Farm to fork: Restoring a local food system through urban agriculture, the case for Milton Ontario

Tran, Van Tai Jason
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University of Guelph

This thesis explores consumer perceptions in the town of Milton, Ontario in relation to the idea of investing in urban agriculture infrastructure, as a means to achieving a healthy and sustainable community. Infrastructure explored in this thesis include greenhouses, community shared agriculture gardens, abattoirs and hydroponic facilities. Primary data was collected through interviews and surveys with Milton consumers at the Milton Farmer's Market and through random walk-about sampling in residential areas. Qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed using grounded theory, frequency distribution, chi-square and cross tabulations. Findings revealed that consumers support infrastructure investments to help support the town and economy, attain access to a greater selection of fresher, safer foods, provide more shopping convenience for local foods and to reduce negative impacts to the environment. Consumer barriers to infrastructure investments included costs - set up, operational, land price - land availability, local government disinterest and a lack of awareness and educational programs.

consumer perceptions, Milton, Ontario, urban agriculture infrastructure, healthly community, sustainable community