GFM Network News


Toronto’s golden Greenbelt

Now that the world’s largest greenbelt has outlasted the political controversies, could you farm there?

Reading Time: 8 minutes When Ontario’s Greenbelt turned 15 this past February, all four of Ontario’s political parties gathered at Queen’s Park to celebrate. According to Michael Young, communications advisor for the Greenbelt Foundation, the event was “a positive and convivial occasion, with a sense that we were all coming together with the shared belief that the Greenbelt must […] 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


Can COVID-19 save community supported agriculture?

Despite all the headlines, consumers have been slow to sign on to community supported agriculture. Now, COVID-19 is giving it fresh life, but farmers will still need a dose of business smarts

Reading Time: 6 minutes Every spring, Graham Sparrow asks the same question: Should I continue offering CSA shares? Sparrow has been selling shares of organic produce through the community supported agriculture (CSA) model since he started Sparrow’s Nest Organics more than 20 years ago. He admits, though, “I’ve always struggled to keep people interested and keep the CSA going.” […] Read more

“It’s all based on your contribution to the profits,” says Rod Bradshaw, here with Shelley and sons.

Teamwork makes the dream work for this group of Alberta farmers

These five Alberta farms have built a co-op that reduces their costs, increases their efficiency, and gets them into markets they otherwise couldn’t tap. The big question is, could it work for you too?

Reading Time: 10 minutes For these five adventurous Alberta farmers, a co-op is more than a way to structure operations. It’s more, too, than the camaraderie and the mutual support they get from working together with the same goal in mind, important though that is. For this group, it’s also about profitability, and about efficiency, and about enhancing their […] Read more


Federal food policy aims to lift local and Canadian-grown products

Reading Time: 2 minutes Federal programs to boost the profile of domestic and locally grown foods at home while reducing food waste, food insecurity and deceptive food marketing are all up for funding under the government’s new Food Policy for Canada. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Parliamentary Ag Secretary Jean-Claude Poissant announced the new policy Monday in Montreal, following […] Read more

With world populations on the rise, agriculture is expected to increase production to feed more hungry mouths. But some would argue that if less food was wasted, the need for more food would be a much less urgent need.

Business opp

Entrepreneurs see big bucks in the campaign to reduce food waste

Reading Time: 4 minutes In recent years, farmers have been repeatedly urged to produce more food to feed a world population that is expected to hit almost 10 billion people by 2050. At the same time, food waste is a growing concern, leading some to argue there’s already enough food being produced in the world, and the real solution […] Read more


You have to learn about customers — what they want — and figure out what success will look like.” – Gary Morton.

Got what it takes?

Cutting out the ‘middleman’ sounds like an obvious way to increase farm profitability. And sometimes, that’s exactly how it works out

Reading Time: 5 minutes Maybe there really isn’t anything new under the sun. For generations, farmers have looked at the yawning gap between what they get paid for their crops and livestock versus what consumers pay in the grocery store, and thought there’s got to be a way to capture more of the consumer dollar for the farm. No […] Read more

There are so many producers who have great products but can’t get them from point A to point B, especially at volume,” Ferguson says.

The Farm Network takes farm food products beyond local

The Farm Network is pioneering a new category of food business, helping farmers grow their sales of local products to reach commercial scale

Reading Time: 5 minutes When Tyler Ferguson found a distinct gap in Canada’s local food system, he decided to fill it by starting his own sales, marketing and distribution company focused on getting more food products from the farm into retail. That was the first step. But only the first step. “I noticed that a lot of local food […] Read more


Marcia Woods

Uber-stores for food

Businesses like Marcia Woods’ FreshSpoke are figuring out how to connect Canadian farmers with the consumers looking for ways to buy from them

Reading Time: 4 minutes Marcia Woods’ frustration at not being able to buy the high-quality food that she knew was being grown right down the road evolved into an online business that not only connects farmers with wholesalers, but also solves their transportation and cash-flow headaches. Coming from a long line of Oxford County farmers in Ontario, Woods, who’s […] Read more

Dana McCauley.

Where might Canada’s food trends be headed?

Food guru Dana McCauley is forecasting great new opportunities for farmers

Reading Time: 4 minutes Have you ever thought there might be an opportunity in knowing what foods will be hot in the next few years? Ever wonder if you should really care? For our Country Guide readers, I asked Toronto’s Dana McCauley — chef, recipe developer, food trend watcher, and executive director of Food Starter, a non-profit food incubator […] Read more