Karen Hutchinson


President/Consultant at Albion Hills Community Farm, Ontario, Canada

Karen Hutchinson’s primary expertise is in transitioning food systems to sustainability; working at the intersection of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience to find innovative solutions and transition pathways.

Starting at community level and scaling up, Karen has twenty years of experience working with food system innovation on the ground level. She is well versed in systems thinking, food and agriculture systems, social innovation and transitioning and transforming food systems.    

Her education includes a Masters of Environmental Studies (Transition Pathways in Community Food Systems) from York University, and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and Bachelors of Environmental Studies (Urban and Regional Planning) from the University of Waterloo.   

Karen has been a founder and member of six key food organizations and/or initiatives and fundraised over $1,500,000 for various organizations from 2005 to 2023. She has delivered local and international presentations on food, farming, community well-being and food system innovation while completing reports, studies and papers for community and clients. She has hands-on food system experience starting and running farms, markets, and community education programs. 

Karen’s food system innovation experience includes roles within the following organizations:

  • Albion Hills Community Farm (Founder/Manager/President, 2010 – 2023 for working farm and learning centre)
  • Headwaters Communities in Action and Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance (Consultant/Member, 2014-2023 for Headwaters Food Charter/Strategy, Farm to School, Community Well-Being and Evaluation)
  • Sustain Ontario – The Alliance for Healthy Food and Farming (Founder/Co-Chair 2009-2015)
  • Land Food People Foundation (Founder/Board Chair/Member, 2006–2023)
  • Caledon Countryside Alliance and Eat Local Caledon (Program Manager and Director, 2003-2014)
  • Sheffield Farms (directed organic family farm, 2005-2014).

Interests in
Food and agriculture system innovation; Transition and transformation projects and policy; Social innovation and systems thinking;
Community food system transition pathways
Connecting on the ground food system work to transformation theory and practice 

Open to contact in relation to 
Peer learning / Mentoring / Work or consultancy / Research collaboration / Sharing experience and expertise