Thursday, July 19, 2007
After being dismayed by the rules and regulations required by Farmers Markets Ontario I was ready to dismiss yet another organization that promoted a certification procedure to rate agricultural businesses conforming to a set of rules that hopefully identified local, sustainable, ecologically and economically responsible farmers. But the more I dug into the details, the more it made sense.
Local Flavour Plus, who recently were involved in the localizing of Il Fornello's menu, have a reasonable plan to help the best of our local farmers. Certification piggybacks on established programs for identifying organic farms along with other positive ecological and economic practices. The real focus is facilitating sales of local food to institutional kitchens such as universities, hospitals, and large corporations, providing long-term stable contracts for the producers.
This makes far more sense than the flash and smoke of the FMO. Farmers markets in Toronto are a resource drain for the participants who must individually drive their produce to multiple markets in different locations on different days and then hope to sell to whoever shows up.