GFM Network News


There cannot be peace, prosperity, security, equality, ecology or an economy without food.

We know how to make agriculture more resilient

Encouraging use of proven techniques and improving infrastructure are key to sustainable food production

It was my grandfather who said to me, “Once in your life you need a doctor, lawyer, policeman or preacher, but every day three times a day — you need a farmer.” The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations uses this in a poster promoting the importance of farming and agriculture globally. […] Read more

Your roots, my roots and your urban neighbours’ roots are firmly grounded in soil. Our future is under our feet.

Preserving highly productive soil is critical for tomorrow

In my hometown, across the province and around the world, top-quality soil is being lost to development

My hometown is Stony Plain. It is a great town, progressive, beautiful and welcoming: A place that honours the past and has no fear of the future. I love to go back to visit with my family and friends. I can stand in one spot for hours and simply talk to folks as they pass […] Read more


Many immigrants are trying to escape conflicts they did not start and never wanted.

Conflict drives them from home, but hope is what they bring

Many of our newcomers had to flee their own country and they value the peace and opportunity they find here 


While walking on the path, I met a group of students working on an outdoor assignment, enjoying the activity and chatting away. I love to find out the story behind people — starting with a joyous welcome to Canada and asking the inevitable question, ‘Where are you from?’ In this group there were people from […] Read more

'When I felt alone, it was because I did not know how to let the fellowship and love of others in so that I could feel profound joy.' – Brenda Schoepp

Getting past the walls that we build around ourselves

Our lives change in profound ways when we reach out to others — and let them reach out to us

I am flipping through the photos of this past year. It has been an amazing time for me. Blessed at every juncture, I have been filled with light and love and pure joy. Despite huge and heartbreaking challenges, each day was worthy of this page, each moment a cherished memory. It was a lovely meshing […] Read more


Food policy should focus on the establishment of strong communities centred around identifiable, traceable food production and processing for local, domestic and export markets. – Brenda Schoepp.

As we rethink globalization, we need to think about communities

In many parts of the world, the current system is broken and doesn’t serve consumers or farmers

The world was once a scattering of small communities that through hunting and gathering, and later farming, were often self-sufficient. As systems of trade were built, dependent largely on the sea, goods and services had value and started to leave or be exported from these community hubs. In many cases, this brought an infusion of […] Read more

By making the right choices, Canada is readily positioned to be the breadbasket of the world.

There is a Canadian advantage when it comes to producing food

Clean air and water and productive soils give us an edge — but they must be used wisely

I was visiting my friends who are new to Canada on a rainy autumn afternoon. As often happens when we get together, the discussion weaves its way toward food and in particular the nutrient richness in Canadian food. “It is the soil, the air and the water that make such a difference,” my friend said. […] Read more


The American food industry, and in particular the meat industry, has a long history of resisting government regulation and intervention.

Spare a thought for those who process our food

The business, economics, and practices of the food-processing sector shouldn’t be hidden out of sight

I have been on slaughter and food-processing floors all over the world — vegetables, beef, pork, poultry, lamb, bison, elk, fruit, bake floors and many things in between. Usually women work in these food plants, silent and relentlessly focused while working on raised catwalks as their male supervisors stand behind them. This is not only […] Read more

A man makes mud seed balls in Bhopal, India.

Food culture runs deep and has many different facets

A food system isn’t just something that comes from seed, sun, water and soil — it’s also very personal

Learning the different perspectives of people is interesting. In the arguments over food security in the future, there often is an element of truth in even the most unusual idea. I felt challenged, however, during a public forum when the concept of ‘seed bombing’ a city was put forward in an attempt to return it […] Read more


When trade deals become election platforms, it is important to know a little about the contents of the proposals.

With a federal election looming, spare a thought for trade

Trade is a complex issue but needs to be a priority for our export-dependent farm sector

A Canadian election is around the corner and trade is an important issue to consider, particularly for agriculture. Agri-food accounts for 12 per cent of all of Canada’s exports. One-half of all Canadian agricultural production is exported. One in two jobs in grains and oilseeds is export dependent and one in four jobs in food […] Read more

There are many inspirational people — and they live all around us

They are not defined by gender, wealth or their career, but by what they give to the world

Sometimes the inspiration we need is right in our own neighbourhood. And when I think of those who have inspired me, I only have to blink and their faces and stories come to my heart. China was hit by a drunk driver as a child. Paralyzed on one side with slow speech and movement, one […] Read more