Growing Foods From Around the World in Ontario Soil
Ontario Seeking Feedback to Grow More World Foods Locally
Ontario is kicking-off Local Food Week by engaging consumers, farmers and agri-food processors to find ways to make locally-grown foods as diverse as the people who call this province home.
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal was at Heydon Park Secondary School in Toronto this morning to launch consultations for Bring Home the World, Ontario's strategy to help bring more locally-grown and processed world foods to markets, grocery stores and dinner tables across the province.
Ontario is the most culturally diverse province in Canada, and our farmers and agri-food manufacturers are already growing and producing many world foods, such as bok choy, napa cabbage, Chinese broccoli and goat meat. This strategy will increase access to an even wider variety of Ontario-grown and made produce, meats and food products from other cultures and places around the world to better meet the needs of families and communities across the province.
Minister Leal also held the first consultation session today, where participants shared their ideas on how the province can help diversify the foods grown and produced in Ontario. People can share their input into the strategy by:
- Taking the world foods survey at Ontario.ca/worldfoods
- Reading the Bring Home the World discussion paper and submitting your comments via e-mail.
- Watching and sharing the Bring Home the World video
Expanding the diversity of locally-grown and processed foods in the province is part of Ontario's plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- This week is Local Food Week, June 5-11, 2017.
- Today the Minister also announced $1 million in additional funding for the Greenbelt Fund, to help increase awareness of local food, including World Foods, and develop new markets for the good things that grow in Ontario.
- In 2015, there were 2,900 acres of world vegetables grown in Ontario with a value of $15.5 million.
- To increase the diversity of locally grown foods in Ontario, the government is funding research with groups like the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to identify how to grow more world foods in the province.
- Purchasing local food from a farmers’ market, a grocery store or on-farm market helps build strong and resilient food systems to feed Ontario’s population and keeps good jobs and dollars in the province.
- Since 2003, the province has invested more than $190 million in initiatives and projects that help promote and celebrate local food, including the Local Food Investment Fund in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund.
- These public consultations are part of the government’s Local Food Strategy and will assist the agri-food and food processing sector as it seeks to build capacity to grow and produce world foods, and thereby help improve consumers’ access to these foods so Ontarians can Bring Home the World.
- Feedback received over the course of the consultation will help inform future government programming.
“Ontario has the most culturally diverse population in Canada – we have roots in more than 200 countries around the world and grow more than 200 diverse foods right here in Ontario. I encourage everyone to get involved and share your views on what World Foods means to you. Together, we will Bring Home the World and grow Ontario’s booming agri-food sector in a way that meet the needs of a growing and diverse population.”
“Thanks to the terrific support from the Government of Ontario, the Greenbelt Fund grant program is able to help farmers, businesses and not-for-profits successfully increase the amount of Ontario food purchased and enjoyed across the province - including more delicious world crops.”