Good Things Continue To Grow In Ontario
McGuinty Government Celebrates Local Food And An Open Ontario
Ontario is boosting grassroots marketing efforts for Ontario foods and strengthening the economy by encouraging more people to buy locally grown food at farmers' markets, at on-farm food stands, in grocery stores and in restaurants.
The province hosted a farmers' market on the lawn of Queen's Park today, involving more than 20 exhibitors representing dozens of different fresh Ontario products including mushrooms, honey and ice cream.
As a result of government and industry efforts, more than 30 new members joined Farmers' Markets Ontario over the last two years - which brings the total to 152. There are also 75 new members in the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, bringing the total of registered on-farm markets to more than 300.
A strong agri-food industry supports the Open Ontario plan to create job and opportunities that will boost province's economy.
- Since 2003, the Ontario government has invested more than $65 million to support local, fresh Ontario food initiatives and to encourage local organizations and businesses to promote and carry Ontario food products. The Province will also invest $40 million over the next two years to create new opportunities for Ontario's agri-food industry.
- The Ontario Market Investment Fund has provided more than $5 million to more than 100 local marketing projects since 2008.
- The Foodland Ontario program now includes fresh meat, dairy and eggs in addition to fresh produce.
- Consumer awareness of the Foodland Ontario brand is at an all time high - 96 per cent of grocery shoppers recognize the Foodland Ontario symbol.
“We know that good things grow in Ontario, and now it's time for the rest of the world to know it. Choosing high quality, fresh Ontario foods supports our hard-working farmers, strengthens our communities, and protects our environment.”