Tapping Into Local Food Demand: Supporting Agri-Food Businesses
Always in Season: Rebounding through Agriculture Economic Development, Local Food and Agri-Tourism
Community organizations and municipalities have a vital role in fostering an environment where agriculture and local food can thrive. Communities want to show their support for agricultural producers and local food but may be unaware of the activities that they can initiate or promotional events that they can leverage.
The Always in Season project, funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, developed a toolkit for economic development officers to guide them through potential activities, performance metrics, funding opportunities, and ways to collaborate to support the agri-food sector.
The session will provide key elements of the toolkit and lessons learned from interviews with economic development officers across
Ontario. During COVID-19 and beyond, EDOs will be looking for ways to help their economy rebound and support their SMEs through economic recovery.
The project aims to help EDOs increase local food sales, provide new opportunities for local producers for value-added agriculture, enhance agri-tourism and culinary tourism opportunities, and elevate the brand of local agricultural products.
Visit the EDAC Member Forum to post questions or get in touch with the Speakers!
About the Speakers
Danielle Collins, Ec.D.
Danielle Collins, Ec.D.
Danielle is a Policy Analyst specializing in rural economic development, on-farm diversification and value-added agriculture, beginning farmers and succession planning, local and regional food systems, municipal engagement and agricultural research and innovation.
Growing up in the Niagara Region, Danielle developed a passion for rural and agricultural communities. At the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) in Guelph, Ontario, Danielle uses her master’s degree in Local Economic Development to enhance the economic viability of farming and the broader agri-food sector.
Danielle sits on the Greenbelt Foundation Board of Directors, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Rural Economic Development Advisory Panel, and many Economic Developers’ Council of Ontario committees.
Danielle holds a Master of Applied Environmental Studies degree in Local Economic Development from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Science honours degree from the University of Guelph. She obtained her Certified Economic Developer’s designation from the Economic Developers’ Association of Canada and is a member of the Economic Developers’ Council of Ontario.
Danielle develops innovative tools and resources for municipalities engaging with their agri-food sector.
Krista is passionate about addressing social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues and opportunities in the agri-food sector. Since joining Wilton Consulting Group in 2017, she has helped to research and develop a number of regional agriculture and agri-food strategies and strategic plans for provincial and national agricultural organizations. Krista is enthusiastic about supporting the agriculture and agri-food sector from local, regional, and national perspectives and enjoys working with a diverse group of stakeholders from across the sector.
In 2020, Krista completed her master’s degree in Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Waterloo, providing her with skills and knowledge to further support the viability and sustainability of Canada’s rural and agricultural communities. Her passion for agricultural economic development led her to focus her studies on topics such as community economic development and sustainability programming in Canadian and international agriculture sectors.