Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Launch of the Northern Food Distribution Network

Welcome, Bonjour, Aniin,   ᐊᑕᒥᐢᑳᑐᐃᐧᐣ

version française

Addressing challenges of food distribution is of concern to many people across Northern Ontario. . This initiative was initially spearheaded in part by the Greenbelt Fund, with funding support to host several stakeholder meetings in northern Ontario and develop an action plan and governance framework, culminating in today’s public launch of the NFDN. Starting in the fall of 2016, concerned leaders from across the North started to gather to develop a strategy to collaborate on improving the efficiency, resilience and accessibility of Northern Ontario food value chains. After extensive consultation, the creation of the Northern Food Distribution Network (NFDN) was established. The NFDN is an un-incorporated network to bring together leaders and food system actors from across all of Northern Ontario, representing the cultural and geographic diversity that is present in our region. This network will work together on actions and projects to improve the conditions of food distribution in Northern Ontario.

We are inviting interested individuals, organizations and communities to join the NFDN so we can work together to address the key challenges that have and will be identified.

Ways to Participate

Review the NFDN Terms of Reference to learn about the structure of the NFDN

Become a Community Advisor
Community Advisors represent communities, stakeholder groups and businesses involved in food distribution. Community Advisors are consulted on project specific details and encouraged to provide input on project design and implementation to optimize the desired meaningful outcomes of Network activities. Community Advisors also undertake to transfer or communicate information about NFDN initiatives from and to their external networks and communities on initiatives related to food distribution or improving systems for food distribution in Northern Ontario

Become a Collaborative Committee Member
Collaborative Committee members are responsible for leading, executing and evaluating projects as defined by Collaborative Agreements, and the NFDN action plan. 

How to Join

Submit an expression of interest to northernfooddistribution@gmail.com with the following information

  1. Name
  2. Organization or Community 
  3. Address
  4. Identify which sector you work within or represent: Logistics and Transportation (e.g. freight, airlines, trucking, shipping), Distribution, Agriculture and Primary Production, Community Organizations with a mandate around food and/or agriculture, Food Processing, Food Retail, Food Access Programs (food banks, pantry programs etc.), Economic Development,  Funding Agencies,  Provincial and Federal Government,  Public Health,  Education or  Local government 
  5. Identify if you are interested in a Community Advisor or Collaborative Committee Member role. 
  6. A brief explanation of why you would like to participate in this network. 

Learn More

The community members who work towards the creation of the NFDN developed an action plan to guide the activities of the network for the next two years. This action plan was created with input from over 41 participants across the North through multiple in person sessions in Timmins and Thunder Bay. These sessions brought food system actors together to provide guidance on priority areas to address in the food value chain that would contribute to greater efficiency, community participation, economic development and food access for all.

Read the 2019-2020 Action Plan

The process of bringing together the voices, experience and knowledge of people from across the North involved efforts from many people over a significant period of time. Each person who participated informed the process and resulting decisions for the NFDN. To summarize the process for this work, two reports were written to communicate the steps, process and results.

Special Thanks

There was a team of individuals which contributed significant time to this process, attending many meetings and taking time from their tireless work to create the NFDN

Peggy Baillie, Local Food and Farm Co-operatives Inc., Warren ON
Sam Cheuk, Ontario Greenbelt Fund, Toronto ON 
Tom Coleman, IFFCO
Kendal Donahue, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, Thunder Bay ON
Sagal Dualeh, Ontario Greenbelt Fund, Toronto, ON
Emmett Ferguson, Eko Nomos, Kimberley ON
Volker Kromm, Regional Food Distribution Association, Thunder Bay ON
Joseph Leblanc, Social Planning Council of Sudbury, Sudbury ON 
Dan Munshaw, City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay ON
Franco Naccarato, Ontario Greenbelt Fund, Toronto, ON 
Vincent Ng, Thunder Bay Public Health, Thunder Bay ON
John Okonmah, Wakenagun Development CFDC, Timmins ON
Jason Perrier, Loudon`s Food Service, Thunder Bay ON
Arik Theijsmeijer, FedNor / Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Gore Bay, ON
Dan Tukendorf, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association,
Stephanie Vanthof, Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA), New Liskeard ON

This work could not have been completed without support from our funders: 

For more information about the Greenbelt Fund:

The Greenbelt Fund delivers support to farmers and local food leaders to ensure more of the good things that grow in Ontario are being served and distributed through our public institutions, retail and foodservice markets. Helping to overcome challenges and support economic growth, the Fund’s goal is to create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food consumed in the province through grants, education, policy and networking initiatives.