Town of New Tecumseth Rural Food Network Project

The Town Planning Department has partnered with the University of Guelph's School of Environmental Design and Rural Planning, Masters of Planning Program, to undertake work to enhance and better establish the presence of a local rural food network in New Tecumseth.

This project seeks to develop a policy framework that will set New Tecumseth as an optimal place to establish farming businesses that provide a wide variety of local produce and products. Agricultural and rural lands are a large component of New Tecumseth.

The overarching goal is to increase local food security, support the economic vitality of New Tecumseth’s rural area, support sustainable farming practices, and reduce the communities overall carbon footprint through a localized food system.  

This project will be a component of a larger policy initiative that the Town is undertaking to better support our rural farms and businesses.

Get Involved! We want to hear from you.

Survey - Please take some time to provide your feedback!

Please take the time to fill out our survey:

This survey will run from Feb 17th, 2023 – Mar 10th, 2023

Local Farmers Workshop (Virtual) - March 1st, 12-1:30PM

We are hosting a virtual workshop for New Tecumseth farmers on Wednesday, March 1 from 12:00 - 1:30 to hear farmers' perspectives and needs related to a local food network.

If you are a local producer and are interested in participating in the workshop please email:

Join our Mailing List

Join our mailing list:

Please join our mailing list to stay up to date on the Local Food Network project. To join, send an email to


What is a Local Food Network and how does it impact me?

 A Local Food Network connects communities of producers and consumers through local food. The growing, sale, and consumption of food within the Town of New Tecumseth will help us establish a self-reliant, resilient food system and thriving agricultural sector. Local Food Networks take many forms. Initiatives may include farmers’ markets, pick-your-own, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food boxes, and improved sourcing of local goods in restaurants, grocery stores, community institutions (e.g., schools), and local shops. There is a place for everyone to participate in a Local Food Network. Local food systems can only function when the entire community is engaged – producers, consumers, retailers and... YOU!

Why is a Local Food Network important?

  •  Economic benefits: The local agri-food sector supports the economic vitality of New Tecumseth. A Local Food Network creates new opportunities for farmers, businesses, and entrepreneurs, which helps to diversify the local food market. Purchasing local foods stimulates the local economy by investing in the producers you know, while also creating job opportunities. A Local Food Network helps to address food insecurity and improve food programs at institutions such as schools and hospitals.
  • Social benefits: One of the most important outcomes of a Local Food Network is the relationships created among producers, retailers, and consumers. These relationships are built upon unified goals of supporting the local economy, producing and consuming nutritious foods, and establishing a strong sense of community. Other social benefits include strengthened knowledge of local food producers and industries, expanded market opportunities for local agri-food businesses, a celebration of the Town’s food legacy and increased reliance on locally sourced foods year-round.
  • Environmental benefits: One of the ways we can accomplish our climate change targets is by localizing our food systems. When we use less fuel to ship, import and buy our food, we reduce our carbon footprint! Continued community support supports the local adoption of sustainable practices and environmentally beneficial agriculture, where producers actively work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions through various tools and techniques. 

Here is a short video that can help you better understand what a Local Food Network is and is not. The video is not specific to New Tecumseth but provides clear and concise visual representation that may help you better understand how localized food systems impact your community and your life.

Project Information


The Town of New Tecumseth, located in the southern part of Simcoe County, is comprised of three distinct communities: Alliston, Beeton, and Tottenham which are surrounded by rural landscapes that showcase the area’s rich cultural and agricultural heritage. The Town of New Tecumseth is seeking to enhance the local agricultural sector by supporting sustainable farming and agricultural businesses by establishing a local food network. 


This project will deliver a policy framework and action plan to support the Town of New Tecumseth in establishing a Local Food Network. 

Project Timeline

Phase 1: Project Initiation – January 2023-February 2023

During this phase, New Tecumseth and its consultants at the University of Guelph will undertake a comprehensive review of legislation and policy that enable local food networks, evaluate examples of similar-scale agricultural communities in Ontario that have established Local Food Networks, and determine best practices to localize food systems.


Phase 2: Stakeholder Engagement – February 2023-March 2023

During this phase, New Tecumseth and its consultants at the University of Guelph will undertake strategic engagement with the community to glean input on the design of a Local Food Network Framework.


Phase 3: Development of Framework and Action Plan – March 2023/April 2023

During this phase, New Tecumseth and its consultant at the University of Guelph will develop a Local Food Network Framework and subsequent Action Plan based on the findings from Phase 2. The Framework and Action Plan will accurately reflect the needs of the community. This phase will also include a presentation of findings to Council, which the public is invited to attend. 

What are the goals of the Local Food Network?

  1. Identify best management practices for Local Food Networks
  2. Provide policy recommendations to foster a sustainable Local Food Network
  3. Deliver a Local Food Network framework that responds to community needs 

What is the purpose of a Local Food Network?

  • Foster community engagement
  • Improve economic vitality
  • Increase food security
  • Support the community’s climate action goals 

How does a Local Food Network fit within the Town of New Tecumseth’s goals?


The project will provide policy recommendations that expand upon existing policies contained within the Town of New Tecumseth’s Official Plan (2019), the Economic Development Strategic Plan (2017), and will inform the Town of New Tecumseth’s Climate Action Plan and Official Plan update that are underway. 


The Local Food Network Framework and subsequent Action Plan will guide the municipality to help localize their food system. Implementing a Local Food Network yields benefits for producers, processors, retailers, and consumers.

How can I get involved?

The Town of New Tecumseth welcomes all residents and stakeholders to participate in the development of a Local Food Network. To get involved, you can complete our survey and/or attend our Community Conversation. You may also email with any questions or ideas you have on our project.