Bringing Local Foods To The Table
McGuinty Government Helping Public Sector Connect With Local Farmers
More local food will soon be available in the cafeterias of hospitals, schools and other public institutions.
The Broader Public Sector Investment Fund will help connect farmers, food processors, and distributors with schools, hospitals, and municipalities to increase the amount of Ontario food purchased by the broader public sector. This will help support Ontario farmers and the agri-food industry.
The initiative will include:
- Funds for local projects that encourage business between institutions and farmers.
- The development of an electronic marketplace that links buyers with sellers across Ontario
- A provincewide report to track positive support of local foods in the public sector.
The fund will be administered by the Greenbelt Fund, a sister organization of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. The first round of applications will be accepted until November 1, 2010. Learn more about the fund and out how to apply by visiting www.Ontariofresh.ca.
A strong agri-food industry that supports local farmers is part of the Open Ontario plan to create jobs and opportunities that will boost the province's economy.
- According to a recent Environics study, 80 per cent of Ontarians polled said that ensuring a local food source is very important to them.
- Ontario farmers produce more than 200 commodities, many of which are also processed in the province.
- October 4 to 10, 2010 is Agriculture Week.
“Our government knows that good things grow in Ontario. By working together to encourage our public sector to choose more local foods, we are helping to support our farmers, strengthen our economy, and protect our environment.”
“In the past, Ontario institutions have been leading the way in environmental change: from being the first to introduce recycling in offices to using FSC certified paper. Once again, Ontario is leading the way, this time with the local food movement - reducing our carbon footprint, cutting our food miles and making thoughtful choices that help stop climate change.”
“The Greenbelt has been the driving force for local food for over five years. Ontarians recognize that in these tough economic times, we need to continue to help our farm families. The Province has taken the lead promoting local food and when Ontario institutions lead the way, others will follow”
“As someone already committed to buying local food, I am thrilled with the Province's announcement today. I expect that this is the start of systematic change for Ontario institutions. As a large public institution, the University of Toronto is looking forward to enhancing our local food-buying efforts with this program. This kind of funding will enable universities and other public institutions to make significant additional purchases of Ontario food.”