March 27, 2008 - News

For organic growers, defining 'local' is a challenge
Define local. Is it 100 miles or 100 kilometres? Does arrival at market within 12-36 hours of being picked count? And, if one farmer distributes produce from 12 or 100 certified organic operations within a co-operative, does that satisfy a consumer's local food stipulation? While sales of Quinte Organic Farmers co-operative produce have more than doubled within the past three years, the vice president says the successful business model which won it a new co-operative of distinction award, is being stretched by big city local food guidelines. With the National Farmer's Union's Food Down the Road at Kingston calling 100 kilometres "local," and the GTA's Local Food Plus drawing the line at 100 miles, producers in smaller, more remote communities may soon struggle for acceptance. Peter Finch says more than one consumer at Toronto farm markets refused to purchase produce from Quinte because it fell outside of her 100-mile radius.

Developing economy is their game - CEDEC is their name
“Entrepreneurship, to many people, means running your own business to make living. But thinking in an entrepreneurial way infuses innovation and opportunity into all aspects of life,” is the motto the Eastern Townships CEDEC lives by. With only two staff members, director Martha Crombie and assistant Marie-helene Boucher oversee the Community Economic Development and Employability Committee, and with a handful of volunteers from all walks of life they help local English-speakers build on their strengths. “We do this by connecting people together, and by connecting people to local organizations, institutions, and government partners who want to help,” said Crombie, who has spent hours applying for and researching the government help available to Townshippers. “There are lots of opportunities to learn and see community economic development in practice, and to get to know some of the amazing people who live and work in our region. CEDEC stands for a committee and we believe that every community has assets that they can contribute to their futures. We just help people discover them.”