Oct 25, 2022
Smoky Lake County, Alta. Oct. 11, 2022. Anyone in Northeastern Alberta interested in growing the local food industry can sign up for local workshops. The workshops are the launch of an innovative new initiative called Connect for Food that has a goal of fresh approaches and new pathways to localizing food production and building communities within and across regions.
While the workshops are being hosted by Northeast Alberta Food Marketers Association (NAFMA) and Community Futures, the Connect for Food initiative is behind the idea.
“Grow what we eat, eat what we grow” is the message behind Connect for Food say Perry Phillips and Keleigh Cormier, co-founders of the initiative. Their idea comes from their combined extensive experience in and passion for agriculture and food from working across Alberta and beyond. Phillips is a producer and adult education and extension specialist, Cormier is a certified management consultant (CMC) with deep experience in food and agritourism.
“There is growing interest in localizing our food system,” says Phillips, “and the timing is right for an initiative to harvest the enthusiasm and new ways of thinking about our food system. We want to capture the best from our experience and others of what has been done.”
Cormier has worked with many businesses and organizations and says this project is an excellent way for bringing people together to discuss timely topics around food. “Making connections and building relationships in our food system is more important than ever and there is a lot of interest in and support now for doing just that. That’s exactly what Connect for Food can do.”
Phillips says the typical local food approach has been to focus on unique or novel products, which has caused local food to be somewhat exclusive. “We hope to talk more about localizing. Our agriculture industry in Alberta has evolved primarily as a producer and exporter of commodities and ingredients. We have the natural resources and much of the technology needed to produce far more food that could ultimately replace imports.”
Cormier adds her belief of the strong sociological side to a localized food economy. “Having more people live and work rurally offers opportunities for increased diversity and inclusiveness, something that many rural communities know they need to survive.”
Two workshops have already been set up: Wed., Oct. 19 in Smoky Lake County and Tues. Oct. 25 in Kitscoty. Several more are in planning stages. More information on Connect for Food and details and links to sign up for these workshops are available at www.connectforfood.ca.
More Information: Email: email@example.com.
Perry Phillips phone: (780) 614-8478. Keleigh Cormier phone: (780) 237-6005