Ontario Growing More Opportunities for Local Food in Public Sector Organizations
Province Proclaims Final Requirement of Local Food Act
Ontario is encouraging public sector organizations to use more locally grown and produced food by delivering on the commitment to support the province's agri-food sector.
Today, the province proclaimed the final requirement of the Local Food Act, 2013, to encourage public sector organizations, such as hospitals and schools, to use more local food. These organizations represent a big market opportunity for local food and economic growth in communities across the province. Consultations will be held throughout the fall with agri-food stakeholders, public sector organizations and the public to establish aspirational goals and targets.
Ontario has continued to support the local agri-food sector by:
- Establishing first full week in June as Local Food Week
- Preparing an annual Local Food Report highlighting progress made to local food activities
- Creating a tax credit for farmers who donate to local food banks and other community food organizations
- Establishing local food literacy goals
- Establishing local food access goals
Increasing the use of local food across public sector organizations is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The 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.
- Passed in 2013, the Local Food Act supports the government’s Local Food Strategy, which aims to promote, increase access to and develop new markets for Ontario food and beverages.
- Over the past fifteen years, the province has invested more than $190 million in initiatives and projects that support growth in the agri-food sector and celebrate the bounty of local food available in Ontario.
- June 3-9, 2018 is Ontario’s annual Local Food Week - one of the first elements to come into effect under Ontario’s Local Food Act, 2013.
- Since the Premier’s Agri-Food Challenge was issued, more than 57,900 jobs have been created and $3.4 billion has been added to the economy.
- For more than 40 years, Foodland Ontario has connected with families on how to recognize, prepare and love local foods.
“When we invest in our local food system, we grow our economy, strengthen rural communities and create good jobs for the future. By proclaiming the final requirement of the Local Food Act, we demonstrate this government’s legacy in growing and making more Ontario local food available for all Ontarians.”