Dec. 14, 2016, Toronto – The holiday season is an opportunity to celebrate old traditions and create new ones with friends and family.
Shopping local for Ontario-grown and produced food and beverages, flowers, Christmas trees and other goods not only makes for tasty meals and beautiful decorations, it also helps support local businesses and farmers across the province.
Holiday Table – Ontario’s farmers and food producers grow, harvest and prepare a wide variety of food and ingredients that make it easy to cook up a delicious apple cheddar soup, a honey glazed ham or sugar-grilled pears with maple cream for dinner.
Local Markets – Find your friends original gifts, such as locally-made jams, cheeses, or maple sweets, at one of the many farmers’ markets or on-farm markets across Ontario.
Fresh Décor – Decorations help make the holidays even more festive. Visit a local Christmas tree farm or nursery to spruce up your home with a fresh-cut tree, wreath, garland, poinsettia or amaryllis.
Fizzy Flavours – Ring in 2017 with a little local bubbly. Enjoy a sweet fruit wine, a craft beer or cider, a cocktail made with Ontario-made spirits or a glass of VQA red, white or sparkling wine. But remember to always enjoy responsibly.
Giving Back – Help people in need in your community have a happy holiday season by donating food, money or time to your local food bank or charity.
“The holiday season brings us together and helps to remind us all to be grateful for the year that has passed,” says Jeff Leal, Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.
“It’s a perfect time to create lasting memories eating, decorating and celebrating with family and friends. There is no better way to celebrate with loved ones than by taking advantage of the good things grown and made in Ontario.
“I encourage people across our province to make local food, beverages, greenery and flowers a part of their holiday celebrations.”
• Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes more than $36 billion to the province’s economy and supports more than 790,000 jobs – one in every nine jobs in the province.
• Ontario consumers buy one million locally grown Christmas trees a year – generating approximately $12 million in farm sales, helping to support jobs and local economies across the province.
• Since 2003, Ontario has invested more than $180 million to support sales of Ontario foods. This includes investments through Foodland Ontario and the Greenbelt Fund’s Local Food Investment Fund.