GFM Network News


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

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

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

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


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

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

Gerjan Snippe, managing director of Bio Brass, isn’t the stereotypical “grey woolly goat sock” farmer that people in the Netherlands think of when they think of organic farmers.

Organic doesn’t need to be ‘so expensive,’ says Dutch farmer

Farmer alliance’s relentless focus on efficiency aims to take organics to the next level

In Canada, we might call them hippies or tree huggers but in Holland, organic farmers are called “grey woolly goat socks.” Gerjan Snippe, managing director of Bio Brass, doesn’t wear his grey woolly goat socks anymore, but he carries them in his back pocket. They’re a reminder of why he got into organics in the […] 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

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


Beef isn’t bad for the planet if you take a holistic approach to raising cattle, Nicolette Hahn Niman told Organic Alberta conference attendees.

Cattle aren’t actually killing the planet, says vegetarian rancher

Livestock’s environmental impact is complicated but done right, it’s good for the planet, says author

It’s become accepted wisdom that cattle production is worse for the environment than gas-guzzling SUVs — but it’s not true. “We’re told over and over again that cattle are bad for the environment and, therefore, everybody should eat less beef,” said Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production. “We’re […] Read more



The world has an eating problem — and farming is the solution

Whether it’s obesity or malnutrition, Canadian farmers have an amazing opportunity to be agents of change


“As a farming community we should be the epitome of health.” That was the closing remark of one of the speakers at the Nuffield Triennial Farming Conference in southern England earlier this summer. The speaker had been talking about obesity and food-related health issues, and how farmers could be a solution to this serious problem. […] Read more

Feeding the planet is challenging, dealing with its waste is even harder

Earth is becoming an urban planet and that raises a host of issues 
we’ve never had to deal with before

The migration of rural persons to cities hit a historical milestone in 2008 when urban residents outnumbered those in rural areas. The result has been congestion in cities that were ill prepared for this growth and an intense pressure on rural areas to produce more food with less people. The United Nations claims six out […] Read more