Ontario Committed to Supporting Farmers, Building Stronger Agri-food Industry
Good news local food lovers–Ontario is moving forward to help promote the good things that are grown, harvested and processed in Ontario with today’s passage of the Local Food Act, 2013.
The new legislation is part of a strategy to build Ontario’s economy by making more local food available in markets, schools, cafeterias, grocery stores and restaurants. This will expand the province’s agri-food sector. A�This comes in the wake ofA�Ontario�s new Local Food Fund–a $30 million investment from the province to create jobs and support innovative local food projects over the next three years.
The new legislation — the first of its kind in Canada — will increase local food awareness, and boost sales by setting local food goals and targets in consultation with sector partners. The act will also create a non-refundable tax credit of 25 per cent for farmers who donate their surplus harvest to eligible community food programs such as food banks, and proclaim a Local Food Week that will take place annually, beginning the first Monday in June.
“The Local Food Act will benefit people by making the connection between buying local and helping grow an important Ontario industry. If we increase demand to homegrown food, we will create jobs and boost the agri-food sector�s contributions to our economy. It�s an important and historic step forward and I thank everyone who helped support this legislation.”
�A�Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario and Minister of Agriculture and Food
Building a stronger agri-food industry is part of the government’s economic plan to support a dynamic and innovative business climate, invest in people and invest in infrastructure.
The province�s agri-food sector currently contributes approximately $34 billion to the economy and supports more than 740,000 jobs across Ontario.A�Our farmers produce more than 200 commodities, including fruits, vegetables, livestock, dairy, poultry, grains and oil seeds–our processors purchase about two-thirds of the food that is produced on the province�s farms.
This week, they’re all celebrating.