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Safe Food - Healthy Communities: Building a Food System that Works for People, Animals and the Environment (Feb 29 - Mar 1)    Fri Feb 29 to Sat Mar 1, 2008, Guelph, ON

The Beyond Factory Farming Coalition would like to invite you to attend our 2008 Conference:

Safe Food—Healthy Communities: Building a food system that works -- for people, animals and the environment

February 29 and March 1 2008
Norfolk United Church
75 Norfolk St.
Guelph, Ontario

Conference fees:

$25.00 by February 15,
$35.00 after February 15
Students $25.00

See for registration options (on-line or down-loadable form to mail in)
Note - online registration will be accepted until February 26, mail in registration must be posted by February 24.

The conference planned aims to shed light on the interwoven impacts our present food system has on economic, environmental and social health, and to share strategies for change. "Safe Food.Healthy Communities. Building a Food System that Works for People, Animals and the Environment" runs Febraury 29 and March 1 at Norfolk United Church.

"Many of the crises faced by farmers from culls to bird flocks as a result of avian flu to farm prices below the cost of production are direct results of the food system we've designed", suggests Cathy Holtslander of the Beyond Factory Farming (BFF) Coalition. "Modern agriculture looks nothing like farming as most Canadians understand it - it is a heavily industrialized process no longer anchored in what our ecosystems can support".

The conference in Guelph hopes to address this lack of understanding, and provide both consumers and the farmers who grow their food an opportunity to better understand our present food system, and to learn more about the strategies farmers are implementing to create a more sustainable food system.

"We are thrilled to have Andrew Nikiforuk to set the stage for people to understand why we as a society need to assess the direction our present food system is taking, and why we need to become more active in building a food system that works for people, animals and the environment," says Holtslander. Nikiforuk, an Alberta-based investigative journalist, is well known for his powerful and insightful presentations and has written extensively on the dangers of our present food system. He will speak at a free public forum at Norfolk United Church on Friday, February 29.

On Saturday, March 1st, a one day conference gives consumers and farmers an opportunity to learn more about the impacts of food production and distribution on economic, environmental and social health, and what people can do to mitigate these impacts. Morning speakers include Dr. Art Wiebe of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment on how antibiotics in the food chain impact human health, Maxime LaPlante of Union Paysanne on environmental threats to small scale farming in Quebec, National Farmers Union board member Fred Tait from Manitoba on the root causes of the livestock sector’s economic crisis, and Mari Veliz of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority on how community members have come together to monitor surface water quality.

The second half of the conference will focus on solutions, including an exploration of community-based food systems, a discussion of the benefits of pasture for livestock operations, successful farmer-owned marketing enterprises and the importance of healthy rural communities to the health of society as a whole. Afternoon speakers include Peter Katona from Foodlink Waterloo, Dr. Ann Clark from the University of Guelph, Ted Zettel from Organic Meadow and Dr. Jennifer Sumner from the University of Toronto.

"Most Canadians have no idea how precarious our food system is," says Ann Slater of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO), a member of the BFF Coalition. "While solutions to the crises we face are not simple, many in the farm community are taking matters into their own hands and changing the food system one farm at a time".

The Conference runs Friday February 29th and Saturday March 1st, 2008 in Guelph at the Norfolk United Church (75 Norfolk Street). For more information contact conference coordinator, Jodi Koberinski at (519) 568-8688 or visit the BFF website at

Beyond Factory Farming Coalition is a national organization of citizen's groups promoting socially responsible livestock production in Canada. The Coalition helps communities that are dealing with problems caused by factory farms and factory farm proposals. As an alternative to industrial livestock operations, the Coalition promotes livestock production that is safe, fair and healthy for the environment, farmers, workers, animals, neighbours, communities and consumers. Establishing socially responsible livestock production is a means to reach the overarching goal of food sovereignty, democratic citizen control of our food and agriculture system.

For more information or to schedule an interview with one of the Conference speakers or organizers, please contact: Jodi Koberinski Coordinator, Southwestern Ontario Conference, Beyond Factory Farming Coalition, 10 King Street West Kitchener ON N2G 1A3 519.568.8688

CONFERENCE CO-SPONSORS: Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, Inter Pares, Heifer International, National Farmers Union Waterloo/Wellington Local, Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation.


For more information:

Contact Name: Cathy Holtslandere
Phone: (306) 955-6454
E-mail: cathyh (at)

Please tell them you saw it at  Especially if travelling from a distance, avoid disappointment by contacting or checking the event organizers' website. Register if appropriate.


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