The research investigated emergent trends in rural/agricultural real estate and migration within the Algoma region since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to determine what types of impacts these will have on different facets of the local agri-food sector. It was hypothesized that a combination of factors such as labour shortages, heightened real estate prices, and a sudden increase in demand for local food has been putting unforeseen pressures on the agri-food sector which could create conditions less conducive to capital investment and business expansion.
Perspectives from a variety of stakeholders, including those from the Anabaptist farming community, commodity growers (e.g. cash crops, cattle), food processors, planners from local municipalities and townships, as well as small farms that provide for specialty/niche markets were taken into consideration.
This research shows multiple areas that can be attended to in order to increase the localization of profits, to increase efficiencies in the local agri-food sector, and to thus increase the development and building of a stronger local economy that will also then be more sustainable.
Lauren Moran, David Thompson, and Dr. Laura Wyper
NORDIK Institute oversaw the data collection of the $900,000 study on the effects of industrial air pollution, which involved local researchers, nurses, health professionals and over 60 research participants. The final analysis and interpretation from Health Canada is still to be determined. On June 23rd 2011, NORDIK received the Innovation Research Project of the Year award from the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre for the Air Quality Study.
Ildiko Horvath, Stephanie Blaney
This was a community project in Fort Albany First Nation to promote activities that brought together youth, adults and elders in dialogue about land, water and traditional territory. An advisory group composed of community representatives developed a strategy for a ‘community mapping’ process that centers on valuing Mushkegowuk (Cree) practices and knowledge. NORDIK, through collaboration with the advisory group, developed a series of training and research activities, including a CESD community-based “off-site” university accredited course on community based research, mapping and land/water issues.
Dr. Sheila Gruner, Edmund Metatawabin
For more information on the project, including image galleries and the “Paquataskimik is Home” documentary, visit the Paquataskimik website.
Through partnership with Edith Orr, manager of the Johnson Township Farmers’ Market, and the Algoma Food Network, NORDIK examined the flow of local food into the Sault Ste. Marie marketplace. A directory and map of businesses that report sourcing local (to the Algoma District) food (local food meaning any product harvested or raised in the Algoma District) was developed.
David Thompson and Nairne Cameron
In 2011, the Algoma Sheep and Lamb Association approached NORDIK to explore marketing opportunities for local lamb and chevon (meat goat) products. Market analysis for lamb and goat products in the Algoma District was desired by the Algoma Sheep and Lamb Producers Association, in order to determine the feasibility of a market-based co-operative for lamb and goat producers in the Algoma District. Recommendations outlined how the group can realize opportunities and mitigate threats as producers continued to serve this market
Broderick Causley, David Thompson
Locally Grown Food for the Northern Urban Marketplace (2012)
Community Supported Agriculture is an alternative, and locally-rooted model of agriculture and food distribution that develops a network of individuals who have pledged to support one or more farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of farming good food.
This research demonstrated the benefits of the cooperative model for expanding locally sourced beef markets in Northern Ontario and support regional agricultural economies experiencing crises sparked by globalization through strengthening stakeholders. By examining existing Northern Ontario cooperatives and place-based businesses that support a value chain for local beef, researchers explored the impacts of scale, regulations, markets and infrastructure to the successes of these operations.