This Growing the North initiative is now complete. The initiative ran from December 2010 to June 2012, and aimed to build, strengthen, and diversify the agriculture and food service industries from Valemount to Terrace in British Columbia, Canada, linking farmers, ranchers, purchasers and consumers in the region in an effort to identify the barriers to the local food industry and encourage collaboration and entrepreneurial development to overcome them.
Growing the North project goals included:
- Creating an inventory of food producers, distributors, commercial consumers and value-added processors in the region
- Identifying existing food storage and distribution infrastructure.
- Assessing the feasibility of a regional food distribution system and value-chain opportunities
- Bringing producers and purchasers together to network and share information
- Implementing local food purchasing pilot projects in commercial institutions
- Hosting networking and learning events, including a large regional procurement event
- Identifying potential new markets and value-added ventures
- Communicating and sharing the project learnings
The hallmark publication of this Initiative, the Regional Food System Report, is available for download. Print copies of the guide can be requested from the Beyond the Market office.
Other publications include a regional seasonal availability chart and facts sheets on regional fruits and vegetables, used in a game developed for classrooms and fall fair presentations, called ‘Name that Vegetable’
The Initiative developed and hosted several seminars, networking events, and presentations. Below is a sample of what was offered. Organizations interested in running these seminars and presentations in their communities should contact the Beyond the Market office for further details.
Growing the North was a collaborative partnership between Community Futures of Fraser-Fort George, Community Futures Nadina, Community Futures 16-37, the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, Community Futures Rural Economic Diversification Initiative.