Local Food In Saskatchewan: Barriers and Opportunities-Final Research Report
This research project was a collaboration between:
• Food Regina
• Health Promotion, Regina Area, Saskatchewan Health Authority (Tracy Sanden)
• Researchers at the University of Regina:
o Dr. Amber Fletcher, Department of Sociology and Social Studies
o Naomi Beingnesser, Faculty of Arts Community Research Unit
Saskatchewan agriculture is heavily focused on export, which has led to a relatively
underdeveloped local food system compared to other parts of Canada. Key reasons for the
province’s strong export orientation include export-oriented policies dating back to the
establishment of commercial agriculture in the late 1800s and continuing today (Fowke 1957;
Government of Saskatchewan 2017), in addition to geographic and climatic factors such as
Saskatchewan’s high land-to-population ratio, dispersed rural population, semi-arid climate, and
long, cold winters. Contemporary agriculture in Saskatchewan is highly industrialized and centred
on large-scale production of grain and oilseed crops, cattle, and other livestock. In the unique
context of Saskatchewan, farmers wishing to sell their products in local markets face specific
challenges that may not exist in other Canadian regions, such as southern Ontario or British
Columbia (e.g., Newman et al. 2015; Telfer 2008; Statistics Canada 2017b).
Following up on an identified priority in the 2013-14 Food Regina Action Plan, a study conducted
by University of Regina and Food Regina aimed to identify challenges and solutions to strengthen
the local food system in Saskatchewan. Based on the results of 50 interviews and 2 focus groups
with 60 food system actors in the province, this report highlights some realities of the local food
economy in Saskatchewan. It draws out themes that emerged among producers, processors, and
distributors alike, along with several health inspectors and policy experts. These findings identify
barriers to a thriving local market, some opportunity for change, and recommendations to support
a greater infrastructure for local food.
Download Report here.
Saskatchewan Organic Production Priorities 2018-19 Report
Regina (November 12, 2019) SaskOrganics surveyed its members to learn basic information about organic producers in Saskatchewan and their research needs in order to enhance their organic production. The Saskatchewan Provincial Organic Agriculture Research Priorities Report describes the most pressing research needs from organic producers’ perspective and makes recommendations regarding the future research focus in organic production. Dunling Wang PhD PAg, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture’s Alternative Cropping Systems Specialist and Chair of the SaskOrganics’ Research Committee said “the survey was a very successful joint venture between SaskOrganics and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Close to twenty per cent (20%) of the organic producers in the province participated in the survey demonstrating their support for the initiative.”
Download Report here.
Saskatchewan Organic Production Priorities 2017 Report
In the fall of 2016, SaskOrganics conducted a survey to determine the research priorities of organic farmers in Saskatchewan for organic production. This report summarizes the results of the survey. The survey focused on research priorities in field crop production from the perspective of organic producers, in particular, the needs and challenges they faced in daily farming practices. This summary report identifies the research needs that will help organic producers in developing practical and sustainable solutions to address soil nutrient deficiencies, challenges in weed and pest control, as well as ensuring the future success of organic farming.
The recommendations in this report will provide direction on how research and extension activities can be focused to meet the needs of organic producers and to support organic agriculture in the province. It is hoped that this report will assist government, university researchers, agricultural specialists and funding agencies as they determine how they will invest their resources to best meet the needs of organic farmers in Saskatchewan.
Download the report here.