This past October, Beyond the Market hosted the Regional Food Systems Expo in Prince George, offering farmers, food service operators, and the public a chance to connect as well as discuss the opportunities for food and agriculture in the north. The event was well-received by the more than 80 participants and was a great success.
Several different workshops offered specific tools and resources for farm and food service businesses, from evaluating the business case for Farmers’ Markets, to navigating health regulations, to reducing the energy consumption and waste in restaurants.
A number of different panel sessions offered the opportunity to generate grassroots discussion on the many challenges and opportunities for the local agri-food industry.
The highlight of the day for many, however, was the farmer-chef speed networking session, during which participants had the opportunity to talk one-one-one with as many as 30 different contacts in the course of an hour.
Feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive. Here are some anonymous comments that participants had to share:
The collaborative session format generated the most interesting discussions and learning. I also appreciated the intergenerational knowledge sharing that occurred.
There was a very good diversity in presentations that catered to the audience, farmers, producers and food industry folk.
This event exceeded my expectations. It was well-planned and was an excellent networking opportunity.
I would like to see this event at least once per year in at least three communities across the north
We’ve listened to these and similar comments and are now planning to roll the event out in the communities of Dunster, Vanderhoof, Smithers and Terrace in the Spring 2012. We are actively seeking volunteers interested in shaping these events in their community and sponsors who can help make it happen. Contact us to get the ball rolling!