Join the Conversation!

Regional Food Charter – Community Input Sessions



Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op is working to conduct community input sessions for the development of a Kenora & Rainy River District regional food charter. We will be finishing up sessions this month and are concentrating in the Rainy River District over the next 2 weeks.

What’s a food charter you might ask? A food charter is a value, vision, or principle statement, and/or series of goals, written by a city, town or region that has a broad base of support and describes what a community wants their food system to look like. It is a “reference document” for municipal decision makers. A food charter raises awareness and education about food issues, and forms a basis for action. A regional food charter can provide a platform for connecting existing local food projects across municipalities. (North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, 2014).

We will be in communities in the region to hear what you have to say so that you can help to shape the vision of the charter. What’s important to you when it comes to food? Is it cost? Availability? Local agriculture? Access to healthy or traditional foods? We need to hear from you! Check out our registration page to see when we’ll be in your community and register for the event! It’s free to attend and we hope to see you there!

To learn more about this project, visit our Projects Page!

Help us Grow!


fresher-food-stronger-economy     The Cloverbelt Local Food Coop (CLFC) is a non-profit co-operative of 1250+ farmers, consumers, and community organizations working together to support sustainable local food production and increase year-round access to fairly priced, healthy, locally produced goods.

      Founded in 2013 in Dryden, our co-op has quickly grown to distribute goods to Kenora, Sioux Lookout, Ignace and Upsala, with the hope to serve more communities in the near future. How does it work? Farmers set their own prices, and list their goods on our website, just like a farmers’ market–but online. Our member owners each have their own unique log-ins, to shop whichever weeks they choose, to pick up their goods at the pick-up location of their choosing.

     CLFC has started a new and exciting project to contribute to a stronger local food system in Northwestern Ontario. We have hired four part time coordinators across the region, to help us establish and grow new food distribution points, and build and strengthen community partnerships. With support from our community partners, coordinators will also seek key input from their respective communities to contribute to food charter development for the Kenora & Rainy River districts. This one year project started April 1, 2017.

Want to see Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op in your community?

PLEASE COMPLETE OUR SURVEY TO LET US KNOW YOU’RE INTERESTED! (If you are already a member, you can provide your feedback here instead.)

Ready to join? Become a member!


Know of a great pick-up location in your community? Give us more info!


Want to know more? Check out the details on our Leveraging Local Food Purchases in Northwest ON project


Questions? Email us at and we would be more than happy to connect.

Thanks for your support!

This project is made possible by:


Get Your Dose of Local Every Month!

Do you miss your summer Locavore share? Our Love Local Box is your solution!

We are excited to announce our partnership with Superior Seasons in Thunder Bay to bring you a monthly dose of local food! Sign up for a three month subscription and get a monthly delivery of a variety of delicious local food chosen just for you! To find out more about the program, purchase a subscription, or to see what’s in your first box, visit our webpage!copy-of-winter-locavore-1


A Must Attend Event!

Connecting Local Food, Co-ops, and Institutions

The Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op is proud to be working in partnership to bring you an exciting and innovative event! Connecting Local Food, Co-ops, and Institutions is a day full of bringing together local institutions, producers, distributors, and co-ops to discover how we can grow the use of local food and products by our hospitals, schools, restaurants and other institutions/ organizations in the region.


Featured special guest speaker, Joshna Maharaj will discuss how she’s accomplished successful institutional menu planning with local food and what we can do in Northwestern Ontario to make getting local food into institutions a reality. We’ll learn how to incorporate local food on a tight budget and how institutions can take advantage of the healthy and nutritious food produced by our local farmers!

We will also hear from Steve Simpson who is owner of the Tomlin Restaurant in Thunder Bay. The Tomlin has successfully incorporated a variety of local items onto their menu and Steve will tell you how they do it and what institutions in NWO can do to adapt their menu and practices to better include local food. You’ll learn how to market your inclusion of local food to your clients and what resources are available to meet the demand your business is seeking!

The day will also hold panel and networking sessions to better discuss the opportunities and challenges that we are presented with in NWO for producing, sourcing, and transporting local food. This is an excellent opportunity to make connections and gain valuable skills for the procurement, sale, and marketing of local food.

As a producer or distributor, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to learn about the potential to market your product and how CLFC and other local co-ops can help you to move and fill orders. Institutions and organizations of all kinds need to be in attendance to see the opportunities NWO producers have for you and what the Co-op can do to get you the products you want!

Please visit the event’s website to learn more and to register for the event. Registration is now open and is limited so don’t miss out! If you have any questions about the event, registering, or attending, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the office (221-3293).


NWO Food Forum Huge Success

The first Northern Ontario Forum for Food, Farms and Tourism was held on December 7th in Kenora at 7 Generations Education Institute. The event was planned and sponsored in partnership by CLFC, the Northwest Business Centre, the Lake of the Woods Development Commission, and Tourism North Ontario.

The event was well attended despite the weather and we saw all sorts of participants come through the event. Institutional representatives, restaurants, chefs, small business owners, farmers, producers, processors, and distributors alike were in attendance. The event was also attended by government officials who offered insight into support and financial assistance programs.

In all, 55 people were in attendance where they were given talks on topics pertaining to developing food tourism in our region and the economic benefits of showcasing unique local ingredients/foods and locally produced goods. CLFC was able to give presentations which introduced participants to the Co-op and the benefits of becoming a member, our recently completed mapping project and how CLFC can play a role in the local food movement in our region, as well as our newest role with SNAPP funding.20161207_085715_resized

CLFC worked with the culinary program at 7 Generations to provide meals made primarily with ingredients sourced locally through the Co-op. It was an excellent opportunity to highlight our producers and their high quality products to show the potential of local food. 

The event also hosted a discussion panel on local food and tourism. The panel included CLFC producers/ members that were able to provide insight into the role of local food in our region. Participants heard from Deb Zimmerman of Rainy River Meats, Roger Griffiths of Robin Hill Farm & Cloverbelt Country Meats (abattoir), as well as Del Schmucker from Wickens Lake Sunshine. The event ended with an extremely productive networking session where institutions were able to connect with producers to forge relationships to better incorporate local products in restaurants and institutions in the area.

All-in-all the event was found to be a huge success and CLFC was happy to have been able to be a part of such a key event for the region. We would like to thank all of our producers/ members who made the trip to Kenora to participate in the event and especially to those who gave their time to sit on the panel. We would also like to thank all of our producers who worked hard with us to provide their products for the event. It was such an amazing opportunity to prove what we here in NWO are capable of producing!

The event certainly sparked interest in expanding the use of local food in restaurants and in tourism in the area. Its unique marketing qualities and its ability to complete the local experience for tourists makes local food a key element to promoting tourism in our area. We hope that this event has helped to open the door for local food and for our producers and that you’ll soon be seeing more local food available in the area! We are looking forward to next year’s event!