2015 - The Year of Soils


The timing could not be better! The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will spend the next year focusing on the world's soils. We treat this vital resource like dirt, but it feeds us, filters our water, stores carbon and is home to one-quarter of the world's biodiversity. The rare soils of Ontario deserve special protection for all of the above reasons. The UN's International Year of Soils will add further momentum to our movement!Watch the FAO's terrific short video launching its 2015 campaign.

Video: International Year of Soils

sequester carbon


The United Nations also has an informative website about the International Year of Soils. Take a look!

 UN website: Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life


What does the soil say?


 "Soils don't have a voice, and few people speak out for them. They are our silent ally in food production." Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General.

However, the group Conservation International turned to Hollywood to give voice to the soil.

Watch this powerful and chilling video:Edward Norton: I Am the Soil 


By: The Food & Water First Team

December Message From the Chair


Food & Water First is the legacy of the Stop the Mega Quarry campaign that began in Dufferin County northwest of Toronto in 2006.  The Highland Companies – a front company for a $27-billion Boston hedge fund – bought 6,500-acres of Class 1 farmland and stated it wanted to become the largest potato producer in Ontario. But in 2011, it filed an application for the largest quarry in Canadian history on the best soil in the province and at the headwaters of five river systems. The Mega Quarry would have spanned 2,300-acres and plunged 200-feet below the water table.  It would have destroyed rare food-producing land and impacted water resources for up to one million people downstream.

Farmers, chefs, First Nations, city-dwellers, environmentalists and artists formed a remarkable alliance. Culinary protests were held to raise awareness about the vital farmland and water resources at risk. Foodstock in Dufferin County 2011 (28,000 people), Soupstock in Toronto 2012 (40,000 people).  In November 2012, one month after Soupstock, Highland withdrew its mega quarry application. Then, in July 2013, a Canadian investment firm, Bonnefield Financial, purchased all 6,500-acres from Highland. It has leased the land to local farmers ensuring the fields remain in food production.

However, the campaign for farmland and water protection continues. The Mega Quarry fight exposed many flaws in current land-use policies. Ontario’s prime farmland and source water regions remain vulnerable to sprawl and aggregate operations even though they’re critical to our food security and Ontario’s $34-billion agri-food sector, the largest in Canada. We believe our prime farmland and water should be protected in perpetuity, not threatened or squandered in perpetuity. We believe it’s time to put Food & Water First.

For more information and to take the Food & Water First PLEDGE, visit www.foodandwaterfirst.com

Shirley Boxem, NDACT Chair



Caledon Mayoral Candidate Sinclair Takes the Pledge

Food and Water First Pledge is part of his platform!


Food & Water First Gains Political Support

Politicians Show support at the International Plowing Match in Ivy held from September 16 to 20th, 2014

Final Version of Dufferin County Official Plan - Sep. 2014


The final version for adoption of the County of Dufferin Official Plan is now available. 

The final version of the Official Plan will be presented to County Council for adoption on September 11th, 2014.  If County Council adopts the Official Plan, it would then be forwarded to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval.

Read details about the Official Plan and the process.