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‘Good things gro-ow-ow, in Ontario…’


May 24, 2010
By Dave Harrison

May 24, 2010, Toronto – Ontario is boosting grassroots marketing efforts
for Ontario foods and strengthening the economy by encouraging more
people to
buy locally grown food at farmers’ markets, at on-farm food stands, in
grocery
stores and in restaurants.

May 24, 2010, Toronto – Ontario is boosting grassroots marketing efforts for Ontario foods and strengthening the economy by encouraging more people to
buy locally grown food at farmers’ markets, at on-farm food stands, in grocery
stores and in restaurants.

ogvg_queens_park_2010_booth
Ontario Agriculture Minister Carol Mitchell (third
from
right) visits with members of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
at a
farmers’ market on the lawn of Queen’s Park last week.
PHOTO COURTESY OMAFRA

The province hosted a farmers’ market on the lawn of Queen’s Park last
week, involving more than 20 exhibitors representing dozens of different fresh
Ontario products including mushrooms, honey, ice cream and greenhouse
vegetables.

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As a result of government and industry efforts, more than 30 new members
joined Farmers’ Markets Ontario over the last two years – which brings the
total to 152. There are also 75 new members in the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing
Association
, bringing the total of registered on-farm markets to more than 300.

A strong agri-food industry supports the Open Ontario plan to create job
and opportunities that will boost province’s economy.

“Choosing high quality, fresh Ontario foods supports our hard-working
farmers, strengthens our communities, and protects our environment,” said Carol
Mitchell, Ontario minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Since 2003, the Ontario government has invested more
than $65 million to support local, fresh Ontario food initiatives and to
encourage local organizations and businesses to promote and carry Ontario food
products. It will also invest $40 million over the next two years to create new
opportunities for Ontario’s agri-food industry.

The Ontario Market Investment Fund has provided more
than $5 million to more than 100 local marketing projects since 2008.

The Foodland Ontario program now includes fresh meat,
dairy and eggs in addition to fresh produce.

Consumer awareness of the Foodland Ontario brand is
at an all time high – 96 per cent of grocery shoppers recognize the Foodland
Ontario symbol.


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