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Request for Proposals (RFP)--Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance Food Charter and Strategy

Dufferin County, Ontario
Deadline October 30, 2015

I) Information about HFFA

The Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance (HFFA) is a collaborative initiative which oversees and supports activities to advance local food and farming in Dufferin County, the Town of Erin and the Town of Caledon. Our vision is to:

Foster a food system in Headwaters that is productive, sustainable, transparent, and fair; supports the health and well-being of our residents and food providers; and contributes to the prosperous and equitable economy.

The primary objectives of HFFA are to grow a stronger local economy through the development of a local food system that includes residents who have access to healthy food and have the skills needed to support healthy eating; and develop a diverse and sustainable farming system and local leaders who embrace the development of a local food system through development of supportive policies.

II) Background

HFFA began with several community partners from health, social, municipal, agriculture and the private sector coming together to discuss the state of and future of food and farming in the Headwaters Region.  In April 2012, 135 participants attended the inaugural Headwaters Food Summit and Local Food Trade Fair to discover new ways of working together to positively impact the Headwaters Food shed.  Five priorities were identified as the opportunities that participants wanted to move forward with together. These included: growing awareness; culinary tourism; school programs; facilitating distribution; and, improving policy.  

Following the summit, a coordinating committee called the HFFA HUB, was formed. The HUB is primarily responsible for monitoring and managing HFFA’s vision and strategy, communicating to both internal and external stakeholders, applying for and overseeing HFFA’s budget, and advancing supportive policy for the development of a local food system. There is currently one working group of HFFA, the Education, Access and Literacy workgroup, and one affiliated workgroup for culinary tourism.

Since the formation of the HUB, HFFA has conducted an in-depth policy scan (Growing the Food System Within the Headwaters Region) and planned several community events that have resulted in discussion and feedback about the needs in Headwaters to advance HFFA’s vision and goals.  The resulting reports from the scan and community events have identified several areas of action, both at the municipal, provincial and federal level. One of the actions identified at a local level was the development of a Food Charter.

III) Food Charter work to date

The HUB has begun to move forward with the development of a local Food Charter and Strategy. The Charter component will have high level vision and values and the strategy will include tangible action steps. The objectives of the Food Charter and Strategy are to:

  • Create common values and goals to advance of the local food and farming system
  • Increase awareness of food and farming (to agencies/organizations, community members, businesses and government)
  • Increase engagement and buy-in form all stakeholders
  • Increase partnership and collaboration within the local food system

To date, the HUB has met to identify 6 pillars of the Food Charter and strategy, which include: i) access and equity, ii) nutrition and health, iii) economic vitality, iv) environmental sustainability, v) agriculture, and vi) culture. The HUB has also brainstormed value statements within each pillar. The next step is to engage community partners and agencies that are invested in this work to: i) affirm the proposed value statements and add additional statements where appropriate, and ii) develop action steps within each pillar.

IV) Scope of Consultant Work

  • The HUB will work with a consultant to plan, facilitate and summarize the partner/agency engagement sessions. As such, the consultant will be responsible for:
  • Working with members of the HUB to develop the structure, questions and template to guide the facilitated sessions. 
  • Facilitate a maximum of 4 engagement sessions within the Headwaters region with community partners/agencies to inform the Food Charter and strategy.
  • Compile and analyze the data and information collected during the engagement sessions. Please note that members of the HUB will be completing additional facilitation sessions, which will not be the responsibility of the consultant to complete. However, the expectation of the consultant will be to summarize the findings from all of the engagement sessions (both consultant led and HUB led). This information will be provided back to the HUB in a final report that summarizes the findings in each pillar and provides overall themes.
  • Attend a HUB meeting to present the information back to the HUB members.
  • Due to the nature of this work, the consultant will need to demonstrate skills in facilitation, research synthesis and report writing.

IV) Proposal Guidelines

Selection Schedule & Timeline for Planning Process:

Submission due:  October 30, 2015

Interviews and Selection by:  November 20, 2015

Preliminary Meetings with HUB to develop sessions: late November 2015 – December 2016

Facilitation of Sessions: January - April 2016

Final Report due: May 31, 2016

Budget:  Competitively priced bids under $10,000 (plus HST) will be accepted

Submission Requirements:

In order to simplify the evaluation process and obtain maximum comparability, HFFA requires that all proposal submissions be organized in the format described below:

1)    Project Overview: Describe your understanding of the work to be performed.

2)    Approach and Methods: Describe the approach and method(s) you intend to use for the development and facilitation of the partner/agency engagement process and summary report.

3)    Professional Experience and Qualifications: Describe your past experience in work of similar scope. This should include an explanation of your philosophy, structure and qualifications regarding engagement and facilitating processes with diverse stakeholders.

4)    Professional References: Include a list of relevant references within the past 5 years.

5)    Budget breakdown: Include a breakdown of your proposed budget based upon the scope of work and deliverables. Food, incidentals and hospitality are not allowable expenses under this RFP. Equipment and software required to complete the work is expected to already be owned by the consultant in the course of carrying on business and are therefore not allowable expenses.

Mandatory Requirement:

The successful consultant, upon being offered the contract, must show proof of Commercial General Liability insurance of at least $2 million per occurrence.  The liability insurance should include personal injury and property damage, non-owned automobile liability, owners and contractors’ protective coverage and contractual liability coverage.

Rated Criteria and Interview Selection:

The following is an overview of the categories and weighting for the rated criteria of the RFP. The top three scoring candidates will be invited for an interview.

Rated Criteria Category


Project Overview


Approach and Methods


Professional Experience and Qualifications




Budget Breakdown





V) Questions and Submission

The contract for this RFP is being hosted by Headwaters Communities in Action on behalf of HFFA.

Please direct any questions about the RFP or RFP process to:

Please send completed submissions by 4:30pm on October 30, 2015 to: