GFM Network News

For the Voglers, distributors mean they can focus on the crops that work best for their land and business.

The deal with food distributors

By connecting with distributors, ambitious small farms are leapfrogging their way into bigger markets. Is this an opportunity for mainstream farms too?

Reading Time: 7 minutes At peak operation, Andrew Vogler was growing 50 different varieties of vegetables, selling at nine different farmers markets around Abbottsford, B.C., and delivering vegetable boxes to 200 customers in the lower mainland. In other words, his produce farm was a lot like a lot of other startups — a lot of energy was going in […] Read more

Just because the horseradish market is small doesn’t mean it’s volatile, says Mark Vandenbosch. In fact, going artisanal is an advantage. They can be price makers, not takers.

A condiment with a dash of heat

How do you build a thriving business on a crop that consumers use a spoonful at a time?

Reading Time: 6 minutes In Ontario’s Norfolk County, horseradish is a lot like that gawky kid everyone knew in high school who came back from summer vacation one year suddenly transformed with muscles and a cool new look. Where did that come from? Overnight, he’d become a deal. Horseradish has been around forever too, although it’s been nearly 20 […] Read more

Canada isn’t alone in this drought year. Hot, dry conditions have hit both U.S. and Russian wheat production and heavy rains in some European wheat-producing countries have driven down quality.

Make the best of a bad year with astute grain marketing

Soaring wheat prices could go higher still, but get advice and be nimble, say market watchers

Reading Time: 5 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Drought conditions across Western Canada and elsewhere have driven wheat yields down — and wheat prices up. “I’m having trouble remembering any time in history where we have seen prices for fall delivery ahead of harvest this high,” said Mike Jubinville, senior market analyst with MarketsFarm. “It’s not the all-time record high for […] Read more

Amy Kitchen stands at the door to a greenhouse at Sideroad Farm.

Direct farm marketers shift gears during pandemic lockdown phase

Direct-to-consumer farm marketers learn to manage businesses that have grown much quicker than they expected

Reading Time: 6 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Nestled in the colourfully chaotic flower garden encompassing Sideroad Farm, Amy Kitchen’s sun-browned face flits between appreciation and concern.  Sixteen months past the initial pandemic lockdown in March 2020, Kitchen is in the enviable position of having her Grey County organic on-farm business rocket past its five-year growth plan.  “There’s a lot […] Read more

“Have a goal for the first six months, the next year, and five years,” says Nicole Porterfield (left).

Pair combine efforts for pet food business

Nicole Porterfield and Kim Good have a word of advice for your value-add project. Whether it’s big or small, you’ve got to build a great team

Reading Time: 9 minutes Whether you’re looking for a banker, accountant or lawyer, or whether you’re pursuing a new customer, what you’re actually doing is building a team that understands what you are trying to achieve, says Alberta’s Kim Good, co-owner with Nicole Porterfield of Farm Fresh Pet Foods based in Edmonton. If they don’t have faith in you, […] Read more

James Battershill (right) speaks at the Prairie Research Kitchen in Winnipeg about the development of his blended beef and plant-based Bump product.

The people and the ideas behind food marketing

Canada’s food development centres are busier than ever with innovations and breakthroughs

Reading Time: 8 minutes For Canada, it’s been more than just a year of pandemic. It’s also been a year of new dreams and for forging ahead in new directions. In ag and food, new business ideas are bubbling up, and the drive is on for ways to lift them beyond the conceptual stage. Plus, our dinnertime routines and […] Read more

10 years of change in 10 months

Reading Time: 4 minutes For food entrepreneurs who pursue new market opportunities, there is no guarantee of success in a space where competition is fierce. Those most likely to succeed understand that beyond getting their product on the shelves, they have to get customers to notice and care about what they make and do. “We knew that one of […] Read more

Introducing the Grain Discovery app during harvest actually proved to be a great learning tool for users.

A new tool to market grain

Here’s a new app and website service that promises more efficient marketing

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the course of a growing season, farmers face even greater challenges to be as efficient as possible. Time is a rare commodity and rapidly consumed by planting, managing, spraying and harvesting crops, tending to animals, making repairs and more. Any process or device that promises to save time gets a close look. But, of […] Read more

Consumers were stuck at home, so Dufferin Ontario farmers used technology to bring the farm to their screens. It took time, effort and a bit of courage, but the message was clear: “It’s important to support local farm communities.”

The pandemic paradox

These farms are growing their sales and they’re enhancing their connections with consumers, all because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic broke critical links in the supply chains that have been helping virtually all farmers build tighter relationships with a non-farming public. But neither is it a secret that Canada’s growing direct-to-consumer farmers faced an even more urgent challenge when restaurants, food markets and other sales outlets closed and […] Read more

“They were surprised I could do it,” Bob Baloch says, but that’s exactly what he has done, working, dreaming and sweating to become a Canadian farmer.

A new farm story

Most of Canada’s farms got their start when previous generations of immigrants made sacrifices and worked hard to gain a toehold, often via truck farming. Is it still happening?

Reading Time: 9 minutes Bob Baloch has taken what he has learned about logistics and marketing from working in the IT world, married it up with his experiences of growing up on a family farm in Pakistan, and applied it to create a highly diverse and successful fruit and vegetable farm on 23.5 acres of land at Rodney, Ont. […] Read more