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Working towards a Just and Sustainable Food System in Durham Region, Ontario.

First steps toward Durham’s Food Strategy:
How you can help!


In 2022, DFPC is convening an action group to create an integrated Food Strategy for Durham Region: this will be a set of goals and proposed actions for enacting the citizen-defined Durham Food Charter vision.


To inform the work of the action group, we’re completing two research projects on the current state of food system knowledge and action in Durham. These projects, made possible by partnerships with the Region of Durham, Mitacs, The Nourish and Develop Foundation and Feed the Need in Durham, are a rare opportunity to to scan as broadly as possible for the food system assets, issues, data and insights that need to be documented. We hope not only to pull in expertise from every sector of the food system, but also to seek out voices that were previously missing from the conversation.  This is why both of our research projects include a public input component.  Read on to learn how you can contribute!

Project 1: The Food System Report Card
Centralizing information to create benchmarks

A Food System Report Card is a tool that helps us understand our local food system as it exists today. We are constructing the report card by consolidating existing sources of publicly accessible information about our food system, and organizing data from these sources into a food sovereignty framework aligned with that of the Pan-Canadian Sustainable Food Systems Report Card.


The result: a set of indicators, developed by the community, that can then be tracked to measure progress as we create and implement Durham’s Food Strategy.


If you have access to recent reports, publications or data that speak to food system issues, please contribute to the Food System Report Card Public Consultation.


Step 1: Download the Cross-Durham Region Food System Report Card Public Consultation Guide to read more about the report card framework

Step 2: Access the Public Consultation Submission Form to share your contributions

Project 2: The Food System Environmental Scan
Centralizing ideas and insights to strategize the way forward


The environmental scan process builds on the food system report card by not only including currently published information, but attempting to document:

a) Information about food-related projects and programs that may currently be under the radar;

b) Assessment of Durham’s progress toward food security and resiliency, and;

c) Opinions about what inhibits coordinated action on food system goals.


The result: a series of reports that will describe the assets present in our food system, identify gaps where assets need to be strengthened or created as part of Durham’s Food Strategy, present action areas to be explored and prioritized by the Food Strategy action group, and explain how the Food System Report Card indicators will be used to track progress in these areas.

The Food System Environmental Scan Survey is designed to prompt reflection on these points.  It can be taken by anyone, and the reports will be stronger if we receive input from people with different roles and experiences within the food system. You don’t need to be formally involved in “food system work” to have made valuable observations while accessing, sharing and eating food in Durham, and even a partial or brief survey response will tell us something about Durham residents’ knowledge of the local food system.  As a bonus, respondents to the survey can enter a draw to win a local food gift basket!


We hope you will take the opportunity to participate in this big step forward for food system action in Durham!

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