Queens Park — The new Ontario government is re-introducing legislation today that, if passed, would help make more local food available in markets, schools, cafeterias, grocery stores and restaurants throughout the province.
“Eating local isn’t just good for Ontario families – it’s good for our economy. That’s why our government will continue to work with the agri-food sector, including retailers and food service operators, to bring more Ontario food to the table”, says Ontario Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food Kathleen Wynne.
If passed, the Local Food Act would:
- Increase local food awareness, access and sales by setting local food goals and targets in consultation with stakeholders
- Enable government to work with public sector organizations toward these goals and share information on their progress and results
- Proclaim a “Celebrate Ontario Local Food Week” that would begin the Monday before Thanksgiving
- Require the government to produce a local food report on its activities to support local food
The proposed legislation is part of a broader local food strategy that encourages the growth and development of markets for foods grown and made in Ontario, and provides funding for innovative and collaborative local food projects.
Promoting local food is part of the new Ontario government’s plan to strengthen the agri-food industry, build stronger communities and create jobs that will grow the economy.
- The province will hold consultations with stakeholders on a new provincial designation system that could help promote foods of a particular region, standard of production, or unique product attribute.
- The Ontario agri-food sector contributes more than $34 billion to the provincial economy and employs more than 700,000 people.
- Ontario’s food processors purchase about 65 per cent of the good things that are produced on the province’s farms.
- Ontario is home to Canada’s largest food processing sector.