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County of Simcoe: Simcoe County Food and Agriculture Charter

Municipal Profile

Simcoe County is located in central portion of Southern Ontario and is situated just north of the Greater Toronto Area stretching from the shores of Lake Simcoe in the east to Georgian Bay in the west. The County has an approximate population of 465,000 people and is the second largest County based upon population and third largest based upon physical size in Ontario. Simcoe County has a strong agricultural sector, with a value of sales at $339.5 million in 2011, 3,340 jobs in the agriculture sector in the same year, and 2,189 reported farms (OMAFRA Analyst, 2011 Census of Agriculture).

Project Name and Description

The Simcoe County Food and Agriculture Charter was finalized in 2012 and was developed by the residents and stakeholder organizations located in Simcoe County. The document was created to guide the decision-making process in relation to the local food system. The Charter contains six (6) principles that were crafted from the responses of the community in shaping a fair and food secure community.

  1. Equal Access to Healthy and Personally-Acceptable Food for All.
  2. A Close-Knit Community Achieved Through a Celebration of Food and Culture
  3. Long-term Economic Growth and Prosperity.
  4. Agricultural Sustainability.
  5. Environmental Sustainability
  6. Increased Education and Skills Development for a Healthier Community.

The Food Partners Alliance of Simcoe County (FPA) is a multi-sector organization working together to provide leadership to build a sustainable and equitable food system and to support the implementation of the Charter by raising awareness about local food system issues; building partnerships within the community to support uptake of Charter principles; and tracking and reporting progress on local initiatives that support the Charter.

Project Contact (Staff)

Food Partners Alliance (FPA)

Brittany Doner, Project Consultant

County of Simcoe

W: www.fpa.simcoe.ca

E: brittany.doner@simcoe.ca

P: 705.726.9300 x. 1426

Date of Charter Completion

December 2012

Project Goals

Food is essential for life and healthy communities. The development of the Charter raised awareness of the importance of agriculture and food in building a sustainable local food system, while also increasing food security and food access within Simcoe County.

List of Project Partners

(i.e., other municipalities, businesses, organizations or community groups)

  • Food Partners Alliance of Simcoe County
  • Simcoe County Farm Fresh
  • County of Simcoe
  • Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture
  • Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
  • The City of Barrie
  • The City of Orillia
  • Lakehead University, Orillia
  • Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO)
  • Barrie Community Health Centre
  • The Karma Project
  • Residents of Simcoe County
  • Agricultural sector workers
  • Businesses in Simcoe County

Drivers/Champion

What was your municipalitiesí main reason for moving this project forward? Who was the biggest champion for the project?)

The Charter is a statement of values, principles and priorities which can be used to direct community food policy in a positive direction. The development of the Charter brought people from diverse sectors together and offered a process in which they shared their concerns, experiences and knowledge relating to food and agriculture and establish a shared vision of food security.

Challenges/Obstacles

Summarize 2-3 points of frustration faced with this project, and describe how you or the project team developed solutions to those challenges.

Measures of Success/Impacts

How has the project helped your municipality or department achieve its sustainability goals? What specific metrics can you share about the impact it has had?

  • (18) Number of County Municipalities which Have Endorsed the Charter
  • (115) Number of Charter Endorsements by the Community in 2015 (+54 from 2014)
  • (48) Number of Nominations from the Community as part of the 2015 Charter Champion Awards*
  • (6) Number of Active Organizations in the FPA in 2016

*The Charter Champion Awards is an annual awards program started in 2013 by the FPA to recognize the efforts within the community as they relate to the Charter principles. It includes 14 categories. More information can be accessed at www.fpa.simcoe.ca/champion-awards

Project Rationale (Summary)

Why would you encourage other municipalities to adopt/implement a similar practice?

The Charter has multiple benefits, including:

  1. Brings people and organizations together, increasing their awareness and understanding of the broad range of food security issues and actions across the County.
  2. Provides opportunities for dialogue which will mobilize actions to advocate for change.
  3. The Charter can be used to help guide and inform strategic planning, organizational policies, and program development.
  4. The charter can serve as a tool to generate support for changes in government policy.

Document Link or Attachment

The Simcoe County Food and Agriculture Charter

Type of Case Study

☒Education and Outreach

☒Policy Adjustment or Development

☒Partnerships & Collaboration

☐Enforcements & Incentives

☐Implementation of Programs & Services

☐Facilities & Infrastructure Improvements

Data and Information Provided By the FPA, County of Simcoe and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

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1110 Hwy. 26
Midhurst, Ontario, L0L 1X0