GFM Network News


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

Abelman’s Salt Spring farm is hardly a grain and oilseed powerhouse. But consumers line up to buy from him.

Food in its place

Canada’s top urban-agriculture advocate admits that mostly it isn’t farming. So why does he keep pushing?

Reading Time: 6 minutes “I took it as a compliment,” says Michael Ableman as he recalls being called a “food terrorist” by cooking celebrity Julia Childs. It was a charge she made after he spoke to a group of culinary professionals with a bag of groceries at his side. One by one, he took out the groceries and told […] Read more


Consumers continue to love the farm-to-fork concept, says Braden Douglas, founder of CREW Marketing Partners.

Building the chain

When should you give an expert chain-builder like Braden Douglas a call?

Reading Time: 7 minutes Farmers are expert at producing food. No one doubts that. Increasingly, farmers are also expert at finances and myriad other sorts of business management. Again, that’s beyond debate. But are you expert at launching startups too? It’s one of the big questions of 2020, when so many of the ideas that are bubbling up across […] Read more

Beyond startup

Launching a new supply chain is hard enough. But will yours have legs? Can you grow it into a sustainable business that will thrive through all the changes coming your way? Here’s what Three Farmers’ Natasha Vandenhurk has learned on her own road

Reading Time: 7 minutes This is the third time Country Guide has interviewed Natasha Vandenhurk, CEO of Saskatoon-based Three Farmers. If anything, this time it feels more urgent. The reason isn’t exactly the pandemic. At least, let’s put it a bit more accurately. It’s the opportunities that COVID-19 is creating, and the impetus for farmers to take more ownership […] Read more


Owning the supply chain

B.C.’s third-largest hog producers Charlotte and Bob Lepp thought they’d test the waters with a small step into retail. It’s led to incredible learning, and growth

Reading Time: 8 minutes It isn’t exactly unusual. Time and again, all across the country, and especially now with COVID-19, farmers have looked at what they produce and thought, “If only I could cut some distributors and wholesalers out of the chain, I’d get to keep a lot more of what the end-user actually pays for the food I […] Read more

A view from above of Stamp Seeds in Alberta.

The joy of farm diversification

On more farms across Canada, keeping an eye open for diversification opportunities is part of what it means to farm

Reading Time: 11 minutes Chances are, any reader of Country Guide knows at least some farmers who have diversified in some way. The odds are good, too, that you’ve heard them get talked about. Maybe you’ve done some of the talking yourself? Everyone has an opinion. Are these farmers risk-takers, or are they just ordinary farmers like you who […] Read more