A Tale of Three Tomatoes: The New Food Economy in Toronto, Canada

Abstract:

Since the mid-1990s, the most dynamic component of the Toronto urban food economy has been the small- and medium-sized enterprises, comprised mainly of specialty, local, ethnic, and organic food-processing firms that are thriving in response to consumers’ demands for high-quality, local, fresh ethnic and fusion cuisine. However, these newer firms face challenges, and our results raise the question about how a more stimulating innovative milieu can be created for them. In answer to this question, we suggest multiscaled approaches to cluster formation and policy and discuss the implications of our research for theories of innovation systems, firms, city creativity, and governance. We situate this “new food economy” within the core literature of economic geography, seeking to relocate the “agrifood” literature away from a traditional rural setting to a dynamic city-region context, underscoring the essential role of the consumption side of agrifood chains. Moreover, we use the food sector as a lens through which to argue that mature sectors and “ordinary” activities in a city are every bit as important to the long-term health, viability, and sustainability of a city-region economy.

Citation:

Blay-Palmer, Alison and Donald, Betsey. “A Tale of Three Tomatoes: The New Food Economy in Toronto, Canada” Economic Geography 82.4(2006):383-399.

Link:

A Tale of Three Tomatoes: The New Food Economy in Toronto, Canada