Ontario Farmers' Market Strategy
The McGuinty government is providing farm groups with nearly $4 million over four years to help farmers give shoppers greater access to fresh, local food.
Farmers' Markets Ontario
The organization provides support, training and advice to farmers' markets, including start-ups, promotions and liability insurance.
It will receive up to $750,000 in 2008-09 and $600,000 in each of the next three years to
- Expand the "MyMarket" brand with Farmers' Markets Ontario, as well as at farmers' markets that are not part of the organization through producer and market certification. This will help ensure that the products sold at markets are grown or made by local farmers.
- Develop information to help farmers who may be new to selling at farmers' markets.
- Research what consumers are looking for when they buy Ontario food via direct marketing channels.
- Undertake consumer awareness and marketing activities to promote these efforts.
Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association
The organization is made up of Ontario farmers with a keen interest in promoting the direct farm sales industry (which includes roadside marketing and pick-your-own operations), encouraging improvements and maintaining integrity in the industry.
It will receive up to $250,000 in 2008-09 and $200,000 in each of the next three years to:
- Conduct consumer research and marketing activities.
- Increase consumer awareness of, and access to, farm markets.
- Expand the number of farmers selling directly to the public.
- Expand the number of products on offer at on-farm markets, including meat, cheese, fibre and grain products.
OMAFRA is also committing up to $600,000 to provide business information and market analysis to Ontario farmers who would like more information about direct consumer marketing. This funding will also support the development of marketing tools and best practices for local farmers' markets and 'food trails'.