What we've achieved 

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 Stakeholder Consultation Process

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The stakeholder consultation process has been an important step for developing the draft framework for CASI (formerly the Sustainable Farm and Food Initiative). The primary goal was to develop an understanding of the sector’s needs to clarify and streamline sustainability initiatives through a consultation process which includes stakeholders across the value chain. We reached out to producers, processors, retailers, food service, non-governmental organizations, and consumer groups to gather feedback and input regarding sustainability with a whole farm approach. This consultation process, which began in May 2016, consisted of key informant interviews, a farm sector open house/webinar and two stakeholder workshops (one full value chain and one for the food sector). 

From these engagements, we gained valuable insights on the need for such an initiative.

At the food sector workshop, almost 100% of attendees saw immediate value of this initiative to their company. In addition:

  • 95% found the Initiative to be a strong and relevant vision, & seek it to launch in 2-5 years

  • 91% of companies would like the Initiative to be fully functioning within the next 5 years, highlighting an immediate need for such an initiative

Information and presentations from these engagements can be found in the Final Report or on the Resources page.

In addition to the scheduled stakeholder engagement activities, there was also considerable effort put towards other outreach and engagement opportunities such as attendance and presentation at various conferences (National EFP summits, CRSC, CRSB, ITC Sustainable Trade Summit, etc).

 

Benchmarking

To complement the Deloitte study, the project team undertook a benchmarking exercise for the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), Grow Your Farm Profits (GYFP), and Ontario and Canadian legislation against the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform’s (SAI) Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) tool. Results of this exercise can be found in our final report.


dairy goat Proof-of-concept project

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The results of the extensive stakeholder consultation across the agri-food sector highlighted the need for a whole farm, whole value chain approach to sustainability that will minimize the burden on farmers while also aligning with international agri-food value chain systems and sustainability requirements. To continue the momentum and development of the Initiative, the next logical step in the process was to develop the capacity to test the concept with farmers and stakeholders along the value chain. As an emerging commodity with high growth and export potential, it was decided that there would be considerable value in working with the dairy goat sector in Ontario for a proof-of-concept project.

Videos describing our work and this project, in both French and English, can be found on our YouTube page or the Home page of this website. Click here for the English video or here for the French video. 
*A special thanks to Tivoli Films Inc. for their work in producing these videos. 

Project Outcomes:

  • This project was completed in February 2018 and was well-received by industry stakeholders

  • An SFFI branded, self-assessment sustainable tool was developed and tested by the emerging dairy goat commodity sector through a value chain approach

  • In-depth stakeholder consultation and analysis concluded that a concept like CASI (SFFI) would be beneficial to the dairy goat industry, and would allow them to proactively communicate on-farm sustainability practices; strengthening existing markets and potentially expanding into new markets

  • Stakeholders suggested that the program begin as voluntary, eventually evolving into a mandatory program either as a result of market demand or government regulation

Project Partners:

Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), Provision Coalition, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Mariposa Dairy, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd., BIO, AGSI, 10 Ontario dairy goat producers.

The SFFI proof-of-concept project was graciously funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, through OMAFRA.

Future Funding

CASI has applied for national funding, which we expect to hear about in the spring or early summer. We will work towards securing funding from external sources to continue the momentum towards achieving a whole farm, whole value chain approach to sustainability that will minimize the burden on farmers as while also aligning with international agri-food value chain systems and sustainability requirements. 

Final Report

For more detail on everything we have achieved to date, please view our final report