Ontario Supporting Durham Farm Fresh Marketing Campaign
Province Investing in Innovative Project to Promote Local Food
Ontario is supporting the promotion of fresh local food in Durham region.
Today, Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs visited Willowtree Farm in Port Perry to announce that the province is investing up to $10,000 towards Durham Farm Fresh's "Find Your Flavour" project through the Local Food Fund. The Fund supports innovative local food projects that increase demand and sales of Ontario food, stimulate new investment and strengthen Ontario's agri-food sector.
The funding will help develop a promotional program to increase the demand for local strawberries, blueberries, apples, corn, and pumpkins. The Durham Farm Fresh Marketing Association will also explore new and unique local foods being grown in the region and will promote products from this emerging sector.
The Minister also released the 2015 Rural Roadmap: The Path Forward for Ontario which provides an update on the province's progress on implementing programs, highlights initiatives benefiting rural Ontario, and outlines how Ontario is creating the conditions for the province's rural municipalities and businesses to grow, diversify and prosper.
Supporting economic growth in rural Ontario is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Ontario’s first Rural Roadmap: The Path Forward was first released in 2014, and outlined priorities for supporting rural communities across the province.
- The first Rural Summit was held in March 2014, which informed the Rural Roadmap. The next summit will be held in 2016.
- In 2013, Ontario’s rural communities contributed $106 billion in economic output, or approximately 18 per cent of the province’s GDP.
- The Local Food Fund is part of the government’s broader local food strategy to promote the good things that are grown, harvested and produced across the province.
- Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes over $35 billion in GDP to the province’s economy and supports more than 781,000 jobs.
- Since 2003, the province has invested more than $170 million to support sales of Ontario foods – including $22 million through the Local Food Fund.
“Strong rural communities help to create good jobs, attract investment and expand opportunities for their residents. We’re listening to rural Ontarians, businesses and municipalities and working with them to implement programs and services, like the Local Food Fund which benefit rural Ontario. By supporting organizations like the Durham Farm Fresh Marketing Association, we are not only helping strengthen Durham Region, but Ontario as a whole.”
“The Durham Farm Fresh Marketing Association is passionate about our region’s food and we are happy to have the Ontario government’s support to help expand opportunities for our local producers, and all those committed to local food.”