In partnership with the Government of Ontario, The Greenbelt Fund will be supporting 27 local food projects that aim to make it easier for people across the province to access and enjoy Ontario-grown food.
Ontario’s minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal joined Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund at Gordon Food Service (one of the companies leading one of these projects) in Milton, Ont. on Oct. 3 to make the announcement about this endeavour.
L to R: Greenbelt Fund CEO Burkhard Mausberg, president of Gordon Food Service Ontario Lisa MacNeil, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal and local MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris
Gordon Food Service’s project, called “Ontario Ingredients for Success,” aims to strengthen connections between foodservice operators, growers and processors in Ontario, as well as to provide support for promotional restaurant campaigns that highlight Ontario-grown options for consumers. Gordon Food Service is partnering with Mushrooms Canada, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, Ontario Turkey Growers and Egg Farmers of Ontario with a goal of increasing the sale of Ontario food by $5 million each year.
“Gordon Food Service is showing strong leadership in recognizing the value that buying local has for Ontario’s economy,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “From match-making producers with restaurateurs to helping promote local food items on the menu, this project will mean more Ontarians will be able to eat local even when eating out.”
The Greenbelt Fund is investing more than $1.3 million to support these 27 projects across Ontario through the Local Food Investment Fund, bringing more Ontario-grown and raised food to Ontarians.
“Through the Local Food Investment Fund, our government is helping to source more agricultural products from Ontario growers and producers to get more local food onto Ontario plates, which is creating new opportunities for the agri-food sector,” says Jeff Leal, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This funding encourages the private sector to invest and help strengthen the value chain so that more Ontario-grown, raised and harvested food is enjoyed across the province.”
In addition to Gordon Food Service’s project, which will be receiving $60,000 in investment from the fund, the other 26 projects announced include 100km Foods Inc.’s “Growing the Ontario Local Food Economy: Capacity Building and Investment Project” ($120,000), Beverly Creek’s “Improving Access of Lamb Products in Ontario” ($43,000), Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Operative’s “Leveraging Local Food Purchases in Northwestern Ontario: Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Kenora, Rainy River & Beyond” ($65,000), and FoodShare Toronto’s “Food Literacy at the Royal and Expanding the Local Food Distribution Hub” ($80,000).