Investment to help grow consumer knowledge of the importance of farmers.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com, Photo by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
The Government of Canada said it would invest $275,000 to strengthen public trust with Farm & Food Care Ontario, a charity and whole-sector coalition made up of representatives from all farming types and associated businesses that positions itself as a helpful expert on Ontario agriculture.
In the announcement on December 22, 2021, the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Member of Parliament for Guelph, Ontario Lloyd Longfield announced that the monies, through the AgriCompetitiveness Program, as a means to assist Canadian consumers to better learn about food production, farming and the people who work in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sectors.
It is felt that Canadians are showing an increased interest in where their food comes from. As such, the Government wants consumers to get their information from those who provide it—the farmers.
"The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening public trust within the sector, as it helps increase appreciation and pride in our farmers and food businesses. It's important that consumers are aware of Canada's food system, as it's resilient and innovative, sustains our environment and supports our economy. Farm & Food Care Ontario will share positive stories and give a greater understanding to consumers about how their food is produced. The greater confidence and trust Canadians have in the food system, the greater position the sector will be in the future," stated Bibeau.
The money will be directed via Farm & Food Care Ontario and will work with partners in Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan to reach Canadians across the country by supporting the development of website materials including videos, photos and articles, and virtual tours that are accessible for all Canadians.
"Today's investment to Farm & Food Care Ontario aims to build bridges between members of the sector and Canadian consumers through various activities. By strengthening these relationships, Canadians will have a greater interest in the sector and strengthen it due to understanding and confidence in the food system," said Longfield.
When Canadian consumers learn more about the farm-to-fork process of how food is nurtured and grown to reach their tables, it will, it is hoped, provide more opportunities for Canadians to support farmers in their communities and help the sector thrive.
The project also provides resources for food influencers by leading farm tours and by producing a quarterly national newsletter for Canadian food influencers—activities that will increase consumer knowledge of how food is produced and processed in Canada.
This project is aligned with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriCommunication Initiative, which supports progress towards achieving the vision established in the Food Policy for Canada, that all people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious, and culturally diverse food. This, in turn, will increase appreciation and pride in Canada's farmers and food businesses.
"The Farm & Food Care organizations in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island were created with mandates to provide credible information on food and farming across Canada. The three groups are extremely appreciative of the support of Agriculture and Agri Food Canada in supporting valuable public trust initiatives executed both digitally and through events planned across Canada. This funding will enable Farm & Food Care to create new tools and programs, and further expand existing programming designed to directly answer questions about Canadian food and farming," summed up Bonnie den Haan, Chair, Farm & Food Care Ontario.
For information on Farm & Food Care Ontario, visit www.farmfoodcareon.org.