Ontario’s agri-food sector is a major contributor to the provincial economy, ensuring our grocery shelves stay stocked and our food supply chain remains strong and viable.
Each day, our farmers take the extra step to ensure resiliency in our domestic food supply chain by growing healthy and sustainable food locally. As Ontario political candidates of all parties hit the campaign trail this spring, OFA members will be encouraging dialogue on three areas that are priorities for Ontario’s farming sector and rural communities:
Supply chain resiliency
Addressing labour shortages in agriculture is key to ensuring a resilient supply chain and protecting our food sovereignty. The sector is currently short 29,000 workers and counting, with unfilled jobs costing farmers an estimated $1.5 billion in lost sales. We are counting on candidate support for:
- Preserving farmland with responsible land-use planning policies
- Prioritizing skill development and training throughout the value chain to attract and keep workers
Preserving farmland is key to protecting domestic food production. It is our most important natural resource and ensures a safe, sustainable homegrown supply of food, fibre and fuel for Ontario. The province is losing an average of 175 acres of farmland a day to development; since 1996, 1.5 million acres of farmland have been lost to food production forever. We are counting on candidate support for:
- Containing urban sprawl and accommodating the growing population with smart land-use planning policy
- Intensifying residential development within the existing urban footprint
Investing in critical infrastructure like energy, broadband internet, roads, bridges, schools, and healthcare for our communities will help distribute economic development across the province. Access to natural gas, and reliable and affordable electricity and broadband internet is essential to keep rural Ontario competitive and productive – and appealing for families. We are counting on candidate support for:
- Making long-term investments in rural roads, bridges, highspeed internet, natural gas to attract new businesses and residents in rural communities
- A concurrent social infrastructure investment in schools and healthcare to make rural Ontario an attractive option for families
We welcome the opportunity to meet with provincial election candidates to discuss priorities that are top-of-mind for Ontario’s farmers and their communities.