Open for Business


The Open for Business initiative was undertaken by the Government of Ontario to establish a collaborative relationship between government and key business stakeholders to drive economic activity. The OFA was selected as the organization to coordinate the development of a sector strategy for the agricultural industry that conveys the views of agricultural input suppliers, farmers, and food processors.

As the leader of activism and advocacy for Ontario farmers, the OFA took the reins in this initiative and spearheaded consultations with the farm and agri-food sector in order to generate an outcome that would be beneficial to the farming and agri-food industry.

The OFA’s role as the consultation leader required them to gather crucial information regarding the issues and recommendations and present them to the Ontario government. Not surprisingly, the agriculture and agri-food sector strategy identifies regulatory irritants that obstruct or restrain productivity and profitability within the agriculture and agri-food sector.

The aim of the strategy is to establish a mechanism that would allow ag-industry stakeholders to improve existing regulations that are of concern, and have meaningful input into the development of new regulations to ensure they meet their objectives without placing a disproportionate economic burden on those having to comply.

The recommendations, which were intended to protect public interest as well as maintain sustainable growth in the food and agriculture industries, were then reviewed and assessed by relevant government ministries.

Below is a list of the outcomes that were agreed upon by the Government of Ontario:

  • Agriculture and agri-food sectors affected by new regulations will be consulted early and often during the drafting process
  • Existing regulations that no longer meet legislative objectives or accommodate new technology will be reviewed on a regular basis
  • All provincial ministries will work together to ensure consistent and accurate interpretation of regulations by inspection and enforcement officers 
  • Service standards will be streamlined for licensing, permitting and approvals processes such as certificates of approval and reduced ‘red tape’ on drainage approvals
  • Regulatory compliance incentives will be considered as a substitute to regulations or enforcement

 The Open for Business initiative demonstrates how the agricultural industry and the provincial government can successfully coordinate to produce outcomes that are positively received by the agriculture community. 

Submissions & Correspondence

OFA submission regarding proposed amendments to Rabies Immunization Regulation 567
(November 8, 2017)

OFA comments on new regulation to reduce regulatory costs for business
(October 30, 2017)

Joint letter to the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission calling for a grower vote on proposed regulatory changes impacting the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers
(July 31, 2017)

OFA submission to OMAFRA's Farms Forever Consultation
(June 29, 2017)

OFA submission regarding third party signage policy along provincial highways
(December 6, 2016)


Working with government on regulatory reform
(May 13, 2011 - Open for Business )

OFA works with provincial government to reduce regulatory red-tape
(August 29, 2011 - Open for Business )

How can OFA reduce red tape for you?
(February 17, 2012 - Open for Business )

OFA President Says Open for Business Making Progress
(December 12, 2011 - Open for Business )

Open for Business process keeps agri-food and government talking
(November 1, 2013 - Open for Business )

OFA convention a time to celebrate successes and push forward
(November 22, 2013 - Property Assessment and Taxation, Open for Business , Local Food, Natural Gas Infrastructure)

OFA outlines top three political priorities for 2014
(January 3, 2014 - Open for Business , Natural Gas Infrastructure)

Keeping key ag issues hot with government
(February 21, 2014 - Rural Economic Development, Open for Business , Natural Gas Infrastructure)

Bringing our message home to politicians
(October 11, 2013 - Open for Business , Local Food, Natural Gas Infrastructure)

Now’s the time to renew your OFA membership
(February 6, 2015 - Land Use Policy & Farmland Preservation, Open for Business , Natural Gas Infrastructure, Climate Change)

OFA: Three things we want to see in the provincial budget
(January 22, 2016 - Water, Land Use Policy & Farmland Preservation, Municipal Government, Rural Economic Development, Nutrient Management, Farm Property, Health Care, Farm Labour & Safety, Farm Finance, Taxation, Farm Income, Transportation, Open for Business , Local Food, Natural Gas Infrastructure, Food Literacy, Provincial Funding Transfers to Municipalities )

Throne speech speaks directly to agriculture
(September 16, 2016 - Energy, Open for Business )

OFA’s 2017 priorities line up with latest government mandate letters
(January 5, 2017 - Rural Economic Development, Weed & Pest Management, Energy, Waste Management, Open for Business , Natural Gas Infrastructure, Provincial Funding Transfers to Municipalities , Climate Change)

Government releases Red Tape Challenge report on food processing sector
(April 6, 2017 - Open for Business )

The Red Tape Challenge Ontario Government asking for input on ag-related regulations
(August 12, 2016 - Open for Business )

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