Coffee production and distribution creates great inequities and environmental harm the world over, yet it is also consumed on a daily basis by a great deal of the adult world. This is the story of Cafe Femenino, a women’s coffee co-operative in Peru, which is striving to make positive change in the communities of its member farmers and in the lives of women at large.
We have all seen cashiers at supermarkets type in the codes from those pesky stickers found on fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, and sometimes nuts; Perhaps you have even typed the codes in yourself when using the manual checkouts some grocery stores now offer. But have you ever stopped to consider if you should be reading those codes while shopping?
One third of the group embarked on a tour to Barrie’s Asparagus Farm, a growing and processing operation run by fourth-generation farmer, Tim Barrie, who also mills and dehydrates his asparagus into flour for items like asparagus chips, soups, and pasta.
Another third found their way over to the Urban Homestead at Little City Farm, a 1/3-acre property attempting to run itself self-sufficiently and sustainably, with innovations such as greywater recycling, permaculture, organic gardens, herbal healing, strawbale housing, a hand-built wood-fired oven, and a passive solar greenhouse.
After spending a few months in Brisbane, Australia, getting to know some people in the food movement here, I’d like to share my experience and analysis with interested people in Canada. I have been WWOOFing to a number of farms and come across different parts of the distribution system of the city. Mostly I am interested in organic food, and co-operative, local food distribution systems that circumvent the national retailers.
The retailing of food in Australia is dominated by two major chains which control 80% of the market. Continue reading →