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Friday, June 5, 2015
Ontario Investing $5 Million in Local Food Projects
Province Celebrating Local Food Week
Today Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, celebrated Local Food Week at Longo's where he announced two new Local Food Fund projects:
Longo's will receive up $446,138 to launch "Taste Ontario Too", an in store and online marketing campaign to help consumers learn about local farmers and processors, to expand Longo's GroceryGateway.com search functions for mobile devices, and funding to make their own fresh pork sausage.
VG Meats Limited will receive up to $948,025 to help bring Ontario beef to more than 25 Longo's grocery stores. The funding will be used to purchase equipment for beef processing and new customer friendly, leak-proof packaging with the Foodland Ontario logo.
In addition, twelve other innovative local food projects will be receiving support through the province's Local Food Fund. The fund is part of the Ontario government's broader local food strategy and is aimed at increasing consumer awareness of and access to local food and beverages produced, grown and harvested in the province.
Supporting local food is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes $34.8 billion to the GDP and supports 780,000 jobs – about one in every nine jobs.
To date, the Local Food Fund has committed more than $22 million to 163 projects, leveraging a total investment of more than $102 million.
June 1-7 is Ontario’s second annual Local Food Week - one of the first elements to come into effect under Ontario’s Local Food Act, 2013.
“Local Food Week is a terrific opportunity to celebrate the diversity of innovative local food projects that help to boost demand for food that is grown, harvested and made right here within our province. Through Local Food Fund projects like these, Longo’s and VG Meats are helping to bring more local food to consumers’ plates, while supporting farmers, strengthening communities and growing Ontario’s economy.”
“Initiatives supported by the Local Food Fund help to boost local communities, as well as benefit businesses and consumers across the province. These projects also help ensure that Ontario's agri-food industry connects rural and urban consumers and brings the best of Ontario-grown food to tables across the province.”
Minister Steven Del Duca
MPP for Vaughan
“The Local Food Fund is helping us not only support Ontario farmers, but is giving us the opportunity to create innovative ways of connecting with partners and customers. This funding is allowing us to promote local food and celebrate the great things that this province has to offer.”
Longo’s Spokesperson and Brand Ambassador
“This project has allowed us work with Longo’s to bring new and innovative local food products to the market. Through collaborations like this, even more Ontarians can enjoy local food.”