The Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is the premier regional event focused on supporting and celebrating the local food sector. This year local hosts, the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG), are preparing a phenomenal event to inspire, motivate, and feed you. It takes place on November 13-14 in Cornwall.
The conference began in 2011 and has been held in Kemptville, Kingston, and Belleville to date. It is geared to practitioners, food businesses, farmers, food buyers, economic developers and support organizations that serve and participate in the local food sector. The aim of the conference has always been twofold: to create and maintain a regional community of practice for local food, and to provide timely technical information to support the sector. This year, the program will deliver just that – with a local flair that will help participants discover the wonderful uniqueness of the Cornwall/SDG area.
EOLFC Day One
The excitement begins on November 13, when three tour routes will take participants to visit culinary and cultural stops throughout the region. Participants can choose one of three routes: Cornwall and SDG: The Highlands; Cornwall and SDG: The Seaway; and Akwesasne. All tours will offer tastes of the region, and knowledgeable local hosts and interpreters.
The tours are followed by a local food reception at the NAV centre, where attendees will be treated to a range of local delicacies.
EOLFC Day Two
On November 14, the full conference program will provide a wide range of content for local food businesses, municipalities, and community organizations. Keynote speaker Tareq Hadhad will kick off the day. Mr. Hadhad came to Canada as a Syrian refugee and, with his family, settled in rural Nova Scotia and founded his gourmet chocolate business, Peace by Chocolate. Mr. Hadhad’s keynote will not only share his experience of settling in Canada, but also address topics such as inclusion in the food system, workforce development, global peace efforts, and shared economic prosperity.
A visionary plenary offering diverse perspectives on the future of local food will follow.
The afternoon will offer sessions targeted to businesses, municipal leaders, and community organizations, and will cover topics such as:
- Funding and Financing for Local Food Projects
- The Municipal Role in Agriculture Economic Development
- Innovation in Retail and Public Sector Food Service: Making Space for Local
- Welcoming Newcomer Food Entrepreneurs in Rural Places
- Workforce Development in the Agri-Food Sector
- Agri-Tourism Trends and Opportunities
- First Nations Food and Community Projects
- Regional Food Policy Organizations: updates and best practices.
For a full agenda and registration details, please visit www.eastontlocalfood.com. We can’t wait to meet you in Cornwall!