Celebrate Ontario’s third annual Local Food Week –happening right now! — by trying some of the fresh and locally-grown food and beverages produced, grown and harvested here in Ontario.
The third annual Local Food Week kicked off with the launch of the 2016 Local Food Report, which highlights growth in the local food movement and the success the Ontario government has had in increasing food literacy and expanding access to local food for Ontarians.
Established under the Local Food Act, 2013, Local Food Week presents an opportunity for Ontario�s consumers, farmers, farm organizations, agribusinesses and government partners to come together to celebrate and promote Ontario foods and beverages.
“Ontario is an agri-food powerhouse and Local Food Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate the impressive and diverse variety of locally grown, harvested and produced food available within our own province.” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Highlights from the report include profiles of some of Ontario’s biggest Local Food Champions — like Joshna Maharaj, Brian Fernandez (who is responsible for French’s Ketchup!) and Feast On Chef Steffen Marin.
There are also a ton of stats around local food recognition amongst consumers, usability of produce year round and supply/sales initiatives for the data heads.
Also mentioned, as they should be, are Ontario’s many culinary trails working towards building rural economies through self guided food experiences — trails like The Apple Pie Trail in the Blue Mountains.
Did we also mention we got a sweet shout out on page 11?
The launch event was held at Hawthorne Food and Drink in Toronto, a social enterprise restaurant run by the Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC) and a previous recipient of funding through the Local Food Fund. This funding has enabled HWTC to successfully pilot an Ontario pre-cut vegetable processing partnership with 100km Foods Inc. and Ryerson University, resulting in over 2,800 lbs of chopped local vegetables being used instead of pre-cut imported vegetables. With the help of this funding, Hawthorne was able to intensively train HWTC’s program participants, promoting the use of local vegetables in a large-volume kitchen.