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Funding/Financement : Regional Agriculture and Food Systems in Southern Ontario, Request for Proposal

Source: Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.
Canadians are increasingly consuming and seeking access to locally grown food for a variety of reasons: some feel it tastes better; others want to support family farms and local economies, ensure the food security of their region and/or they believe it is environmentally more responsible, healthier, and safer.

Demand from consumers is helping drive the response of members of the established food supply chain, be they retailers, foodservice operators, distributors, processors, and farmers.

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, and The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation are jointly commissioning a study to improve understanding of the impacts of regional food systems in southern Ontario. Collectively, the Foundations have provided support for building regional food systems in particular regions across the country. Examples include projects to increase market access for local and regional farmers, to investments in infrastructure, and education. Further examples of the work supported in this area can be found on each Foundation’s website.

The Foundations are interested in understanding and documenting the economic, social, and environmental impacts of regional food systems and how they relate to each other, including:
(i) Economic impacts such as quantifying the impacts on employment, tax revenues, and other economic indicators.
(ii) Social impacts such as identifying, the impact on rural communities and on human health, including in underserved communities where there is a lack of healthy, fresh food.
(iii) Environmental impacts such as identifying effects of localized transportation on pollution levels and carbon emissions and possible changes in environmental stewardship.
While other analyses, most notably on various types of economic impacts, have been conducted for other jurisdictions, we are unaware of a comprehensive study that captures and seeks to explain the interactive aspects of the impacts across all three dimensions.

While this assignment is focused on southern Ontario, it is expected that the study will serve as a model for similar work to be carried out in other regions of Canada.

Purpose and Scope of Work

The purpose of this assignment is to identify the economic, environmental, and social impacts and how they interact within the regional food systems in southern Ontario. The successful team will:
(i) Identify the appropriate methodologies (such as cost/benefit analysis and input/output modeling) to assess the economic, social, and environment impacts of locally grown food and how they interact;
(ii) Identify the impacts of locally grown food in southern Ontario, and document in three separate reports and one integrated report; and,
(iii) Assist in disseminating the study’s findings.

To achieve this purpose, we expect the consulting team to:
- Include individuals with expertise in the local food system analysis and expertise in each of the study focus areas (environmental, social, economic).
- Participate in meetings with Foundation representatives, including: (i) a kick-off meeting; (ii) a meeting to discuss the methodologies; and, (iii) a meeting to present the draft report.
- Develop a systems analysis approach that will allow for identification and consideration of environmental, social and economic impacts of the local food system and for overall integrated assessment of the impacts of the local food system.
- Outline the methodologies to be used to estimate economic, environmental, and social impacts, recognizing they are interconnected.
- Prepare background reports documenting the analysis and results for each of the three components (economic, social, environmental).
- Prepare a draft and final report on the integrated assessment, highlighting overall system impacts and the important economic, environmental and social impacts.
- Present the findings and respond as required to media inquiries.


The consulting team will be expected to provide the following deliverables:
- Final project work plan
- A description of the methodology
- A draft report for each area of investigation - economic, social, and environmental.
- Draft final report with the integrated analysis.
- Final report incorporating input from Foundations.
- Presentations of key findings to 5-10 organizations as identified by the Foundations.

Proposal Requirements

We are interested in receiving proposals in the range of $75,000-$90,000.

Proposals should include the following information:
- a CV for each team member of the proposed multi-disciplinary consulting team that clearly outlines their qualifications relevant to this assignment;
- up to 3 references and at least one sample of work relevant to this assignment for each team member;
- a description of your understanding of the assignment, your proposed approach to successfully implement the scope of work, and may include suggestions to improve the quality/effectiveness of the assignment;
- a work plan for performing the assignment, including estimated dates for deliverables;
- a time/task breakdown by project team member; and,
- a proposed budget including reimbursable expenses as applicable.

We reserve the right to choose any or none of the vendors responding to this request for proposals.

Proposals should be emailed no later than November 19, 2012 to: Heather Dunford,

If you have any questions with respect to this RFP, please email the following:

Mary MacDonald
Environment Program Director
George Cedric Metcalf Foundation

Kathy Macpherson
Vice President, Research and Policy
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation



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