Latest from Sault Ste. Marie Innovation CentreTuesday, March 19, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
SAULT STE. MARIE INNOVATION CENTRE
Agri-Innovation and Co-operation for a Regional Food System
SAULT STE. MARIE (March 19, 2013) - The Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) is hosting an interactive workshop on March 28, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Laird Hall in collaboration with Eat Local Sudbury Co-op.
The event will feature presentations from Peggy Baillie, managing director of Eat Local Sudbury on “Agri-Innovation for Food Distribution in the North” and from Maureen Strickland, Northern program manager of Ontario Co-operative Association on “Developing a Local Food Co-operative.”
In this workshop, farmers and agri-businesses will learn how to open new markets, strengthen regional food systems and make distribution more efficient through co-operation and innovation.
It will be a chance for producers and purchasers to come together to talk about what would work best for them, based on their challenges, capacity and needs.
Eat Local Sudbury Co-op, a retail consumer co-op in Sudbury area, is working with FedNor on the development of a regional distribution network that would maximize distribution opportunities for agri-food producers to increase food distribution across the region.
They have developed a Distribution Hub software tool that can be used by producers to communicate product availability throughout the year, and to plan and access distribution opportunities.
This session is also providing an opportunity to help shape how a regional distribution network could work cooperatively for everyone.
Maureen Strickland, a co-operative developer with Ontario Co-operative Association, will speak about the challenges and opportunities of starting a local food co-operative.
Local food co-operatives are an alternative to meet market demands for local products and engage consumers to be part of building a regional food system.
Those interested in participating can RSVP by contacting David Thompson, RAIN Research Project Coordinator with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) at 705-942-7927 x3027, by e-mail or by visiting here.
This event is part of the Rural Agri-Innovation Network’s workshop series.
On March 5, the RAIN hosted over 60 people in Desbarats to hear from Becky Hughes on “New Horticulture Crop & Production Techniques for the North.”