Local Food The Focus In Hastings County
McGuinty Government Supports Local Branding and Marketing Campaign
Ontario is boosting grassroots marketing efforts for Ontario foods and strengthening the economy in Hastings County by encouraging more residents and businesses to buy locally grown food.
Harvest Hastings is a three-year project to increase the availability of local food in the county. It involves identifying Hastings as a diverse and rich food producing region, and branding these foods through labelling, agri-tourism and education efforts.
The project has received $100,000 as part of the four-year, $12-million Ontario Market Investment Fund program, which helps develop economic opportunities through trade events, marketing campaigns and industry research initiatives that promote Ontario foods. It is part of Ontario's enhanced investment in 'buy local' initiatives.
“Hastings, like many areas of the province, has an abundant food supply produced by local farmers, prepared in local restaurants and sold by local retailers. When we buy Ontario, everyone wins. It is good for our families, good for farmers, good for the rural economy and good for the environment.”
“On behalf of the board of the Hastings Federation of Agriculture, representing approximately 650 farm families in Hastings County, I would like to enthusiastically support the Harvest Hastings project. As a result of this endeavour, a new environment of optimism is developing among farmers who not long ago were contemplating leaving the industry in this county. The principle of making the program open to any interested producers, regardless of volume of product or financial situation, is just one aspect of the Harvest Hastings concept that seems to stand out among other local food programs.”