The provincial government is attempting to spur rural economies and local food sales by supporting marketing projects across the province.
To promote the local foods that fuel the people, communities, and economies of rural Ontario, the province is spending money for 10 new projects through the Ontario Market Investment Fund, including:
– Buy Local initiatives for Lanark County, Northumberland County, Peel Region, Bruce County, and the Sudbury area;
– a local distribution network for the Perth-Waterloo-Wellington chapter of organic farmers;
– a promotional campaign for Water Buffalo milk produced in Eastern Ontario; and
– a culinary tourism campaign for Frontenac County, Norfolk County, and Waterloo Region.
With the announcement of the new projects, the four-year Ontario Market Investment Fund program has spent more than $3-million in 62 projects to date. The program helps develop economic opportunities through trade events, marketing campaigns, and industry research that promote Ontario foods. It is also part of Ontario’s enhanced investment in buy local initiatives.
"The Ontario Market Investment Fund is helping to stimulate local economies and increase consumption of local foods by supporting efforts to sell and promote fresh foods that are grown and made close to home in rural Ontario,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Leona Dombrowsky.
The Foodland Ontario program has expanded to include meat, dairy and eggs in addition to fresh fruit and vegetables.
The new Pick Ontario Freshness commercials launched in June showcase the variety of fresh Ontario foods that are available in retail and food service settings.
The Ontario government is spending $24-million over three years to develop the logistics to get more Ontario-grown food into the province’s schools, hospitals, food service companies, and other institutions.