Ontario's Local Food Approach
Ontario's local food industry is a major contributor to our province's
economy. The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs recently
established the final goal of the Local Food Act, 2013: Remove
Red Tape Barriers and Open the door for Local Food in the Broader
Public Sector. The goal will make it easier for organizations
like colleges, universities, hospitals and municipalities to procure
On March 18, 2019, the government announced several
steps to support the goal, including:
- Launching a series of new case study videos, featuring best
practice advice from different broader public sector organizations
- Creating a new, interactive, local food hubs map that connects
local food businesses to potential new markets
- Providing easy-to-use tracking tools to measure procurement
so organizations can set their own goals to increase their use
of local food and track their success
- Awarding public sector institutions that achieve their local
food targets with certificates of recognition from the Minister
of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Making it easier to use the Foodland
Ontario logo to promote local food
- Offering government-led how-to webinars for agri-businesses
wanting to become a local food vendor
- Continuing to promote local Ontario food through the Foodland
- Ensuring the Ontario Food Terminal continues to play a key role
in Ontario agriculture by looking at opportunities to make it
even better and by making its role in the local food sector stronger.
- Ongoing consultation with farmers, distributors and the broader
public sector on red tape barriers in the local food economy.
Stakeholder consultations occurred in the early winter of 2019
that helped shape the goal.
Buying and supporting local food creates jobs and economic growth
in communities across the province. To encourage Ontarians to enjoy
more local food, the Local Food Act, 2013 was established to increase
consumer awareness and education; improve access to local food;
and ensure there is sufficient supply to meet demand.
Local Food Act, 2013
Food Act, 2013 was created to help foster successful and resilient
local food economies and systems in Ontario, help increase awareness
of local food in Ontario, including the diversity of local food,
and develop new markets for local food.
This legislation is designed to help build Ontario's economy,
create more jobs and expand the agri-food sector - by making more
local food available throughout the province.
The Act does this, in part, through the following initiatives:
- Encouraging more
local food use across the broader public sector.
- Helping increase
access to local food, improves food
literacy in respect of local food, and encourage increased
use of local food by public sector organizations.
- Proclaiming the first week of June each year as Local Food Week.
- Amending the Taxation Act, 2007 to create a non-refundable tax
credit of 25 per cent for farmers who donate their agricultural
products to eligible community food programs such as food banks.
- Requiring the Minister to prepare an annual
local food report that summarizes the government's activities
in respect of local food.
OMAFRA Local Food Supports
The Local Food Act, 2013 is one part of the local food strategy.
OMAFRA continues to support local food through additional initiatives
and programs, such as:
Local Food Reports