GFM Network News


Michelle Shram and Troy Stozek have seen increased sales of their grass-fed beef and lamb.

An uptick in online sales may help Manitoba farmers

E-commerce shift could spell opportunity for local producers

On May long weekend, St. Norbert opened its outdoor market to the least fanfare in recent memory. Market co-ordinators had prepared to limit shoppers, but that proved not to be necessary. According to a Facebook post, they never reached capacity as crowd-leery folks stayed away. While the physical market continues to operate, more and more

Direct Farm Manitoba calls for changes to meat regulations

Direct sales of meat have increased, but the capacity to ramp up production isn’t there, producers say

Direct Farm Manitoba is calling on the province to increase capacity for local meat sales in light of recent meat plant closures. Direct sales of meat like beef and roasting chickens have risen since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Manitoba, said Phil Veldhuis, Direct Farm Manitoba president, but producers have limited ability to capitalize on the


These young visitors enjoyed meeting farm animals at Aurora Farm during the 2015 Open Farm Day. That’s now a thing of the past during the ongoing pandemic.

Aurora Farm delivers groceries in an effort to adapt to COVID-19

The experienced farm and market box seller is adapting its operations due to the coronavirus

A farm built on up-close-and-personal on-farm experiences is retooling in the social distancing age. Aurora Farm, near St. Norbert, had lured urbanites with a petting zoo and ‘goat yoga’ featuring baby goats. Now due to COVID-19, it’s pulling the plug on those events for the foreseeable future, and launching a grocery delivery service. Owner and

Customers wait in line to get into the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market on March 21, part of safety measures the market enacted.

Farmers’ market moves online amid demand for local food, adjusting to COVID-19

Organizers seek to balance safety while helping small producers sell product

Shoppers at St. Norbert Farmers’ market can now opt to buy online and pick up instead of browsing in person. The move comes as part of efforts to maintain public health regulations while making local food available during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a market for food and household goods, it will remain open despite recent

Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek farm beef, lamb and bees near Cartwright.

Small food producers innovate to survive

Creativity, humour and social distancing combine to get food to customers for one meat producer

Direct-marketing farmers and food producers are finding creative ways to get meals on their customers’ tables and maintain a sense of community. “You guys are all amazing and you convinced us that we will get through this crazy time. Enjoy your food, stay home, stay safe, stay classy,” Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek of Fresh


Letters: Buying local no disaster

I believe buying Canadian food is a great idea. Hence I was troubled by Sylvain Charlebois’ article in the January 30 Co-operator, which noted Feds’ Buy Canadian food campaign could be a disaster. The federal government is pursuing CETA the Canadian European Trade Agreement which could result in French cheese being more available than Manitoba

Vegetable farmer Justin Girard shows the twisted metal remnants of one of the portable

Year in Review: Local food producers struggle ahead

Lack of supply chains, business risk management programs, and clear regulations are keeping local food from reaching its full potential in Manitoba, say producers, experts

Manitoba has a way to go before it’s a friendly place for small food and drink producers, several articles demonstrated throughout the year. Be it crippling regulations, lack of risk management programs for small farmers, or simply lack of local supply chains, several factors say Manitoba’s local food system has yet to fully mature. “It

British Columbia has had a farmers’ market coupon system since 2007, and has reported good success.

Market coupons aim to give less fortunate local food access

The system, to be administered by Direct Farm Manitoba, is modelled on a system British Columbia has had since 2007

A program that would give farmers’ market coupons to low-income families will help people and build a market for small food producers, Direct Farm Manitoba says. “I believe this program is a fantastic tool to help pitch in and address food insecurity by helping restore local food economies,” said Justin Girard, who heads the steering


Farm Fresh Food Hub board co-chair Katie Daman announces confirmation of a provincial grant.

Farm Fresh Food Hub gets a financial boost from province

An influx of provincial cash will get a local food distribution off the ground, the Farm Fresh Food Hub announced September 25. “We’re really excited,” board co-chair Katie Daman told the assembled crowd at the “season finale” of the South Osborne Farmers’ Market. The Farm Fresh Food Hub is a non-profit community service co-op run

Federal food policy aims to lift local and Canadian-grown products

Federal programs to boost the profile of domestic and locally grown foods at home while reducing food waste, food insecurity and deceptive food marketing are all up for funding under the government’s new Food Policy for Canada. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Parliamentary Ag Secretary Jean-Claude Poissant announced the new policy Monday in Montreal, following