FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

ENROLMENT

PROCESS AND TIMELINES

PROMOTION

CONTACTS FOR MORE INFORMATION

INFORMATION FOR GROWERS AND SUPPLIERS


ABOUT THE PROGRAM

1) What is Fresh from the Farm?

Fresh from the Farm, Healthy Fundraising for Ontario Schools is the only school fundraiser, eligible to over 4000, publicly-funded schools. Fresh from the Farm provides schools the opportunity to raise funds by selling fresh, Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables to the community, while supporting healthy eating and Ontario’s farmers. Since 2013, almost 300 Ontario schools have successfully piloted Fresh from the Farm. In total, they collectively distributed almost 744,000 lbs. of fresh, Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables to Ontario families and raised more than $273,000 for school initiatives. As well, over $382,000 was returned to Ontario farmers. Please see attached brochure for more information on the current 2016 program.

Eligible schools are listed in response #8. Please visit www.FreshFromFarm.ca to ENROL.


2) Why is Fresh from the Farm such a popular fundraiser for schools?

Fresh from the Farm promotes healthy eating by offering schools an innovative fundraising program that:

  • aligns with Ontario’s School Food and Beverage Policy (PPM 150) and the Local Food Act, 2013;
  • raises awareness about the important role good nutrition plays in the development and well-being of children and youth;
  • serves to stimulate the local economy through the promotion and sales of fresh, Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables;
  • helps to create a more supportive nutrition environment in schools;
  • supports the provincial government’s Student Nutrition Program’s efforts to develop healthier learning environments;
  • provides opportunities for introducing the related topics of agriculture, food, and healthy eating into the classroom;
  • provides funds for schools – schools keep 40% of sales.

3) Who is involved?

Fresh from the Farm is a collaborative initiative between the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, and Dietitians of Canada.


4) What are the products to be sold? Where are the fruit and vegetables grown?

Two ‘Bundles’ of Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables are offered for sale:

  • priced at $12, Bundle A includes - 3 lb Carrots, 3 lb Onions, 5 lb Potatoes, and 3 lb Sweet Potatoes;
  • priced at $15, Bundle B includes - 8 lb box of Apples.

Fruit and vegetable products are supplied by growers throughout various regions of Ontario. Whenever possible, produce is sourced from growers in each region. While there are hundreds of producers across the province (and many located near schools), the program must use growers who have the capacity to supply the entire program or a particular region with the quantities, packaging, and quality as advertised by Fresh from the Farm. All suppliers must also be food safety certified, carry the appropriate liability insurance, and demonstrate a level of responsiveness to receive their order near the end of October, and begin shipping packaged product in early November.


5) What is the financial model?

  • 40% of sales go directly to the school (a $75 delivery fee is charged to cover distribution costs).
  • 50% of sales will be returned to Ontario’s farmers.
  • 10% of sales is retained by Fresh from the Farm for program sustainability.

ENROLMENT

6) What is the role of the School Champion?

The School Champion is the key liaison with the Fresh from the Farm Program Coordinator and leads the management of the fundraiser at the school level.

  • Ideal candidates in elementary schools are: a staff person or parent- volunteer (teacher, vice-principal, principal, parent-council member).
  • Ideal candidates in secondary schools are: a staff person or parent- volunteer (teacher, vice-principal, principal, parent-council member), a senior student designated by the School Principal, such as a Student Council Representative or other key student organization member.

Responsibilities include the coordination of all fundraising activities:

  • enroling the school through the Fresh from the Farm website;
  • ordering the toolkit;
  • promoting Fresh from the Farm to the school community;
  • submitting the school order, collecting and remitting funds;
  • recruiting and organizing volunteers;
  • coordinating delivery and distribution on the day customers pick up their orders;
  • participating in the project evaluation process.

7) Who can participate?

Elementary and secondary schools in the following 52 boards are invited to participate in Fresh from the Farm in 2016; please note the school exclusions within the boards identified with an * .

Please feel free to contact us for further questions of further information: contact@freshfromfarm.ca

  1. Algoma District School Board
  2. Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board*
    Excludes :
    • Our Lady of Mercy CS, Bancroft
    • Sacred Heart CS, Wolfe Island
    • St. Martin of Tours CS, Whitney
  3. Avon Maitland District School Board
  4. Bluewater District School Board
  5. Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board
  6. Brue-Grey Catholic District School Board
  7. Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario
  8. Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario*
    Excludes ALL schools located in:
    • Ottawa, Gloucester, Pembroke, Vanier
  9. Conseil scolaire catholique Providence
  10. Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud
  11. Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est Ontarien
  12. Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Centre-Est de l’Ontario*
    Excludes ALL schools located in:
    • Ottawa, Pembroke
  13. Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Grandes Rivières*
    Excludes :
    • École Bishop Belleau, Moosonee
  14. Conseil scolaire publique du Nord-Est de l’Ontario*
    Excludes:
    • ÉP Héritage; ÉS Cochrane; ÉS publique Odyssée; École élémentaire publique Odyssée, North Bay
    • ÉP Jeuness-Active; ÉS Northern, Sturgeon Falls
  15. Conseil scolaire Viamonde
  16. District School Board of Niagara
  17. District School Board Ontario North East
  18. Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  19. Durham Catholic District School Board
  20. Durham District School Board
  21. Grand Erie District School Board
  22. Greater Essex County District School Board
  23. Halton Catholic District School Board
  24. Halton District School Board
  25. Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board
  26. Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
  27. Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board*
    Excludes:
    • Birds Creek PS; Hermon PS; North Hastings HS; York River PS, Bancroft
    • Coe Hill PS, Coe Hill
    • Maynooth PS, Maynooth
  28. Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board
  29. Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board
  30. Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
  31. Lambton Kent District School Board
  32. Limestone District School Board*
    Excludes:
    • Amherst Island PS, Stella
    • Clarnendon Central PS, Plevna
    • Marysville PS, Wolfe Island
    • North Addington Education Centre and PS, North Addington
  33. London District Catholic School Board
  34. Niagara Catholic District School Board
  35. Northeastern Catholic District School Board*
    Excludes :
    • Bishop Belleau CSS, Moosonee
  36. Peel District School Board
  37. Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board
  38. Simcoe County District School Board
  39. Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board
  40. St. Clair Catholic District School Board
  41. Thames Valley District School Board
  42. Toronto Catholic District School Board
  43. Toronto District School Board
  44. Trillium Lakelands District School Board
  45. Upper Canada District School Board
  46. Upper Grand District School Board
  47. Waterloo Catholic District School Board
  48. Waterloo Region District School Board
  49. Wellington Catholic District School Board
  50. Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
  51. York Catholic District School Board
  52. York Region District School Board

The following First Nation schools are eligible to participate in Fresh from the Farm in 2016:

  1. CHIPPEWAS OF AAMJIWNAANG (SARNIA)
  2. CHIPPEWAS OF GEORGINA ISLAND
  3. CHIPPEWAS OF KETTLE & STONY POINT
  4. CHIPPEWAS OF MNJIKANING (RAMA)
  5. CHIPPEWAS OF NAWASH
  6. CHIPPEWAS OF THE THAMES
  7. CONSTANCE LAKE
  8. CURVE LAKE
  9. DELAWARE NATION COUNCIL, MORAVIAN OF THE THAMES
  10. GARDEN RIVER
  11. MATTAGAMI
  12. MISSISSAUGA
  13. MISSISSAUGAS OF THE NEW CREDIT
  14. MOHAWK COUNCIL OF AKWESASNE* – ONLY: Ahkwesahsne Mohawk School
  15. ONEIDA NATION OF THE THAMES
  16. SAGAMOK ANISHNAWBEK
  17. SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER
  18. WALPOLE ISLAND
  19. WHITEFISH

8) What is the plan for the eligibility of all Ontario schools?

Currently, school boards are invited to participate in Fresh from the Farm based on the local expertise and capacity already in place through the delivery of complementary programming. Some schools within some school boards are not eligible due to the limitations of our local suppliers to enable timely and effective deliveries.
Fresh from the Farm launched in 2013 with 9 eligible schools boards, and progressively expanded to include, 19 and 29, respectively, years two and three. For the current 2016 program 53 schools boards are eligible to participate. By 2017-2018, all 72 publicly-funded schools in Ontario will be eligible to participate in Fresh from the Farm.


PROCESS AND TIMELINES

9) What is the sequence of events?

Key dates will be posted in early April 2016.

  • May 2-October 7: The School Champion enrols the school and orders the toolkit. ENROL
  • September 6: Students being to fundraise.
  • October 17: Deadline for submitting orders/changes to orders
  • October 20: Invoice will be generated and emailed
  • Two weeks in advance of the delivery day, schools will be notified.
  • November 8-November 30: Deliveries to schools take place; there are no Friday deliveries and there is only one delivery scheduled per school.

10) What do we do after enrolment?

  • The School Champion will receive a confirmation email and a link to set up a password for access to submit the school order and make changes to the contact information.
  • At ENROL the School Champion (SC) also orders the toolkit, a supply of of Student Order Forms and Fresh from the Farm brochures. Additional forms may be downloaded at www.FreshfromFarm.ca
    • Kit ‘A’, English, 100 Student Order Forms, 150 Fresh from the Farm Brochures;
    • Kit ‘B’, English, 200 Student Order Forms, 300 Fresh from the Farm Brochures;
    • Kit ‘C’, French, 100 Student Order Forms, 150 Fresh from the Farm Brochures;
    • Kit ‘D’, French, 200 Student Order Forms 300 Fresh from the Farm Brochures.
    • Digital versions of the Student Order Form, a Classroom Summary Form (to compile students’ orders within a class/team/group), and Fresh from the Farm Brochures, may be downloaded from the CHAMPIONS page.
    • Many schools find it most effective to email parents, rather than providing a hard copy of the resources.
    • The toolkit ordered during the initial enrolment, may be changed (i.e., delivery address, choice of kit) up until August 1st. To do so, login and go to EDIT PROFILE.
  • Decide on specific sell dates for your school; begins Sept 6, order deadline is Oct 17th. Two weeks is suggested for active selling.
  • Develop a communication and promotion plan for your school community.

11) What happens on the delivery day?

  • View the video at http://www.freshfromfarm.ca/About.aspx to experience a ‘typical’ Fresh from the Farm delivery!
  • The distributor delivers skids of produce to a pre-designated school receiving entrance.
  • Produce is delivered in pre-packaged bags:
    • 3 lb bagged (poly) Ontario Carrots, Canada No. 1
    • 3 lb bagged (mesh) Ontario Onions, Canada No. 1
    • 5 lb bagged (paper or poly) Ontario Potatoes, Canada No. 1
    • 3 lb bagged (poly) Ontario Sweet Potatoes
    • 8 lb Single Tray Pack Ontario Apples (125 to 150 size)
  • Volunteers unload, sort and pack vegetable bundles into large, Fresh from the Farm bags (provided upon delivery).
  • Families pick up fruit and vegetable bundles at the school.

12) How do we submit our order?

Login with the password to begin the order submission process.

  • Submit Orders: Input total number of bundles by school or by class; update order details until submission deadline of October 17.
  • Add Users: Add another school contact who can also edit and update orders.
  • Edit Profile: Update your contact information and provide important delivery information that will assist our driver. For example, the school receiving area can:
    • Accept skids?
    • Accept trailers?
    • Has a receiving dock?
  • Submit the total number of each bundle that is required, i.e., Total Number of ‘Bundle A’ and Total Number of ‘Bundle B’.

13) How does the school receive their profit and remit payment?

Schools should retain 40% of total revenue collected (less $75 delivery fee), as the profit.

  • The invoice will be generated by the Fresh from the Farm website administrator and emailed to the School Champion on October 20th.
  • The invoice is based on 60% of total revenue collected (plus $75 delivery fee).
  • Payment is due upon receipt of invoice. VERY IMPORTANT: Please include the school number on the back of the cheque.
  • Please make cheque payable to: Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association. Include a copy of the invoice and mail with the cheque to:

    Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association
    Unit 105, 355 Elmira Rd.
    Guelph, ON N1K 1S5

14) What method of payment can students accept from customers?

Customers can pay by cash or cheque, payable to the school.


15) What is the role of volunteers? How many should we recruit?

Volunteers will be required the day the produce is delivered to sort and pack bundles into Fresh from the Farm bags. We suggest you recruit: 5-7 volunteers for 100 bundles, 7-10 for 125 bundles, 10+ for 150+ bundles. Volunteers should expect to spend 2-4 hours packing bundles.


PROMOTION

16) What is required to make Fresh from the Farm a success?

You will need:

  • an enthusiastic School Champion;
  • a strong team of volunteers - a great way for high school students to collect valuable volunteer hours;
  • adequate space at the school to receive the order, sort, pack, and distribute;
  • an ambitious group of students dedicated to selling fresh, Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables to families and friends- while making revenue for their school.

17) How can we promote Fresh from the Farm to the community?

  • Contact your local public health unit for additional support to present the Fresh from the Farm program to parent-council groups, school communities and other interested parties.
  • Display a media screen in front of your school.
  • Post promotional flyers in local community centres and retail outlets.
  • Insert information into school newsletters.
  • Distribute Fresh from the Farm brochure, included in the toolkit.
  • Link to www.FreshFromFarm.ca on your school website.

CONTACTS AND MORE INFORMATION

18) Contact Information


19) Information on Fundraising Guidelines for Schools

Fresh from the Farm meets the Ontario Guidelines for School Fundraising in which the funds raised for school purposes should not be used to replace public funding for education or those items funded through provincial grants. Visit the Ministry of Education website for more information.


20) Information and Recipes for Ontario-grown foods

  • Visit RECIPES for popular recipe ideas and food facts.
  • Visit the Foodland Ontario website for tasty, seasonal recipes, cooking tips and videos featuring fresh, Ontario-grown foods.
  • EatRight Ontario offers healthy recipes featuring Ontario’s fall harvest fruits and vegetables.

21) Testimonials from Satisfied Customers

  • “…very satisfied…we will continue with this practice next year as a means of supporting healthy eating in our school” (Deborah Wrack, Principal, Hickson Central PS, TVDSB).
  • “….a great learning opportunity…students enjoyed the visit to the farm…. (Paulette Gauthier, Teacher, l’Académie de la Tamise, London, CSV).
  • “…. again, another wonderful experience….smooth and an easy/healthy fundraiser” (Carol Sawadaski, Teacher/School Champion, Lord Elgin PS, London, TVDSB).
  • “… very pleased with the quality of the food…once they saw the value…a number of parents wanted to purchase more! We will definitely continue this fundraiser for years to come. Thank you for allowing us to participate in this excellent program. ….” (Michelle Heard, School Champion, Westway Jr School, Toronto, TDSB .
  • “…we love this fundraiser! The comments we received on the food quality was fantastic” (Leanne Tillaart, School Champion/Parent, Tweedsmuir PS, TVDSB).

Please let us know if you would like to connect with other satisfied School Champions – they would be please to share their school’s successful Fresh from the Farm fundraising experience!


INFORMATION FOR GROWERS AND SUPPLIERS

22) What are the procurement requirements?

"Procurement" means buying goods and services. Procurement rules ensure that program and/or taxpayer dollars are used effectively and efficiently, with no waste or abuse. There are four fundamental concepts related to procuring goods and services for Fresh from the Farm: full and open competition, responsible and responsive vendors, the buy local provision, and the role of food safety regulations.

 

1. Competition

An important principle of a sound procurement is competition. When procuring Ontario produce for Fresh from the Farm we strive for full and open competition, which essentially means all potential suppliers are on a level playing field. This also ensures that suppliers receive, and schools have access to competitive, wholesale pricing. It is a win, win for everyone.

 

2. Responsive and Responsible

In order to win a contract, vendors must be considered both responsive and responsible.

  • To be considered “responsive,” vendors must conform to all of the program’s stated terms and conditions. For example, if the program issues a request for Canada no.1 bagged carrots and the vendor responds with a bid for ungraded carrots in 3 litre baskets, the vendor is not responsive.
  • To be considered “responsible,” vendors must be capable of performing successfully under the terms and conditions of the contract. For example, the program requires that responders provide evidence of past success meeting delivery times. If upon calling the responder’s references it is learned that the vendor has a poor track record regarding on-time deliveries, the vendor would not be considered responsible.

A supplier who is responsible and submits a responsive offer is one that clearly complies with the solicitation’s terms and conditions, and that possesses, at the time of contract award, the experience, facilities, reputation, and other factors necessary to successfully fulfill the terms of the contract.

 

Supplier Specifications:

 

To maintain consistent grading, quality, and packaging for the produce across the entire program (as marketed on the Fresh from the Farm website), produce must be graded and packed as follows:

 
  • 3 lb bagged (poly) Ontario Carrots, Canada No. 1
  • 3 lb bagged (mesh) Ontario Onions, Canada No. 1
  • 5 lb bagged (paper or poly) Ontario Potatoes, Canada No. 1
  • 3 lb bagged (poly) Ontario Sweet Potatoes
  • 8 lb Single Tray Pack Ontario Apples (125 to 150 size)

Logistics:

Growers supplying the program are required to deliver their orders to central specified hubs in their particular regions as specified by Fresh from the Farm. This ensures that the school orders can be aggregated and distributed in the most timely and efficient manner.

 

3. Food Safety and Liability

Ontario has a strong agri-food industry working hard to ensure safe and healthy food for the people of the province. Fresh from the Farm is committed to purchasing produce from sources that are safe. As such, all suppliers must have proof of, and adherence to, food safety certification (Canada GAP or HACCP) and must carry a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance.

 

4. Local Provision (see response #25)


23) What is involved in the procurement process? Who do I contact?

There are five basic steps in the Fresh from the Farm procurement process:

  1. Develop specifications: Detail the annual requirements of the intended agreement, including delivery and packing conditions.
  2. Identify sources: Contact potential vendors in a variety of ways (e.g., suggestions from schools, calling on the phone, or emailing) and collect bids.
  3. Evaluate responses: Ensure that responders are responsible and responsive—in accordance with all aspects of the specifications. Document each bid even if it was offered in a face-to-face meeting.
  4. Award the contract: Determine which bidder offers the best value and award the contract to the bidder that is most responsive and responsible, with a fair market price.
  5. Manage the contract: Ensure the program receives everything from the vendor that the contract stipulates.

For those growers interested in supplying the program, please contact Dan Tukendorf DTukendorf@ofvga.org at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.


24) How do you define 'local procurement'?

There are many options for defining “local,” and definitions vary widely depending on the unique geography and climate where a school is located, and on the proximity to an abundance of local food producers. Many schools define local as within a certain number of miles, within the county, or within the province. While the phrase “local procurement” might conjure up images of a grower delivering produce straight to the backdoor of a school cafeteria, local foods does not always travel straight from the field. Although the program mostly buys directly from growers, produce is also purchased from Ontario packers, grower cooperatives, and food hubs. For example:

  • A number of apple growing regions exist in Ontario, including Prince Edward, Clarington, and Northumberland Counties, Waterloo Region, Georgian Bay and the Niagara Region. Many smaller orchards sell to the public at an on-farm market or farmers’ market. Orchards also move their products to apple packer hubs where the apples are graded, stored and packed in bags or boxes for sale to the larger retail market.
  • The vast majority of Ontario onions and carrots are grown in the Holland Marsh – located 50km north of Toronto. The Holland Marsh is commonly referred to as Ontario’s vegetable patch because of its incredible variety and large amounts of fresh produce. Produce selections range from more traditional crops such as carrots, onions and celery, to more diverse options like romaine lettuce and ethnic vegetables. The ability to grow and harvest these crops result from a combination of dedicated farmers and incredible muck soil. Many of these growers sell directly to grocery chains or at the Ontario Food Terminal. Smaller growers may also send their produce to local packers to be stored, graded, and packed.
  • Ontario sweet potatoes grow primarily in Norfolk County .These sub-tropical plants like the warm sandy soil of this region.

Fresh from the Farm is committed to sourcing produce from Ontario. Whenever possible, produce is sourced from growers in each region. It must be kept in mind that this program moves a large amount of produce. While there are hundreds of producers across the province (and many located near schools), the program must use growers who have the capacity to supply the entire program or a particular region with the quantities, packaging, and quality as advertised by Fresh from the Farm. All suppliers must also be food safety certified, carry the appropriate liability insurance, and demonstrate a level of responsiveness to receive their order near the end of October, and begin shipping packaged producer in early November.