See what ac­tiv­i­ties your neigh­bours have been up to around the county

The Victoria Standard - - Front Page - COLIN ROTSAERT

The Cape Bre­ton Food Hub is gear­ing up for a new sea­son of con­nect­ing con­sumers and chefs with lo­cal food pro­duc­ers.

The Food Hub re­sem­bles an on­line farm­ers mar­ket where con­sumers can or­der prod­ucts listed by lo­cal food pro­duc­ers. Prod­ucts are then shipped to the seven dis­tri­bu­tion points around the is­land for pick up. The hub op­er­ates as a non­profit multi-stake­holder co­op­er­a­tive, where both con­sumers and pro­duc­ers are mem­bers. Es­tab­lished in 2015 as part of a two-year pi­lot project to de­velop a lo­cal food dis­tri­bu­tion model in Nova Sco­tia, the Food Hub moved to a stand-alone project with­out pro­vin­cial fund­ing last year.

“The Food Hub en­joyed a suc­cess­ful and ex­cit­ing year in 2017, even as we waded our way through some grow­ing pains,” said Food Hub Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Ali­cia Lake in their year-end re­port. “In 2017, we were able to ex­pand to serv­ing over 40 food pro­duc­ers, 235 house­hold con­sumers, and about a dozen restau­rants.”

“We are look­ing for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to grow, and see­ing new farm­ers join­ing up,” Lake said by email.

The co­op­er­a­tive is seek­ing fund­ing from mu­nic­i­pal part­ners to con­tinue its ex­pan­sion. In­ver­ness coun­cilor and Food Hub Board Chair Jim Mus­tard pro­vided an over­view of last year’s suc­cess to Vic­to­ria County Coun­cil on April 23.

In 2017, Vic­to­ria County con­trib­uted $7,500 to the Food Hub, while pro­duc­ers in the county made $17,000 in rev­enue through the co-op. This year they are ask­ing for $12,500 from each of the four Cape Bre­ton mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to sup­port in­creased staffing for the grow­ing co­op­er­a­tive.

In­ver­ness has ap­proved the $12,500 in their bud­get. Vic­to­ria County passed a mo­tion to de­fer their amount to their bud­get de­lib­er­a­tions.

Mus­tard told the coun­cil meet­ing there is real po­ten­tial in con­nect­ing lo­cal pro­duc­ers and chefs through the co­op­er­a­tive. Pro­duc­ers are ramp­ing up this year based on past suc­cess and de­mand from the restau­rant in­dus­try.

“The Tele­graph knocked it out of the park last year,” Mus­tard said of the restau­rant and ho­tel in Bad­deck.

Some of th­ese restau­rants will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in a Food Hub fundraiser called Good Cheer, Food n’ Blues at the In­ver­ness County Cen­ter for the Arts May 25 from 7-11, fea­tur­ing Hal­i­fax blues band Buck Tin­g­ley and the Galaxy 500’s. The restau­rants will be mak­ing dishes with lo­cal in­gre­di­ents sup­plied by Food Hub pro­duc­ers. Tick­ets are $20, $10 for stu­dents and meals are $10 per dish.

A ded­i­cated group of vol­un­teers ig­nored the fore­casts for rain on April 28 and came out to help col­lect a sea­son's worth of lit­ter around the Vil­lage of Bad­deck. In just a few short hours, the bags of waste and re­cy­cling seen here were col­lected by ap­prox­i­mately twenty vol­un­teers. The East Coast Credit Union spon­sored the event and vol­un­teer BBQ while other lo­cal busi­nesses do­nated prizes for those who par­tic­i­pated. Photo by An­drew Brooks

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