Gold certification for tourism

Green Tourism Canada Certification

We applied for Green Tourism Canada Certification this winter.

Green Tourism Canada Certification

Our bluffs by Lake Ontario

A branch of Green Tourism International, Green Tourism Canada promotes ecotourism by :

• Encouraging tourist-oriented organizations to examine and improve their carbon footprint.
• Helping eco-minded travelers locate and choose their destinations.

The Canadian organization, http://www.greentourismcanada.ca/, is determined to create a sustainable industry that welcomes visitors across the country.

Topsy Farms worked with Green Tourism Canada for a few months, supplying initial data, participating in telephone interviews, then providing documentary and photographic proof of claims.

Green Tourism Canada Certification

Young flock moving to new pasture

There were 5 required criteria:
• Sustainability commitment
• Risk management standards especially regarding disposal of toxic substances
• That we know and evaluate our energy consumption, waste disposal, water use, and money spending patterns
• That we establish a Green Policy regarding environmental, economic and social issues
• Creation of a Green Management file, documenting problems and solutions

Green Tourism Canada Certification

Syrian Visitors with 2 Canadian babies

There are 140 possible measurements of strengths and problems, but the evaluator applied only about 60 appropriate ones to Topsy Farms. We were scored 0 – 5 on each to be evaluated for Green Canada Tourism certification.

WHEW !

The interviewer was supportive and encouraging. The 5 to 6 hours of interviews by phone were both stimulating and exhausting, with a free flow of information both ways.

The staff at Green Tourism Canada was impressed by many things already happening at Topsy Farms:

Green Tourism Canada Certification

Our ancient, prolific pear tree

  • commitment to permaculture with the land
  • efforts to assist Syrian refugees, First Nations healing, local schools
  • support of our local community, including the donation of a lambskin to each Island newborn; producing the Amherst Island newspaper, The Beacon, for over 30 years; participation in First Response since inception; gathering fresh food from Island gardens for Kingston shelters
  • welcome extended to the public to visit our shearing and foster lamb operations, educating families about eco-farming practices
  • recycling materials used on the farm; repurposing others. (One example: 7 miles of wood retrieved from a derelict grain elevator we took down built the second floor of our barn – now our shearing floor.)
  • support of our environment with gardens, Monarch Way Station certification, raising bees and producing honey, mulching with belly wool.
  • no chemicals at all are used in the production of our roving, yarn and blankets.
Green Tourism Canada Certification

Spending pattern in 2016

We learned a great deal about ourselves as well as developing ideas for improvement.

We were fascinated by the exercise of drawing a geographical chart, showing where our money was spent in 2016. The pie chart summarizes our proud results. Topsy paid 72% of last year’s goods and services within Ontario, mainly locally. Only 5% was spent outside Canada and we hope to reduce that!

We received a report suggesting areas of vulnerability, making practical recommendations, and stimulating new ideas.

We are proud to announce…

On Earth Day, Topsy Farms was awarded the Gold Classification for Green Tourism Canada.

It is the highest possible standard that a tourism business can receive regarding ecological sustainability.

Of 110 businesses classified in Canada, Topsy Farms is the FIRST farm – one of a very few agribusinesses including vineyards – to receive Green Tourism Canada Certification.

We are deeply gratified that our efforts, our values have been acknowledged. Our wool products are the most sustainable, environmentally friendly anywhere.

We can also clearly see new ways to improve our practices to be even more ecologically friendly.

Do walk or cycle this pathway with us.

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Nous vous invitons à communiquer avec nous en français à info@topsyfarms.com, ou par téléphone: 1-888-287-3157. Demandez à parler à Sally.