Profit For The Planet Winners
Profit for the Planet is an initiative whereby Danone Inc. donates a share of its profits to initiatives aimed at taking concrete action to preserve the environment and contribute to the health and well-being of Canadian communities. Out of 83 projects submitted this year, just one initiative was awarded the grand prize of $10,000, two organizations were given $5000, and two groups were granted $2500.
Here are the winners:
1. Meet Your Farmer Bike Tours, the grand prize winner of this community challenge, takes an innovative approach to eco-tourism by offering one-day bike tours in which participants discover the world of organic farmers in the Maritimes. The Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) team has ambitious plans for their initiative, which they would like to be implemented from coast to coast, so that Canadians all over the country will be able to tour organic farms by bike and view the food they enjoy on a daily basis in a new light. The Meet Your Farmer project stands out for its originality and the values it advocates, such as education, awareness and a sensible, back-to-basics approach to agriculture. The $10,000 grant will make it possible to organize and implement bike tours in the summer of 2011.
2. Creating a Community Farm ($5,000 Grant). The mission of the Yarrow Ecovillage Society (YES) is to establish a unified, environmentally friendly community. In order to supply food to the area’s residents and foster local production, YES’s members have begun efforts to develop an organic farm co-op. With the $5,000 awarded, YES will set up an efficient farmland irrigation system — a vital tool for the community’s farmers.
3. The Cold Season Salad Project ($5,000 Grant). Located right in the heart of Toronto, FoodCycles is an organization whose goal is to establish an organic garden and market in order to supply locally produced organic food to area residents. In addition, the organization donates over 455 kg of food each year to low-income families and food banks in the vicinity. The $5,000 bursary will enable FoodCycles to upgrade its greenhouse facilities in order to increase production during winter, the time of year when families most often need the organization’s support.
4. Un Trésor Dans Mon Jardin (“A Treasure in My Garden” $2,500 Grant). The future of the planet lies in the hands of the next generation, and it’s with this in mind that Jeunes Pousses has set up a project in Waterville. Elementary school and daycare children from throughout the community will develop better eating habits and a more eco-friendly attitude to food by helping to cultivate a vegetable garden in different seasons.
5. Native Perennial Grasses: New Crops for Organic Farming in the Northeast ($2,500). Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP) Canada is currently developing new grass varieties adapted to the climate that can be used both to feed animals and heat greenhouses. These adapted varieties are easier to grow organically, which facilitates the work of organic farmers and those in the process of becoming organic. This innovative idea brings us one step closer to organic farming for everyone.