Policy Research

Reaching out to our members, we realized that many women ssfp’s have amazingly innovative ideas. We saw that generally, innovation support from government only goes to Big Food Businesses. Because the vast majority of food processors are ‘small’ (94.5%!!!!) we realized that there are few if any policies that address their needs. We reached out to Dr. Irena Knezevick at Carleton University who has carried out some pivotal food system research. She agreed with our asessment and together 5 other universities were invited to participate in a cross Canada project to find out how this lack of policy impacts on ssfp’s and what could be done to improve policy support.

The project, titled Community Impact of Small-scale Food Processing is co-led by Irena Knezevic and Sandra Mark, SSFPA project co-manager. Mark has been working in community development for more than three decades and is one of the founders of SSFPA. Knezevic has worked with community food initiatives for over a decade and is overseeing the Carleton University’s Food and Media Hub.

We are fortunate to be collaborating with two internationally renowned researchers and their teams: Kent Mullinix at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Mary Beckie at the University of Alberta. Mullinix is the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems and an expert on bioregional food systems. Beckie is the Director of Community Engagement Studies in the School of Public Health with expertise in sustainable agriculture and community development.

Our collaborative research also includes Sylvain Charlebois, the Director of Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, David Connell at the University of Northern British Columbia, and Kate Ruff at Carleton University.

For more information about the project, contact irena.knezevic@carleton.ca