With support from the Greenbelt Fund, Rhizome Institute for the Future of Food has developed Trade Fare, a series of upcoming events aimed at bridging the urban-rural divide in the local food supply chain, giving food entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop direct relationships with farmers who grow local supplies of certain specialty crops:
- May 1st in Toronto will focus on world crops, 12:30-3:30 at Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Avenue
- May 8th in London will focus on heritage grains, 1:00-4:00 at Innovation Works, 210 King Street
- May 15h in Clarington will focus on heritage livestock, 12:30-3:30 at the Orono Town Hall, 5315 Main Street in Orono
The series of events aims to create successful business relationships between small-scale farmers in rural Ontario with urban food entrepreneurs that need a local supply of new & emerging crops. Rhizome says that chefs, caterers, grocers & producers who are in tune with the changing desires of Ontario’s tastebuds will be matched with local farmers who are eager to grow for their neighbours.
There will be matchmaking, presentations by some of the food entrepreneurs and a discussion on the opportunities and challenges in developing strong regional food value chains.
The event day will include:
- Welcome & Refreshments
- Farmer-Buyer Matchmaking (food speed-dating)
- Discussing Obstacles & Opportunities to grow the market
- A look at what’s next
Rhizome staff will contact those who register to obtain additional information before the event (about the crops you require if you’re an entrepreneur or details about your farm if you’re a farmer). Attendees should be prepared to discuss the details about their operations, and can expect serious conversations about “what food do I need” and “what food can I grow”.
Attendees will also learn about efforts to support local food infrastructure such as FoodStarter, the Ontario Agrifood Venture Centre, community-egg grading stations and more.
Who should attend?
Farmers who want to connect with potential buyers and learn what crops and breeds of livestock are in demand this year in urban markets. You are either interested in shifting some of your acreage to new crops OR you are already growing new & emerging crops and you want to expand you operation.
Food entrepreneurs who require a reliable, local supply for their niche ingredients because their customers expect local & sustainable, and because of their dedication to regional food economies.
For more information and to register, visit the EventBrite page here.
*Rhizome Institute has provided us with a coupon code, foodandfarming, for a 15% discount.*