Exploring local food systems planning approaches in Southern Ontario: A descriptive timeline of the process taken on by Waterloo Region, Niagara Region and Simcoe County
The local food system (LFS) has undergone many changes over the years. Even the most agriculturally-active and conscious communities have watched a corporate, invisible system take the place of a LFS rooted in quality, seasonality and local tradition. Growing concerns around food safety, quality and origin have communities working to reestablish the once integral connection between the local producer and consumer. Communities are realizing the potential of LFS to address issues related to poverty, public health, food security, local economy, environmental sustainability, climate change, loss of farm land, and community development. The overarching intent of the LFS is to bring positive change to the community, through efforts where successful relationship building and community engagement play a key role in determining the success of these initiatives.