In 2015, the Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network (GBFMN) collaborated with Informa Market Research, visiting 30 network markets and interviewing 82 farmers, as well as 26 other market vendors. Results were compared with GBFMN’s 2009 survey to learn about growth and change in the sector. This study is intended to assist farmers’ market vendors and organizers, and inspire the interest and support of market shoppers and funders.Read more
Farmland At Risk (4 MB)
Farming in the Greater Golden Horseshoe has important economic and ecological benefits. Farmland at Risk, co-produced by Environmental Defence and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, calls for improved land-use planning that views farmland as essential to the region – not as development land-in-waiting. The report outlines that Ontario needs to do a better job protecting farmland and helping farmers thrive.Read more
The Niagara Escarpment in the Greenbelt is a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve. The Bruce Peninsula, pictured here, serves as fish and wildlife habitat and is home to an abundance of rare and endangered species
Ontario’s Greenbelt is pretty popular. Whether you’re driving on the highway, cycling the Greenbelt Route, or out for a walk on the Bruce Trail, you’re bound to see one of our many signs. No matter who I meet, if they are unfamiliar with the Greenbelt, they’re often familiar with our signs. Considered a world leader at almost two million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt.
This representation has put us on the global scale as a leading example in preserving productive farmland, forests, and wetlands from urban development. With greenbelts in England, Brazil, Germany, and Australia, Ontario’s stands out—and we will ensure it continues to.Read more
The Ontario Tender Fruit Lab (a project of MaRS Solutions Lab and the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience) convened 35 participants at a series of three workshops in the Niagara region to discuss the future of Ontario's tender fruit industry.
As a supporter and participant in this process, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation staff worked with other stakeholder participants to strategize the best ways to bring about change in the Ontario tender fruit industry within the entire value network.
The resulting report, Building a Resilient Tender Fruit Industry outlines the shared strategy and interventions that emerged from the three workshops. Have a look to see what the future of tender fruit in Ontario could look like and read about the interventions are already being made by networks of local food champions!
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation commissioned Dr. Wayne Caldwell to develop a more robust definition of agriculture system and its component parts. The Agricultural System: Components, Linkages, and Rationale, identifies what is necessary for a well-functioning agricultural system and a viable agricultural industry. It allows municipal staff and others who interact with agricultural communities to better understand how their work impacts the functioning of the entire system, in turn affecting individual farmers.
The latest research from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation looks at a mix of initiatives and tools 30 municipalities are using to enhance Ontario’s Greenbelt.
The report, Local Leadership Matters: Ontario Municipalities Taking Action to Strengthen the Greenbelt, surveyed dozens of municipal officials. The results emphasize the many ways communities are directly and indirectly helping to achieve the objectives of the Greenbelt—enhancing valuable natural heritage sites, supporting agriculture, increasing tourism, and strengthening local economies.
Examples of municipal projects include:
The County of Northumberland established a 15,000 square foot local food processing and training facility to help farmers diversify and expand their businesses.
The Town of Aurora calculated that the total economic value of its natural assets, such as woodlands and wetlands, are worth about $7.4 million annually.
The Region of Peel offers funding of up to 50 per cent to assist conservation partners in securing additional natural areas for environmental and recreational purposes—with nearly 900 acres purchased since 2005.
The Municipality of Clarington launched the Trees for Rural Roads program to restore tree-lined rural roads by planting Maples throughout the community. Since 2012, the municipality and property owners have planted 2,300 trees.
An Explore the Bruce Adventure Passport, created by Bruce County, involves an annual scavenger hunt that encourages residents and cottagers to visit the scenic natural features and other tourist attractions across the County. To date, nearly 70,000 people have participated in exploring the Bruce.
- The Town of Lincoln is becoming a Centre of Excellence for Agriculture
For more background see our 2011 report, The Living Greenbelt
Making Sure the Right Uses Happen in the Right Places in Ontario’s Prime Agricultural Land
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance’s feedback session on OMAFRA's PPS Guidelines on Permitted Uses in Ontario's Prime Agricultural Areas attracted a crowd on March 20.
Hosting tourists at an on-farm bed and breakfast, making pies with farm apples, processing hops from neighbouring farms, and other “value-added” activities are an asset to rural communities and a treat for tourists, but understanding which of these activities are allowed where can be challenging for farmers, other rural land-owners, and municipal staff.Read more
Our newest study, produced in partnership with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and the Metcalf Foundation, identifies ways Ontario can make changes to its food system to increase the supply of local food, create jobs, and support healthier lifestyles.
Encompassing the first research of its kind in Canada, Dollars & Sense: Opportunities to Strengthen Southern Ontario's Food System looks at a number of scenarios.Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2015
OPPORTUNITIES TO STRENGTHEN SOUTHERN ONTARIO’S FOOD SYSTEM
Report Highlights Ways to Bring More Local Food to Province’s Dinner Tables
A groundbreaking study identifies ways Ontario can make changes to its food system to increase the supply of local food, create jobs, and support healthier lifestyles.
Encompassing the first research of its kind in Canada, the report, Dollars and Sense: Opportunities to Strengthen Southern Ontario’s Food System, produced in partnership by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Metcalf Foundation, and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, looks at a number of scenarios. Key findings include:
- Reducing the top 10 fruit and vegetable imports by 10 per cent and expanding local production would help create 3,400 jobs and boost the province’s GDP by nearly a quarter billion dollars.
- Ontarians adopting a healthier diet leads to higher consumer demand for fruits, vegetables, and some grains. For example, if consumers moved to an ideal level of oat consumption in their diets, 241 jobs would be created and the province’s GDP would grow by more than $14.2 million.
- Transitioning 10 per cent of food consumption to organic would improve farm incomes and reduce the environmental impact of food production, but require imports of many products unless local organic production was increased.