Haliburton Food Forum Looks to Advance a Taste of Home

News Release submitted by Bill Eekhof

With Haliburton County’s local food system blossoming, an upcoming forum will look at ways to further nurture and enhance this growing sector.

Harvest Haliburton is hosting the Food and Agriculture Economic Development Forum on Tuesday, March 5, from 9 am to 3:30 pm, at the Minden Community Centre (55 Parkside Street). This free, interactive event, which includes lunch, is a chance for interested residents, food producers, farmers, retailers, restauranteurs, elected politicians, municipal staff and others to learn about the exciting food and agriculture-related projects underway in Haliburton County. Participants can also discover how they can support and shape the future of the local food sector.

People are encouraged to register for the food forum at www.harvesthaliburton.com by Feb. 20.

“We’re very fortunate in Haliburton County to have a vibrant and diverse local food system that allows us to enjoy a taste of home. But like anything, there are challenges to growing our local food economy,” says Rosie Kadwell, an event organizer and Registered Dietitian with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “This food forum will help identify real strategies and solutions that we can take back to our farm, restaurant, municipality or organization to ensure we are all working together to advance local food in 2019.”

There’s plenty of items on the agenda for the local food forum, including:

  • Bite-sized presentations on the many organizations, initiatives and enterprises that make up the local food system in Haliburton County.

  • A keynote address by Ontario agricultural ministry staff on the tools and strategies available to help the Highland’s local food sector thrive.

  • A free lunch showcasing ingredients from many of the area’s primary food producers.

  • ‘Time for action’ sessions that will look into specific priorities and challenges facing the local food system. Forum participants can take part in one of five discussion topics: selling and branding local food, culinary and food tourism, municipal food planning, agricultural economic development opportunities and needs of the community, or other ‘burning’ topics.

  • A wrap-up Action Plan session that will help develop and prioritize strategies to address the biggest food sector challenges.

“We encourage people to come out and participate in this important food forum,” Kadwell says. “From planting to policy, we are all players in promoting a sustainable local food system that benefits ourselves, our economy and the environment.”