Local Food Systems Development

The opportunities for local food systems development in Nova Scotia are numerous (many of which are listed below). Geographically, there is lots of available land that is prime for agricultural activity and that has been unused for many years, making it ideal for anyone interested in organic or holistic farm management. There are several constraints, however, some of which include a lack of young people choosing a career in farming as well as the capital needed for infrastructure and buying quota purchases.

The most widespread successes of local food systems development are listed below, and focus largely on small to medium scale farm businesses with emphasis placed on direct sales to the consumer.

There is growing interest in organic agriculture in the maritime provinces, given the growing consumer demand for healthy and sustainably produced food. Recently, ACORN commissioned a study titled “Organic Research and Market Plan: Final Report” which was “…commissioned to explore both the domestic and export market opportunities for organic agri-food producers in the Atlantic Canada region.” Findings highlight that the real challenge for development of a string organic industry in the Maritimes is the ability for smaller producers in the region to meet the growing demands of the marketplace in terms of volume, price, and quality.

Farmers' Markets

All 10 farmers’ markets across the province are members of the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative Ltd. Their attention is firmly placed on sustainable agriculture and supporting small to medium sized farm operations.

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a growing movement bringing together urban and rural communities that facilitates the partnership between growers and consumers.

CSA Farms in NS

Marketing Cooperatives

Northumberland Lamb Marketing Co-op

“We adopted a business model dedicated to the current welfare of the participants in the business – all the sheep farmers who sold their lambs through the co-op – and not to the welfare of the co-op itself through capital accumulation. We did not try to drive anyone out of business but rather to provide service and ‘product’ better than anyone else and provide the best return we could to the farmers. (Northumberlamb is still functioning on the same principles.)” (Excerpt from The Ram’s Horn)
24 Brookside Branch Road
RR # 2
Truro Nova Scotia
B2N 5B1
(902)895-4262

Abattoir Cooperatives

Brookside Abattoir Co-op Limited

RR #2, Truro, Civic No. 24
Nova Scotia B2N 5B1
(902)893-8994 Fax (902)893-0426

Local Economic Trading Systems

The small town of Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia shows how a local currency encourages local currencies(including food production) to thrive.

  • Located in Tatamagouche, The Waldegrave Farm is an example of a dynamic group of young people engaging in organic farming and community development. Every year, the farm hosts a “Free School” and are currently in the process of setting up a community land trust.
  • Read more on Local Economic Trading Systems