GFM Network News


Plenty CEO and co-founder Matt Barnard (right) says his company is now competitive with organic 
competitors but critics say vertical farms are simply too expensive to run.

Are vertical farms ready for prime time?

Indoor farm companies say they're scaling up, but many question their business model

INNOVATION Indoor farm companies say they’re scaling up, 
but many question their business model

Reuters — Leafy salad greens grown under banks of LED lights, with mist or drips of water are having their day in the sun. Several top U.S. indoor farms say they are boosting production to a level where they can now supply hundreds of grocery stores. Plenty, Bowery, Aerofarms and 80 Acres Farms are among young companies that see a future

Evan Fraser says Canada needs to protect and build on its quality and sustainability brand to succeed in the future.

Canada brand needs building, protecting

If the federal government wants to build Canada’s food exports, it needs to lay the groundwork for a global brand

If Ottawa really wants to boost Canadian agri-food exports, the country needs to enhance its reputation as a supplier of sustainably produced safe food. That’s according to Evan Fraser, the Canada research chair in global food security at the University of Guelph. The Barton report of 2016 and followup work by various agri-food groups have


Backyard chicken flocks are under-regulated, according to a recent U.S. study.

Backyard chicken flocks need better management

Study finds this hip trend is raising troubling human and animal health questions

It used to be that keeping backyard chickens was a sign of economic hardship. These days however, it’s become an urban hobby and many proponents say they think it will be safer, fresher and more nutritious. A new study from the University of California-Davis is calling that view into question. It suggests local ordinances aren’t


Part of the delegation from Kenya stops for a photo during sustainable agriculture and food security day at the Global 4-H Summit.

4-H finds fertile ground to tackle food security

Vertical gardens and composting are among the 4-H projects to help African families produce their own food

North American 4-H may have branched into everything from babysitting to robotics, but elsewhere it’s still back to the basics — producing enough food for the family. Shannon Benner, CEO of 4-H Canada and chair of the Global 4-H Network, estimates that about 60 per cent of programs worldwide are focused on agriculture or food


Wheat City food survey wraps

Wheat City food survey wraps

Public education and access to food is top of mind as Brandon moves towards establishing food council

The City of Brandon could be one step closer to establishing a food policy council. Food Matters Manitoba wrapped up a public survey last week, asking residents for their thoughts on how a council could be organized. The results will be passed on to the city’s Poverty Committee in the coming weeks. “The idea with

A Finnish company is set to build food production systems inside shipping containers.

Finnish firm produces shipping container farm

Exsilio says its turnkey solution will let commercial kitchens and restaurants produce peak ingredients on site

Call it a garden in a box. Exsilio, a Finnish company, has developed a high-tech solution for cultivating crops like salads and herbs in urban environments. Its EkoFARMER system is a modified shipping container, stuffed with growing equipment. “Our solution is ideal for restaurants and institutional kitchens wanting to produce their own fresh ingredients,” Thomas

Food banks plant roots for the long term

Food banks plant roots for the long term

Canada’s food banks are embracing gardens and greenhouses, cooking classes and more 
to help clients achieve greater food security

Facing declining donations, an increasing number of Canadian food banks are growing their own food. Canadians may feel guilty for not giving enough but they shouldn’t. This is really about food banks adapting for the betterment of society. The Mississauga, Ont., and Surrey, B.C., food banks recently launched vertical farms using hydroponics and aquaponics. The


Unrecognizable person digging with pitchfork, low section, assorted vegetables in foreground

Opinion: The idea of urban farming is oversold

If the buzz about urban farms can be believed, they are growing significantly even as rural farms and ranches decline in number — but there are no reliable statistics on the number of urban farms. In Chicago, by one count there are more than 230 community gardens and 60 urban farms. But that’s small potatoes

The CAPI report identifies consumer issues about food that include health, nutrition, food safety, sustainability, ethics, food security and reliability of supply.

The ultimate consumers’ choice award

Significant change is needed throughout the sector to secure Canada’s future global competitiveness

If farmers and food manufacturers want to be ranked world leaders, then they have to prove to Canadian consumers they deserve that status, says the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute. In the final report out of a process charting the industry’s future growth that began last fall, CAPI said the sector should consider setting a goal