Open Food Network

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Open Food Network is a global network of communities that collaborate to offer open source (non proprietary) software to help build sustainable food systems around the world.  The open source platform we work with - Open Food Network - has a variety of tools to help producers and consumers connect and form networks for distributing sustainable food in local communities. 

Open Food Network Canada is based in St. Agatha Ontario, but our software and support is offered nationally. As a national not for profit, Open Food Network Canada offers the software to users on a low cost basis.

Software,  like food systems, is increasingly consolidated.  Large firms are often not interested in the needs of smaller scaled food initiatives and farms.   Digital technology has huge potential to help small scale operators scale up and link together for greater impact,  but software is often over-priced and difficult for these smaller operators to access. Open Food Network wants to tailor our offering to multiple small and medium scaled food initiatives.

Our not for profit has a national board of 4 members. We have approximately 200 users across the country now - but are just beginning to disseminate outside of Ontario.

Most digital solutions being used in the sustainable food sector are private for-profit firms offering proprietary software. We are not-for-profit, and our digital platform is fully open source. We are interested in building a technology commons for the alternative food movement.

We became LFFC members in 2019. Since many LFFC members are interested in supporting open source (non proprietary) software solutions, and we believe many cooperative food projects would find our digital platform useful.

Our platform can be found at https://www.openfoodnetwork.ca  (this will also access our new website as of September 2019)

You can learn more about the global project at: https://community.openfoodnetwork.org/

Kanata Foods Co-op

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Our Mission:
Huron-Iroquois called their Villages “Kanata”. This word is said to be the origin of the world Canada.  Kanata Foods co-op reflect the core values of Canada; It starts with the principle of "shared destiny": meaning that we are best shaped through collective action and that when we convene the effort of individuals the results are not a sum, it’s a multiplication with greater achievements than the potential of each individual part. We operate under the core principles of collaboration, inclusion, community, multiculturalism, quality and prosperity.


Our mission is to help Ontario Small and Medium size Processors to grow and access new markets by creating a network of food processing enterprises contributing to the economic and social development of Ontario. We connect SME's involved in the processing and distribution of food products, contributing to business to business collaboration, resources optimization, business growth and social empowerment.


Our goals include:

  • To contribute to the development and improvement of infrastructure dedicated to food processing in Ontario

  • Promote and support entrepreneurship in food processing and distribution

  • Facilitate food safety and Food Quality that eventually lead to federal registration and international certifications

  • Promote R&D between our customers

  • Make secondary processing readily available for SME’s

  • Promote collaboration between SME’s for the marketing, distribution and sale of food products.

  • Help SME’s to access available resources such as grants, loans, business services, etc.


Our members include microprocessors, co-packers, consultants, and processors of different sizes, capabilities and locations.


Please visit Kanatafoods.ca for more information.

Seasoned Spoon Co-op

Collaboration Works! at Trent University

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Seasoned Spoon, the co-op café at Trent University, was under renovation this summer when we toured in July, but it was still a lovely space. Huge windows opening out into the view over rolling hills and forest, cozy sitting areas are fitted in all around, and the tiny kitchen turns out 150-200 meals each day during the school year. The members of the co-op are the students who eat there.

New kitchen space and a better cash register area are going in to manage traffic flow at this well-established café, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. It currently provides work for four core staff and thirty volunteers; Aimee Blyth is the manager, and was kind enough to provide a tour during the off-season. Thanks to the university partnership, they also have sixteen paid work-study student positions. They serve breakfast and lunch daily during the school year from September to April. Students can eat there on their menu plan; the focus is vegetarian meals, sourced as locally as possible.

Seasoned Spoon is much more than a café though; they provide weekly skill-building workshops, and Pay What You Can community meals with a speaker or video presentation. There is no locked in contract with a food service company like Sysco (as is often required at universities), so they can prioritize local food. And local for them is very local; the Trent Vegetable Gardens provided 7000 lbs. of food to the café last year, and the gardens are just a short walk from the café.

 Of course, the major harvest is in the summer holidays, so they also have created storage solutions. In the summer they freeze everything they can, including spinach and other greens.

They can also boast of a magnificent root cellar, built as a rammed earth bag structure in partnership with the natural building experts at the Endeavour Centre and the Trent Community Research Centre. They got a zero interest loan from the student union to build it into a hill (see photo). It has a solar panel on top, and temperature sensors to maintain a stable climate.

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They also buy a lot of ingredients from over twenty local suppliers; they focus on farmers with winter storage to balance the produce they have from the garden in season.

The gardens have been there since 2006 and reflect a social purpose and co-operative framework as well. Emma Macdonald (on the left in photo) is currently the Farm Manager of the ¼ acre market garden. Local community groups can have their own plot there in the community quadrant; OxFam has a garden for low income people in the area, and a Three Sisters (corn/ bean/ squash) garden is managed by the Flint Corn Community Project in partnership with  Farms At Work. The greenhouse is shared with the Environmental Science program. An impressive pile of compost is courtesy of the university’s green bin program, and accepts also several bags of trimmings each day from the café. There is more produce than the café can handle, so the gardens also donate to other community organizations. They work with the Seasoned Spoon Café to deliver workshops like canning, seed-saving, bee-keeping.

You can learn more at Seasoned Spoon website: http://www.seasonedspoon.ca/.

Together We’re Bitter Brewing

Together We're Bitter Brewing is a craft microbrewery located in Kitchener. They sell beer but that's not all they do - they also also try to be a place for community groups to gather, and artists and musicians to showcase their craft. This co-op is built on and for the people. They truly believe that through bringing more people into the group, it builds more value as each person brings something to the table. 

Sumac Workers Co-op and Planet Bean

SUMAC is a worker co-operative located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. SUMAC worker co-operative was founded in 2005 and currently has 7 active members.The co-operative owns and operates two divisions, Planet Bean Coffee and Wear Fair ~ Fair Trade Clothing. Through Planet Bean Coffee, SUMAC provides meaningful employment for over 20 people in southern Ontario.  SUMAC is dedicated to providing products from Fair Trade and Organic organisations throughout the world.

Green Campus Co-operative, York University

Green Campus Co-operative strives to bring sustainable, fair trade, organic goods and services to our campus. We offer a range of learning opportunities for students from curriculum to hands-on-entrepreneurship experience to events and activities. We collaborate with stakeholders which include students, faculty, staff, community organizations, and local businesses to achieve our vision of a sustainable campus.