Ontario is once again spreading the word about local food to help increase consumer awareness of, and demand for, the good things that are grown, harvested and made in Ontario.
Buying and supporting local food creates jobs and economic growth in communities across the province. As part of the Local Food Act, 2013 – part of a broader strategy intended to increase demand for Ontario food, creating more jobs and boosting the agri-food industry�s contributions to the economy– the Province has established three goals to increase knowledge about local food. To encourage food literacy, the goals are to increase the number of Ontarians who:
- Know what local foods are available
- Know how and where to obtain local foods
- Prepare local food meals for family and friends, and make local food more available through food service providers
The Province will also develop baseline statistics and performance measures to track and report on progress towards these goals.
?Increasing knowledge of local, Ontario food supports our communities and helps grow our agri-food sector. By establishing food literacy goals and committing to measure progress, we are working to ensure that more Ontarians are able to identify, access and prepare food grown, harvested and made in Ontario.? said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
In order to work towards the goals, Ontario will leverage current government support and work already underway within the industry. The government currently provides support to promote and celebrate local food in Ontario through the Local Food Fund, The Greenbelt Fund, Growing Forward 2 and the Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc.
Supporting local food initiatives is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.