefits provided by various types of ecosystem and land uses found within the region.
New study values Greenbelt’s Rouge Park at more than $115M per year
David Suzuki Foundation recently released a study that estimates the economic benefits provided by farmland and green space within the proposed Rouge National Park and surrounding watersheds.
This report is the sixth in a series in a series that studies natural capital and ecosystem services in Canada's major urban centres. It highlights the important role that the Ontario Greenbelt's forests, wetlands, and agricultural soils play in capturing and storing vast amounts of carbon. A principle goal of the report is to bring the importance of the Greenbelt as an instrument of climate change mitigation into relief by translating these essential ecosystem services into economic values. The report also examines a number of threats to the long-term ability of the Greenbelt to serve this climate regulation function and argues that Ontario's climate change policy framework should be revised to strengthen its ability to protect essential functions and even enhance the Greenbelt's natural capacities as a carbon sink.
Study finds Ontario Greenbelt's forests and wetlands store millions of tonnes of carbon: equivalent to annual emissions from 33-million cars
TORONTO - The David Suzuki Foundation released a study today that assesses the economic value of hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon absorbed and stored in the internationally renowned Ontario Greenbelt — a relatively unheralded carbon storehouse estimated to be worth more than $2.4 billion.