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Online Food Panel to Discuss Rising Cost of Food and the Role Local Food Plays


February 9th, 2016 (Halifax, NS) – Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS), a not-for-profit organization that works with many of the farmers’ markets within the province, is organizing an online panel to discuss rising food costs and the role of local food.

The panel will be held on February 10, 2016 at 8 PM AST and will include farmers and local food experts.

With a weak dollar, and environmental changes affecting crops in some countries traditionally imported into Canada, food cost is rising. Radical price jumps in cauliflower and celery have taken centre stage, but across the board food costs in Canada are rising at an alarming rate.

A research team from The University of Guelph Food Institute predicts food inflation rates will be 2% – 4% this year. That’s in addition to the 4.1% that the average Canadian food bill increased last year due to rising costs of meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts.

Is local food part of the answer?

This hour-long panel aims to offer a nuanced discussion of the rising cost of food with a specific focus on local food and the value of a local food system. It will be led by Keltie Butler, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia.

“Amid concern and even fear around the rising cost of food, we hope to excite a conversation about localizing our food system, invigorating our agricultural sector and investing in Nova Scotia,” Butler says.

Confirmed panel participants include:

Ann Huntley:
Ann and her husband Joel own and operate Moon Tide Farm, a small-scale, family-run, mixed farming enterprise in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia. Moon Tide Farm sells at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and maintains an on-farm produce stand. Moon Tide Farm is built on principles of healthy and sustainable rural landscape and economy.

Andrew Bergel:
Andrew is an instructor at the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science, a Killiam Scholar and a Doctoral Fellow at the European Union Centre of Excellence. Prior to moving to Nova Scotia, Andrew worked in Banking & Finance in New York City. He holds a Masters Degree in Global Affairs with a Specialization in International Political Economy, Energy and Environment.

Aimee Carson:
Aimee is a Community Food Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre and co-chair of the Halifax Food Policy Alliance. She works with individuals and communities to build and expand local food infrastructure and direct marketing initiatives, as well as organizational and policy initiatives that aim to strengthen the local food system in Nova Scotia. Aimee is also the owner of Beanstalk Baby Food, a local company that makes frozen, handcrafted baby food using locally produced ingredients wherever possible.

This online event will be available to view through the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia YouTube channel using the following link:

A recording of the panel discussion will be available online following the live event.

The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panel via social media during the live segment. Questions will be answered as time permits.

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About Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia

Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia (FMNS) is a cooperative of farmers’ markets from Cape Breton to Yarmouth. Since 2004, FMNS has been working on behalf of farmers’ markets and their vendors, producers and artisans. FMNS is a leader in training, community building, cooperative marketing, research and advocacy for farmers’ markets.

To learn more about the upcoming FMNS Local Food Panel, please contact:

Keltie Butler, Executive Director
Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative
Office: (902) 425-9776; Cell: (902) 830-4113
Twitter: @MarketFreshNS
Facebook: Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia

Individual panel members are available for interview as well:

Ann Huntley, Moon Tide Farm
902.582.1667; Cell: 902.670.6219;

Aimee Carson, Senior Coordinator, Community Food Coordinator
The Our Food Project, Ecology Action Centre
Office: 902.442.1077;

Andrew D. Bergel, PhD Candidate
Instructor, Dalhousie University, College of Sustainability