By Peggy Brekveld, Vice President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
Ontario’s agri-food industry is a powerhouse for the province and we’ve got room to grow – that’s the message the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) took to the halls and offices of Queen’s Park on Dec. 9.
OFA, together with the Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA) and Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) presented the state of the agri-food industry in Ontario.
This presentation was delivered both to media in attendance and broadcasted throughout Queen’s Park.
The overview set the stage for one-on-one meetings with OFA directors, representatives and MPPs to discuss the needs and opportunities for the agri-food sector.
The overview included key economic indicators. From farm-level production to value-added food processing, Ontario’s agri-food industry supports $8.1 billion in annual wages and salaries. We also generate more than 837,000 jobs for Ontarians and contribute more than $47 billion to Ontario’s annual GDP.
For those of us on the ground, it’s been a tough year in the agri-food industry – there have been market disruptions, trade issues, weather and labour disputes.
Despite the challenges of the 2019 season, OFA highlighted ongoing progress on select agricultural files that the provincial government has taken action on this year – we’ve seen progress in red tape reduction, natural gas expansion and broadband