Farmers Markets and Local Food Production: Is It a Growing Trend ?


May 26, 2011 :: Tom Johnston
Moderated by Muriel Mellow

An increasing number of Canadian households are embracing “locally-produced” food. A response to a complex of factors, it appears that local food may be on the verge of moving from a niche market to a market segment. Notwithstanding the growing popularity of local foods, a number of important questions remain unresolved.

In this presentation the following questions will be addressed:
1. Just how “local” is locally-produced food?
2. Is the growing popularity of locally-produced food really a “turn toward quality”, or is it simply another example of branding and product differentiation?
3. What is the likely future of local food systems?

Speaker: Tom Johnston

Tom Johnston holds degrees from the universities of Guelph and Waterloo, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Lethbridge. In addition to his interest in local food systems, Dr. Johnston’s ongoing research projects include an examination of the adoption of drought-proofing strategies by farmers and rural households, an evaluation of voluntary adoption programming pursuant to environmentally sympathetic rural land-use practices, a study of the efficacy of community-level water management initiatives, and an investigation of the use of water conserving measures by irrigation farmers.


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