Statement on Federal Government's Food Packaging Standards
Today, Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food, issued the following statement on food packaging standards:
"I have been listening closely to industry concerns about the federal government's plans to deregulate food container sizes. Led by the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Processors Association, the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors, and Food Processors of Canada, the industry has warned that moving in this direction will have dire consequences for the ongoing competitiveness of the food processing and packaging sectors in Canada, including job losses and business closures.
In concert with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and leading municipal leaders, I have brought this matter to the direct attention of federal Minister Gerry Ritz in March 2013, and again at the Agricultural Ministers meeting in July 2013. I made it clear that moving in this direction has had a clear chilling effect on the business environment in Ontario and is threatening the existence of companies and potential international investors.
Across the value chain, Ontario's agri-food sector employs more than 700,000 people and generates $34 billion in economic activity for our province's economy. Ontario is home to one of North America's largest food processing sectors with 3,000 businesses that employ more than 95,000 people.
Food processing in Ontario is a vital industry. We will continue to work with our agri-food industry to help it grow and seize new market opportunities at home and globally. It is important that the federal government move in a direction that keeps jobs in Ontario and grows this important industry."