The drive to expand ag sector in Ontario

February 04, 2015
Written by
Jim Brandle
Jim Brandle Greg Reekie Photography
Feb. 4, 2015, Toronto — Vineland CEO Dr. Jim Brandle is among appointees to the newly created Agri-Food Growth Steering Committee in Ontario.

In 2013, the Premier Kathleen Wynne challenged the sector to double its annual growth rate and create 120,000 new jobs by 2020.

The committee is comprised of industry and government leaders and experts, and will provide advice to the Ontario government on growth opportunities and the development of a growth measurement system. In addition to Brandle, other members include:

• Deb Stark, deputy minister, ministry of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

• Amy Cronin, Ontario Pork chair, hog farm operator.

• Ted Bilyea, president of Ted Bilyea & Associates consulting firm and chair of the board of directors of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.

• Christian von Twickel, executive vice-president, Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd.

• Norm Beal, president and CEO, Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery and executive director of Food and Beverage Ontario.

• Scott Graham, egg and cash crop farmer.

• Jamison Steeve, executive director, Martin Prosperity Institute (Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto) and the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity.

“Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector is a pillar for our economy,” said Jeff Leal, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

“By bringing together experts from a wide range of backgrounds, this committee will focus on strategic opportunities to achieve the Premier’s target of 120,000 new jobs in the sector by 2020.”

Ontario’s agri-food industry employs 767,000 people and contributes $34.8 billion in GDP to the provincial economy.

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