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Steering Committee 2014-15 -

Peggy Baillie
Managing Director, Eat Local Sudbury

As Managing Director of Eat Local Sudbury, Peggy has worked hard over the last year on developing this five year old multi-stakeholder food co-operative into a thriving retail store and member engaged organization. Now working with 55+ producers in the region and beyond, Eat Local is providing the residents of Sudbury with year round access to locally produced foods, while supporting farmers with fair pricing and market access. With a history in farming, food security and the culinary industry, Peggy utilizes her experience and expertise to assist Eat Local Sudbury to grow as the centre for food in the Sudbury region. Beyond her work at Eat Local, Peggy sits as co-chair on the Sudbury Food Policy Council, working to influence infrastructure and policy changes to support a healthy food system. As a steering committee member of the LOFC, Peggy hopes to assist with the governance and business planning of the LOFC to help shape it to meet the needs of new and existing food co-op members in the province. Peggy feels that the LOFC plays an important role in the development and success of the food co-op sector in Ontario and is proud to be part of the LOFC Steering committee.

Devorah Belinsky
Coordinator, Ottawa Valley Food Co-op

Devorah Belinsky, B.A, B.Sc., M.Sc. is a nutritional anthropologist with a multidisciplinary background focused on nutrition, food security, health and partnership and community capacity.  Her Bachelors of Arts and Science are in Cultural Anthropology and Human Nutrition respectively.  Her Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition, focused on traditional food systems and community health.  She strives to build solid foundations for sustainable food programs, building community capacity, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships and exploring flexible service delivery models.  She strongly advocates on behalf of sustainable local food systems to reduce the negative impacts of poverty, improve health, support economic development and build community well being.  She has recently moved to Renfrew county to become a farmer producing local maple syrup and vegetables, and works as the manager of the Ottawa Valley Food Co-operative.

Erin Chapelle
Karma Marketplace

erin chapelle believes that co-operation could be the solution to many of our largest world issues--but, for the moment, she is most deeply committed to seeing this co-operation within her community's local food movement.  After many years in Latin America, living and travelling in countries that work much more closely with their regional food systems than Canada does, erin returned to the Georgian Bay area in 2007 and founded the Karma Project, a not-for-profit food co-op, which oversees community gardens, farmers' markets, a Main Street shop, and many educational workshops and events.  Karma's co-operative succession planning came about as we looked down the road at longterm community food security and real municipal change, realizing that our mission and vision would be strengthened by true community ownership.

For this reason, erin is thrilled to be working with the LOFC Network and the many genius co-operators that make it up.  She thinks that allowing the Network to become an open source learning space, creatively woven together and developed by its diverse membership, will provide the movers and shakers behind Ontario's food and farming co-ops with a place to find answers, to recharge their batteries, and to discover the inclusion and ideas required to enhance their individual projects.  erin brings her experience in municipal politics and multi-faceted programming to the LOFC table, hoping it will shed some valuable light on the Network's role in our changing food system.

Antonio Gomes
Member, Near Urban Agricultural Action Group Co-op

Antonio is taking a Masters in Environmental Studies at York University where he is researching the ways groups of people organize and create resilient food. Cooperative structures are much more resilient than traditional business during economic uncertainties and are an important part of his studies. The development of food organizations which have a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit is the direction of local economies; how is the food sector going to meet the future challenges of globalization, peak oil & climate change?

Antonio is also the founder of Urban Crops, an action based learning platform for food production which uses social technologies to connect growers to distributed food sites around Toronto.  As an entrepreneur, he is a member of the NUAAG Co-opNear Urban Agricultural Action Group, which is a co-operative for food businesses in Toronto to interact, support each other and identify opportunities which result in increased business diversity from farm to table.

He is getting involved with the LOFC network because a resilient co-operative movement in Ontario has a tremendous potential to develop the local food system. It is exciting to contribute to the LOFC network and the future of Ontario food co-operatives.

Kim De Lallo
Member Relations & Education Manager, Ontario Natural Food Co-op

Kim De Lallo has worked at the Ontario Natural Food Co-op for fifteen years, and worked with many different stakeholders and on many different projects during that time. Today she is the Member Relations & Education Manager, and is glad to be newly a part of the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network Steering Committee. She has very recently left her longstanding role as Chair of the Board of the Land Food People Foundation (previously known as Local Food Plus).



Jeff Pastorius
On the Move Organics

Jeff is the founder of On the Move Organics, a home delivery program for local and organic foods.  On the Move Organics believes in a well balanced community founded on co-operation. Social and environmental justice along with political and economic democracy are critical components to a sustainable food system. Bridging the gap between rural and urban communities by communicating regional needs, we work to develop support networks of understanding. When making decisions for our business trajectory and practices, On the Move Organics emphasizes the importance of these needs for a healthy world.

On the Move Organics also operates The Root Cellar,  an organic cafe serving breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner.  It is the only local, organic, bakery, juice bar and cafe in London.  The organization is proudly transitioning into a worker-owned co-operative, and has been actively involved in the Local Organic Food Co-ops Network for nearly two years. As a firm believer in the power of co-operation, Jeff is looking forward to contributing his time and talents to the Steering Committee in order to grow the movement of co-operatives and strengthen the support network of co-ops.

Karrie Porter
Project Manager, Garden City Food Co-op

Karrie Porter is a community activist, project manager, and mother of two. Karrie grew up in Cape Breton, where the roots of the co-operative movement in Canada run strong and deep, and has fond memories grocery shopping each week at the local co-op. She studied French at Universite Sainte-Anne and has lived in St. Catharines since 1998. Karrie’s skills include communications, project management, and technical writing, with work experience spanning construction, the arts, and finance. She worked for many years at John Deere Financial as a trainer and credit analyst in the agricultural division.  She served as president of Niagara Artists Centre and was a board member of neXt Company Theatre, and is an organizer of two new co-operative initiatives. In addition to her extensive community involvement, Karrie's work as Project Manager of the start-up Garden City Food Co-op in St. Catharines makes her a valuable addition to our 2014 Steering Committee.

Martin Tamlyn
Coordinator, Conestogo River Local Food Co-op

Martin Tamlyn is the founding member and current coordinator of the Conestogo River Local Food Co-op, based in Drayton, Ontario. Before moving to Canada in 2000, he worked with the Exmouth Permaculture group in the UK.  The group ran many community sustainable development initiatives, which included the Exmouth Farmlink - an early CSA model.  As a trained school teacher, Martin has changed his teaching practice from the classroom to his community, coordinating local on-farm education programs and community events.

The Conestogo River Local Food Co-op, now in its third year, has progressed from a winter vegetable box program to a year round online ordering system that includes a wider diversity of produce, wholefoods and fair-trade products. To find out more visit the website or like their facebook page.

Martin has become involved with the LOFC Network because he is interested in the development of successful and sustainable local food systems. As a network, he feels we have so much to offer to each other through sharing, learning, supporting and connecting.

Renata Thiboutot
Producer Member, True North Community Co-op

Renata Thiboutot is a farmer running Mile Hill Farms with her husband, in South Gillies Township just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. They run a 160-acre farm based on organic growing principles, raising vegetables and beef. All of the cattle’s grain and hay are grown on the farm. Born and raised in the Thunder Bay area, Renata is proud to be a producer member, and board member at the True North Community Co-op (TNCC) that services the region. Renata and her husband bought the farm in 2003 and have been busy since, growing the farm. The farm hires youth and  interns for the summer. Renata is involved in an online, educational weekly/biweekly gardening in the north question and answer “ask your farmer”, type information service. The service is available to people living on reserves who would like to learn how to produce their own food.  Realizing that the farmers’ market was only reaching a portion of the people looking for local food in the area, Mile Hill Farms joined the True North Community Co-op when it opened in 2009. The co-op offers consumers and producers a local food hub. The True North Community Co-operative began with a dedicated group of individuals in Thunder Bay, Ontario, concerned about the security and viability of Northern Ontario’s regional food system.  In 2009, the group formally incorporated as a non-share capital co-operative that would facilitate the sale of regionally produced goods (primarily food) throughout Northern Ontario. Since its incorporation, TNCC has made a significant impact on the regional food system in Northern Ontario. Within their first year of operation, the group established a retail storefront in Thunder Bay, and has continued to steadily build their membership; 700 individual, 85 producers and 7 commercial memberships. Over the summer of 2010, TNCC presented monthly e-workshops on gardening with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, the Food Security Network, and TNCC producer member Roots to Harvest. The workshops were streamed to NAN communities in support of community based food production activities and will be archived for future use. Renata has joined the LOFC Network Committee this year to be a conduit for knowledge sharing and information building for this important Co-op resource. The LOFC offers new and existing co-ops an opportunity to glean advice and offer mentorship to each other. Renata is both a co-op producer and TNCC board member from Northern Ontario. This network of Co-ops is a valuable tool for her to be a part of, and help nurture it into a strong, viable resource for all Ontario co-ops.


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