Marketing support will encourage consumers to choose locally grown foods
GUELPH, ON [December 17, 2021] – The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is excited to see the Ontario government invest $1 million annually to promote locally grown food.
The new program, announced by the province December 14th, is a cost-sharing venture with the Grassroots Growth Initiative that offers funding directly to Ontario agri-food producer organizations to develop and expand marketing opportunities. It is a much-needed boost for Ontario’s food producers and farms.
“Supporting and promoting food that is grown and raised in Ontario is vital to protect and preserve our food sovereignty and helps ensure our food supply chains remain resilient,” says Peggy Brekveld, President of the OFA. “This is why the OFA has been an advocate for the protection of Ontario farmland. Preserving farmland ensures we can continue to provide the food, fuel, flowers and fibre Ontario needs, now and into the future. Provincial support to help market and promote these products will help Ontario agriculture grow stronger.”
The funding program offers up to $100,000 per marketing project that encourages Ontarians to buy fresh, locally grown and made agri-food products. This new program aligns closely with OFA’s recently launched Source Local campaign, a partnership with Farm & Food Care Ontario on a year-long pilot project to inspire support for Ontario food and farming in local communities and urban and suburban regions of the province.
The drive to support and promote locally grown foods is the foundation behind the OFA’s Home Grown initiative, a multi-media effort that promotes the importance of preserving farmland as the natural resource where Ontario food and agri-food products originate.
Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes more than $40 billion a year to Ontario’s economy and supports more than 860,000 good jobs.
“Ontario is currently losing 175 acres of farmland to urban development every day,” says Ms. Brekveld. “The best way to preserve that land is to ensure there is demand for the products it supports. We applaud the province for launching this initiative, and we look forward to the innovative ideas it will foster to encourage Ontario consumers to buy Ontario dairy, fruits, vegetables and meats.”
About the Ontario Federation of Agriculture:
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer. For more information, visit ofa.on.ca.
About Home Grown
A public awareness initiative of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Home Grown is a campaign to advocate for the importance of Ontario farms as a source of food, fuel and fibre. Arable farmland is the most important natural resource, but Ontario is losing an average of 175 acres of farmland to urban development every day; that is the equivalent of five family farms paved over every week. It is the objective of Home Grown to help develop a workable plan to guide responsible development in Ontario, ensuring growth to provide housing and support local tax bases while also protecting productive farmland.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883 ext. 218