Ontario Working to Grow Province's Agri-food Sector
New Minister’s Advisory Committee to Strengthen Sector Competitiveness
Toronto - Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced today, details of a new agricultural advisory committee tasked with providing new perspectives on future growth for the sector. The Committee will include veteran agri-food industry leaders.
"Our agri-food business leaders know what's best for expanding the sector," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "I look forward to working with them on the issues that impact the industry, and how our government can help support the sector now and for the long term."
The Minister's Advisory Committee will be chaired by Randy Pettapiece, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
"I would like to thank Minister Hardeman for asking me to serve as Chair of the Minister's Advisory Committee," said Pettapiece. "Our government wants to hear from leaders in the province's agriculture sector to ensure we approach the challenges we face in a way that reflects the needs of the sector."
The Minister's Advisory Committee will include three Vice-Chairs, who each bring decades of industry experience and knowledge from across Ontario's agricultural value chain to the table:
- Keith Currie, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture
- Norm Beal, CEO of Food and Beverage Ontario
- Dave Buttenham, CEO of the Ontario Agri Business Association
The Committee will start meeting early in the new year, and will meet regularly to discuss issues that impact the industry. Their input will help ensure policies and programs foster economic growth without imposing additional regulatory burden or costs on farmers or agri-food businesses.
- Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector is a key driver of the provincial economy, contributing $39.5 billion to the GDP and supporting more than 822,000 jobs.
- Ontario’s total agri-food exports were $14.9 billion in 2017.
- The province is home to about 49,600 farms and over 4,000 food and beverage processing businesses.