Resources & Policy

“Nourishing the Planet”: The International Year of Family Farming


This year is an exciting one for family farms all around the world! 2014 has been declared the International Year of Family Farming by the United Nations. The campaign is being run by the World Rural Forum, an organization which unites 80 groups working for more sustainable rural and agricultural development worldwide. It aims to celebrate the work of family farmers and encourage their support.

Family farms have a big role to play in reducing poverty and world hunger, and in ensuring sustainable rural development and food security.

But they're often not supported as they should be! Many farmers lack access to the proper tools, knowledge, and resources to farm sustainably in ways that benefit them and their communities. Astonishingly, half of those who go to bed hungry every night are farmers.[1]

Food Tank and the Food and Agricultural Organization have put together a great video about the campaign. It highlights the diversity of family farms around the world, their crucial role in assuring food security, and the ways in which they can be better supported.


What about family farms in Newfoundland and Labrador? In the province, there are over 500 farms – and while there are no numbers on how many of those are family farms, about seventy-five percent of those are small farms (earning under $100 000 a year).[2]

Some ways you can get to know and support the family farmers in your area – and enjoy their food! – are by:

Attending a local farmer's market: Fogo Island Farmers' Market (Saturdays, July-Fall, Central Fogo) Grand Falls-Windsor Farmer's Market Happy Valley Goose Bay's Community Outdoor Market Salmon Cove Community Farmer's Market Some Good Market (Makinson's) St. John's Farmer's Market Wonderful Fine Market (Corner Brook)

Visiting a farm or a farm-stand: the province's Farm Guide has listings for farms all across the province in the Avalon Region the BuyLocal!BuyFresh! map has listings for 28 farms around the Peninsula

For more information on the International Year of Family Farming and family farms around the world you can visit:

[1]  “Making the Case for Family Farming #IYFF (A Video by Food Tank & the FAO),” (2013) YouTube video, 3:36, Posted by Danielle Nierenberg, Accessed May 26, 2014, <>. [2]   Statistics Canada, “2011 Farm and farm operator data,”  Statistics Canada, Accessed June 13, 2014, <>.

Municipal Food Policy in Canada and NL

Municipal Food Policy in Canada and NL

Join us to learn about approaches to municipal food policy across Canada, and how those approaches can be applied in your community. In a recent cross-Canada survey, they found that 64 local and regional municipalities are working to improve the food system, using a mix of municipal policies, programs and civil-society interventions. Joanne Bays will present the results of the report, highlighting the role municipalities can play in advancing local food systems in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Farmers' Market Food Safety

Farmers' Market Food Safety

Farmers’ markets are becoming a valuable community activity across the country and their presence is growing across Newfoundland and Labrador. Farmers’ markets are important ways of providing public direct access to locally grown and prepared food of all kinds. Typically, farmers’ markets provide an opportunity for a wide variety of food vendors to offer their products including locally grown vegetables, fruit, and meats. Vendors are also selling prepared foods such as baked goods, preserves as well as hot, ready-to-eat foods. Until recently, there were no food safety regulations to guide food safe practices at the growing number of farmers’ markets across the province.

A new plan to increase organic and ecological farming in NL

A new plan to increase organic and ecological farming in NL

We are pleased to announce that the NL organic and ecological agricultural sector has (possibly in record time) completed a strategic plan for the sector! The process started on February 14 & 15, when industry representatives gathered for a successful strategic planning session, facilitated by professional Ken Kavanagh. Over the course of the two days, fifteen farmers (and a few non-farmers) from across the large province (including one representative from Labrador!) offered their insight, inspiration and ideas to shape the future of the organic and ecological farming community in NL.