Speaker Series: Social Enterprises and the new wave of food and farming co-operatives

Wed, 2013-02-13 12:00 - 13:30

Social Enterprises and the new wave of food and farming co-operatives.

Presenters for this Speaker Series:
Hannah Renglich, Glenn Valliere, and Randy Whitteker

Join us to explore:

  • The story of the Ontario Natural Food Co-op, a 37-year-old social enterprise that proactively brings to market natural, organic and local foods within a co-operative network
  • The new wave of food and farming co-operatives sprouting up across Ontario, and the corresponding emergence and development of the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network
  • The sustainability and resilience of the co-operative model in the current economy, as it contributes to strong local economies, environmental stewardship, and community-sufficiency

Hannah Renglich, Animator, Local Organic Food Co-oops Network.

Hannah coordinates the Ontario-wide Local Organic Food Co-ops Network, hosted by the Ontario Natural Food Co-op.  The LOFC Network is an association of food and farming co-operatives working on local, agroecological, and just food production and distribution, aspiring toward food system transformation at all levels of the co-operative value chain. Hannah is the co-founder of the PeaceMeal Project, through which she writes and teaches on building a culture of peace through food. Hannah’s writings on food politics, human rights, and the environment have appeared in This MagazineGood Food RevolutionFive Minutes to Midnight, and Rabble.ca, and she currently sits on the boards of The Carrot Cache, the West End Food Co-op, and REAP-Canada, as well as the advisory council of Urban Produce and Nourishing Ontario.

Glenn Valliere, Purchasing Manager, Ontario Natural Food Co-op and Vice Chair, Ontario Co-op Association Board of Directors

Glenn’s career in natural food co-operatives has spanned almost 25 years and includes roles as a Worker-owner and Grocery Manager of Big Carrot Natural Food Store, General Manager of Karma Co-op and more recently, Purchasing Manager at Ontario Natural Food Co-op where he contributes to innovative supply-chain activities involving co-operatives and local food.  Glenn is a former board member of Everdale Environmental Learning Centre and is currently the Vice-Chair for the board of the Ontario Co-operative Association.  Glenn is also a candidate in the Masters of Management – Co-operatives and Credit Unions program at Saint Mary’s University.

Randy Whitteker, General Manager, Ontario Natural Food Co-op

Randy has been at ONFC since 1988, as General Manager since 1991. He has served on the boards of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) and the Organic Council of Ontario. In 2006 he received the CHFA’s Organic Achievement award. He remains involved with CHFA’s Organic Caucus.  He is on the Board of the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada. He is also on the Organic Value Chain Round Table and contributes to its working group, Developing Canadian Capacity. At home in Guelph, Randy volunteers on the Board and steering committee of Transition Guelph, a grassroots initiative to address the twin threats of peak oil and climate change.


When:     Wednesday, Feb 13th, 2013, Noon - 1:30 pm.

Where: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (U of T), 252 Bloor St. West, (St. George Subway Station), Room 3-104

Bring your lunch and a mug. Water, coffee, tea, and fresh-baked snacks from Lemon & Allspice will be provided.   For more information, please contact us at secspeakerseries@gmail.com

Webcast: This event will be webcast live. View the webcast here. To be sure you can view the webcast, please review these instructions for preparing your browser

Webcast: This event will be webcast live. View the webcast here. To be sure you can view the webcast, please review these instructions for preparing your browser