2016 Local Food Report Highlights Success Stories and Local Food Champions
Celebrate Ontario’s third annual Local Food Week this June 6 – 12 by trying some of the fresh and locally-grown food and beverages produced, grown and harvested here in Ontario.
The third annual Local Food Week kicked off with the launch of the 2016 Local Food Report, which highlights growth in the local food movement and the success the Ontario government has had in increasing food literacy and expanding access to local food for Ontarians.
This Local Food Week, treat your taste buds to some local foods and beverages:
- Visit one of the 175 farmers’ markets registered with Farmers’ Markets Ontario or 300 farms registered with the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association and connect directly with the farmers that grow your food
- Ask your retailer, butcher, or fishmonger what local options they carry and look for the Foodland Ontario logo wherever you shop
- Choose from more than 200 Ontario-grown foods – from kale, strawberries and beans to a wide variety of meat, fish, eggs, dairy, maple syrup and honey, as well as food products available throughout the year
- Eat out at one of over 100 Feast ON restaurants – a designation highlighting the restaurant’s choice to source the majority of their food from local suppliers
- Quench your thirst with Ontario fruit and world-class VQA wines, ciders and craft beers at select grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Enjoy responsibly.
The launch event was held at Hawthorne Food and Drink in Toronto, a social enterprise restaurant run by the Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC) and a previous recipient of funding through the Local Food Fund. This funding has enabled HWTC to successfully pilot an Ontario pre-cut vegetable processing partnership with 100km Foods Inc. and Ryerson University, resulting in over 2,800 lbs of chopped local vegetables being used instead of pre-cut imported vegetables. With the help of this funding, Hawthorne was able to intensively train HWTC’s program participants, promoting the use of local vegetables in a large-volume kitchen.
Supporting local food and the province’s agri-food sector is part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part provincial plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Established under the Local Food Act, 2013, Local Food Week presents an opportunity for Ontario’s consumers, farmers, farm organizations, agribusinesses and government partners to come together to celebrate and promote Ontario foods and beverages.
- For more than 39 years, Foodland Ontario has connected with families on how to recognize, prepare and love local foods. Use the Foodland Ontario availability guide to find out what’s in season.
- Hawthorne Food & Drink is a social enterprise of Hospitality Workers Training Centre, a non- profit organization based on a sectorial workforce development approach.
- Ontario’s Local Food Strategy
- 2016 Local Food Report
- Foodland Ontario
- Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc.
Jeff Leal: Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
“Ontario is an agri-food powerhouse and Local Food Week gives us an opportunity to celebrate the impressive and diverse variety of locally grown, harvested and produced food available within our own province. There are many innovative individuals, groups, stakeholders and farmers, who are helping to promote and grow this important sector. I encourage everyone to become a local food champion by learning more about local food and purchasing it not only this week, but throughout the year.”
Danielle Olsen: Executive Director, Hospitality Workers Training Centre
“Real jobs are linked to real food. And real food is prepared using fresh ingredients, and maximizing the availability of local produce. By promoting the integration of local food prepared from scratch in our training at Hawthorne Food & Drink, we are not only supporting Ontario’s economy but also working towards shifting the dynamics of the industry.”
Chef Ricky Casipe: Executive Chef, Hawthorne Food & Drink
“Before all the magic happens at a restaurant, there is a man or a woman growing the food. For me, that represents the true labour of love in this industry.”
Source – Government of Ontario press release