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Ontario invests in local food

Through the Greenbelt Fund, the Ontario government is investing more than $830,000 in 24 local agriculture and agri-food projects to boost access to local food across the province


Toronto – The Ontario government and the Greenbelt Fund are working on making local food in the province more accessible.

The two organizations announced more than $830,000 in funding to go towards 24 local food projects.

The Greenbelt Fund is a not-for-profit supported by public and private sources. It invests in projects that fall anywhere along the food value chain, from farm to table. The aim is to increase the sale of local food and strengthen the local food economy.

Farms at Work

One of the projects is called Farms at Work, which showcases local food through an event called the Peterborough Local Food Month. It will receive $15,000.

Farms at Work aims to show the Peterborough community the benefits and value of choosing local, and celebrating local food leaders and farmers.

Pat Learmonth, director of Farms at Work, says “the support from the Greenbelt Fund and province means we can solidify Peterborough Local Food Month as a signature agricultural event in the region.”

In 2015, the province gave the Greenbelt Fund $6 million over three years to support initiatives that in turn support the province’s local food strategy. The aim is to enhance consumer awareness and access to local food, as well as generate demand and supply of Ontario foods and beverages. The investment also supports the Local Food Investment Fund, which is a grant program for farmers and other businesses that work to increase the amount of Ontario-grown and made food.

The Local Food Investment Fund’s three grant streams focus on enhancing local food literacy, increasing market access for small and mid-size Ontario farmers and processors and increasing purchases of local food in the broader public sector, such as hospitals and universities.

The Greenbelt Fund works with business, institutions and NGOs to make Ontario’s farmers the first choice for consumers.

The other 23 projects are:

Bayfield Berry Farm Increasing Processing of Ontario Fruit Juices, Cider, Preserves & Fruit Liqueurs ($37,250)

Cauldron Kitchen Inc. Local Food Entrepreneurship Program ($5,000)

Cohn Farms Processing and Distribution Hub ($72,500)

Deep Roots Food Hub Grow West Carleton – Food Hub ($48,500)

Earth Fresh Farms Increasing Access for Ontario’s New Innovative White Potato ($42,900)

Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario Supporting Local Food Market Access for Ecological Growers Across Ontario ($14,475)

Farmersville Community Abattoir Farmersville Community Abattoir – Processing Equipment ($30,141)

Flanagan Foodservice Homegrown – Local Food Project ($42,840)

Greenhouses Canada Northern Ontario Mobile Growing Facility ($52,283)

Halton Healthcare Good For You, Locally Grown – Phase 2 ($51,500)

Len & Patti’s Butcher Block Improved Production Efficiency to Increase Ontario Raised Pork, Beef, Lamb, Elk & Goat ($46,438)

Local Line Inc. Local Line Food Hub Project ($28,316)

Munye Kitchens Increasing Local Food Outreach – Multi-Ethnic African Communities & Beyond ($23,495)

Muskoka Foundry Market Assessment for the Development of a Local Food Hub ($30,000)

National Farmers Union – Ontario Building a Network of Local Food Advocates ($32,675)

Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Increasing Access for Local Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Products ($13,250)

Poechman Family Farms Microgreens for Pastured Eggs ($38,100)

Reiche Meat Products Ltd. Growing Opportunities for Local Poultry ($14,550)

Select Food Products Implementation of New Cooking Line to Increase Production Capabilities and Access the Ontario Market ($75,000)

Victorian Order of Nurses – Windsor Essex Promoting Local Food Literacy & Increasing Local Food Consumption in Southwestern Ontario Schools ($18,988)

Wendy’s Mobile Market Season-Extension, Value-Adding Processing and Services($71,538)

West Niagara Agricultural Society Niagara 4-H Local Food Booth ($14,463)

Wickens Lake Sunshine Greenhouse Retrofit Extension – Northern Ontario ($9,942)


Deanna Rosolen

Deanna Rosolen

Managing Editor, Food in Canada
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