GFM Network News


Perhaps never before in Canadian history has there been such an awareness of the entire food system, and this is a pivotal point.

We can put food at the centre of our national economy

We have a new appreciation for food systems, and a chance to capitalize on our strengths

Reading Time: 3 minutes Nature is the great equalizer. In just three months she took the world from assured continuance along the path of globalization and commercialism to world recognition of one simple fact — we all need to eat. For many years, there have been calls to recognize the importance of agriculture. I have been in that camp, […] Read more

Though many farmers may not realize it, their routine in a global context is essential to food security and social stability.

Viewing the importance of farming through a different lens

Studying global leadership gave me a new appreciation of how agriculture underpins everything

Reading Time: 3 minutes I am writing to you in this column sporting my new credentials: master of arts in global leadership. And through it all, I never left agriculture. In fact, it was agriculture that gave me the depth and breadth of experience for interesting dialogue and the completion of many papers based on food production and food […] Read more


What I appreciate in the latest Canada’s Food Guide is the encouragement to get children involved in the process of meal preparation. – Brenda Schoepp

The new food guide can be an opportunity for the ag sector

Instead of being on the defensive, why not take a more constructive and educational approach?

Reading Time: 3 minutes I read with dismay that British grocer giant Tesco was cutting more jobs in its grocery stores from the fresh counter and replacing those employees with vending machines. I thought about how that put another league of distance between people and their food. Is it any wonder farmers feel there is such disconnect with the […] Read more

Jeff Senger and the other members of the new Local Food Council have a year to find ways to boost the sector.

Farmers and small processors tapped for local food council

The group has a year to find ways government can assist burgeoning local food sector

Reading Time: 2 minutes There’s no shortage of hands-on experience on a new advisory group charged with coming up with ways to boost Alberta’s local food sector. Creating a Local Food Council — and ensuring it had a healthy number of producers and processors of local food — was part of a bill titled Supporting Alberta’s Local Food Sector […] Read more


Farmer examining young green corn maize crop plant in cultivated agricultural field

Building the foundation for a sensible food policy

We need to have strong and unbiased science to create approaches that are sensible and sustainable

Reading Time: 3 minutes Food prices are expected to stay low for the next decade or so, according to recent reports from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That is good news to people who eat, which, of course, includes farmers. But it does remind us that farmers […] Read more

A conceptual drawing of the World Food Center, located in the heart of the Netherland’s main food region. The centre hopes to attract 350,000 visitors annually and take them 
on a “food journey.”

New Dutch ‘theme park’ aims to connect consumers with their food

The World Food Center will connect the entire value chain to share in the experience of food

Reading Time: 3 minutes There’s a spark of life at an abandoned military base in the heart of the Netherlands’ Food Valley. You see it everywhere you look — in the students living in the dorms and working on the grounds; in the sports hall-turned-dining centre; in the modern offices now housed in the main building. But it’s only […] Read more


Ben and Steph Campbell didn’t have millions for enough land and cows for a conventional ranch, so they went the direct-marketing route. The couple (pictured here before the birth of their third son) operates Grazed Right, one of about 2,000 farms in Alberta that sell directly to customers.

Local food is putting down deep roots

One in 20 Alberta farms are selling directly to their customers, and there’s room for plenty more

Reading Time: 4 minutes The year Mark Gibeau started growing heritage grains, a book called The 100-Mile Diet had just come out. Suddenly it seemed everyone was using terms such as ‘local food’ and ‘locavore.’ It was good timing on Gibeau’s part, but would time be his friend? Would local food be one of those ‘here today gone tomorrow’ […] Read more

Starving Hunger Symbol. Black African boy holding rice as a malnutrition symbol. It is important to get food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people and countries. Stop hunger in the world!

Food insecurity is not just a Third World problem

The situation in a country like Sudan is much more dire, but there are parallels to our own country

Reading Time: 3 minutes The United Nations has developed 17 sustainable development goals. The second one is “zero hunger.” This includes a mandate to end not only hunger but poverty everywhere and to achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. I would like to focus on food security in this column. Food security was defined at the […] Read more


Critics of Monsanto and its genetically modified seed have been effective because they’re good storytellers, the company’s director of millennial engagement told attendees at a recent conference on building trust in the food system.

Farmers need to be ‘heroes’ to win over consumers

People respond to powerful stories centred around people they can admire, says Monsanto official

Reading Time: 3 minutes Producing food isn’t enough these days — you’ve got to be a hero, too. That was one of the messages delivered at the recent Public Trust Summit put on by the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity. The conference, in its second year, attracted a diverse crowd of farmers, food processors, retailers, communications experts, and even […] Read more