A joint initiative aimed at developing a definition of sustainability for the whole farm was released at the Canadian Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock. (Photo by Ray Baynton)

Developing A Definition Of Sustainability For Farms

Better communication with the rest of society must be a core part of a renewed plan for agricultural sustainability in Ontario.

That’s one of the statements in Farm, Food and Beyond, a commitment to sustainability, released this week at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show.

It’s a joint initiative aimed at developing a definition of sustainability for the whole farm.

Doctor Gord Surgeoner is part of that initiative.

“We have to have proper regulations, we have to have investment, we have to have research and we have to have a society that trusts what we as primary agriculture do and I think this document goes a long ways in doing that.”

He says part of it will be communicating what farmers have already done to make their operations sustainable, then building on that.

“Ontarians and Canadians should be proud of what we have ve done in the food industry and I mean primary agricutlure plus processors. And we will continue to do because it’s the right thing to do but we have to communicate that to our customers.”

He emphasizes this initiative is led by the agriculture industry and provincial food processors.

That includes the OFA, CFFO, the Presidents’ Council, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Ontario Agri Food Technologies, Farm & Food Care Ontario and the Provision Coalition.

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He says it’s part of an effort to build on what’s already been done by farmers.

He says they want to build it on the sucessful Environmental Farm Plan.

Surgeoner says it’s an industry-led effort to meet a growing demand for sustainability from consumers, at least partly by pulling together some existing plans.