'Locally grown' in Greenbelt Fund spotlight

April 20, 2017
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April 20, 2017, Peterborough, Ont. – A pair of greenhouse projects are among the latest recipients of funding assistance through Ontario’s Greenbelt Fund.

Some 24 projects increasing access to local food are receiving funding, made possible with funding from the provincial government. These investments support farmers and agri-food businesses as an essential bedrock of Ontario’s economy.

Jeff Leal, minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs made the announcement along with Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund at McLean Farms in Peterborough this morning.

Ontario is investing over $830,000 in these 24 innovative projects bringing more local food to Ontario plates across the province. Since 2015, the Greenbelt Fund has invested $3.8 million to support 77 projects across Ontario.

Included among the projects are:

Wickens Lake Sunshine Greenhouse Retrofit Extension – Northern Ontario ($9,942). Wickens Lake Sunshine will invest in a retrofit and extension of its existing hydroponics greenhouse to extend the farms’ growing season and increase capacity. Once the upgrades are complete, it will partner with Open Roads Public School and the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Op to supply produce for the school’s salad bar program, bringing more local, nutritious food to students.

Greenhouses Canada Northern Ontario Mobile Growing Facility ($52,283). Greenhouses Canada will purchase a mobile “grow truck” to serve as an indoor demonstration and training site, and allow for transportation of fresh produce to remote northern communities (including on seasonal ice roads). The project is expected to increase local food sales by $117,000.

ABOUT THE LOCAL FOOD INVESTMENT FUND

In 2015, the Ontario government provided the Greenbelt Fund with $6 million over three years to support initiatives that will help support the province’s local food strategy by enhancing consumer awareness and access to local food, as well as generating demand and supply of Ontario foods and beverages.

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