Appetite growing for local food in Cape Breton | Local | News

A consultation session on creating a Cape Breton “food hub” was held at North Sydney’s Cape Breton County Farmers’ Exhibition Grounds on Wednesday afternoon. The Pan Cape Breton Local Food Hub, an initiative funded by the Department of Agriculture and administered by Inverness County, would bring local producers together and connect them with local restaurants, grocers and other retail outlets. Program co-ordinator Alicia Lake guided the exchange of ideas on how a food hub should operate, Wednesday. She’ll be responsible for putting together a report and for launching the pilot project in July.

Alicia Lake, co-ordinator of the Pan Cape Breton Local Food Hub Co-op, and Jim Mustard, an Inverness County councillor and member of the co-op’s management committee, have begun making the rounds of the island’s municipal councils looking for financial contributions of $5,000 each to support the second year of the two-year pilot project.

The aim of the food hub is to bring local producers together to connect them with local restaurants, grocers and other retail outlets in order to get more people buying and eating locally grown food.

“It’s multi-stakeholder co-op made up of producers and consumers and it works to distribute local foods around Cape Breton,” Lake said.

The project is funded by the Department of Agriculture and administered by Inverness County.

“We have food producers here in Cape Breton and for years a lot of producers were talking about their difficulties in finding new markets and actually connecting with consumers, and then on the other hand we had a lot of consumers traditionally struggling to find products,” Lake said.

While there are a number of farmers markets across the island, people may have difficult finding the time to go to them or they are only able to access food from their immediate area, Lake said. The hub model allows them to access food from a broader region.

It encourages people to produce food, she…

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