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Province Growing Northern Ontario's Agri-Food Sector

Archived News Release

Province Growing Northern Ontario's Agri-Food Sector

Province Supporting Job Creation and Economic Diversification in the North

Ontario is helping to diversify and strengthen the northern economy by growing the agriculture, aquaculture and food processing sector in the region.

Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, on behalf of Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, made the announcement at the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance Research Symposium in Thunder Bay

The Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy encourages businesses and communities to work together with the province to drive the growth and development of its agri-food sector and help increase local food consumption in Northern Ontario.

Developed with the input of agri-food businesses and organizations, as well as local and Indigenous communities, the strategy identifies government commitments to help grow the sector, such as supporting research and the growth of the food, beverage and aquaculture industries, as well as expanding livestock farming and soil mapping in the region.

Supporting economic growth in northern communities is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. This plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Northern Ontario is home to well-established dairy, beef, grain and oilseed, potato, vegetable and rainbow trout industries.
  • Northern Ontario is the biggest maple syrup producer in Ontario and the site of more rainbow trout production than the rest of Canada combined.
  • The Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy aims to foster a culture of innovation to strengthen primary agriculture and aquaculture production and food processing in the north. It also aims to increase consumption of food processed in the north, and to increase opportunities for Indigenous people and communities to participate in economic development in these sectors.
  • The Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy was informed by the participation and input of provincial ministries, agri-food businesses and organizations, Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs, environmental organizations, regional agri-food networks, community organizations and northern municipalities.

Additional Resources


“Northern Ontario’s agri-food sector supports more than 4,000 jobs, contributes $230 million to our province’s economy and is posed for future growth. This strategy identifies ways businesses, communities and government can work together to continue to grow the sector and boost economic development and job growth in Northern Ontario.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“The strategy released today will provide the foundation for a strong agriculture, aquaculture and food processing sector here in the North. By fostering innovation and strengthening these burgeoning industries, our government is investing in the new opportunities that will ensure Northerners are part of our province’s ongoing economic success.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines

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Rural and North