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On Wednesday MP Paul Levebre of Sudbury and MP Marc Serre of Nickel Belt announced the federal funding of $150,000 over three years to support the development of food and farming co-operatives in Northern Ontario.
“Food and farming co-operatives are the fastest growing businesses in the co-op sector” said Executive Director Peggy Baillie of the Local Organic Food Coops Network. The network was incubated with the Ontario Natural Food Co-op (ONFC). ONFC, the largest natural food distributor in eastern Canada. has taken a visionary lead in nurturing a robust food co-op sector. The LOFC Network has been working with businesses across Ontario since 2009 and has seen a 650% growth from 12 to 90 co-ops in 2016. With members from Windsor to Dryden to Ottawa, the emergence of food co-ops has been seen across the province.
“Co-operatives are a strong business model which will play an important role in Northern Ontario to address issues around food access, local food production, and local economies, while also empowering communities to have democratic and economic control of the food they eat” says Baillie. Baillie oversees the work of the network from her farm in Warren Ontario.
Over the three-year period of this funding the network will have staff in both the North East and the North West conducting program activities to support the sector. The funding will support the work of this network throughout Northern Ontario to provide on the ground training, skills building and technical support to emerging and developing food co-ops. It will additionally address values based trade route development to increase distribution of local foods between communities in the north.

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About the Sudbury Working Group

The Sudbury working-group of The Media Co-op is creating independent media in the North, to speak to our issues and outlooks on our communities as well as the world around us. Independent media provides an avenue for people who are wishing to gain critical perspective on the issues that matter most to us, and to give a voice to those people and stories that you won't find in the mainstream media. Contact the Sudbury Working Group at or follow us on Facebook.

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