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BMO: Stock-Up on Local Food This Victoria Day Long Weekend (May 17, 2012)
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TORONTO, ONTARIO, (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- BMO Bank of Montreal today encouraged Canadians to support local farmers and choose locally produced foods and beverages this holiday weekend.

The Victoria Day long weekend is a great opportunity to celebrate springtime with friends and family, and fire up the grill for meals featuring some of the best tasting, highest quality and safest foods produced anywhere in the world.

"With summer almost here, Canadians look forward to warmer temperatures, fresh local produce, and grilling the best Canadian farmers have to offer," said David Rinneard, National Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Canadian consumers continue to benefit from a strong and stable agriculture system with reliable food sources and unparalleled safety. With a forecast of favourable growing conditions this season, the table is set for Canadians looking to enjoy a wide selection of fresh produce and fruits to complement their favourite meats, poultry, fish and dairy."

Canada's agricultural sector is poised for growth above average yearly rates seen over the past two decades, according to BMO Capital Markets Economics. "While farm commodity prices are expected to moderate this year, they should remain elevated in view of continued strong demand, particularly in fast-growth emerging markets," said Kenrick Jordan, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Production would likely be even higher in the absence of constraints imposed by the strong loonie and elevated input costs. Given expectations of higher output and continued strong prices, Canadian farmers should experience another year of solid financial performance."

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