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Minister Leal thanks farmers during Local Food Week

Weeklong celebration of Ontario food runs until June 11

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farms.com

Until June 11, producers, processors and consumers will be celebrating Ontario's agricultural industry during Local Food Week.

Ontario Minister of Agriculture Jeff Leal issued the following statement to Farms.com on June 5 about Local Food Week:

“This year, Ontario is celebrating its fourth annual Local Food Week. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the good things that are grown, harvested and made in our province. I’d like to thank our farmers, food makers and all the nearly 800,000 Ontarians who wake up each and every day to feed us and the world.

“Expanding access to local food that reflects the diversity of the people who call this province home will create opportunities for Ontario consumers, farmers and for our economy. That’s why this Local Food Week our government is launching Bring Home the World, a campaign to engage Ontarians in creating opportunities to increase the diversity of local food across the province.



 

 “Our government continues to be a strong supporter of local food projects that are helping our agri-food sector innovate and giving consumers access to more local food options. Ontarians can also do their part this Local Food Week, and throughout the year, by making local food their first choice when buying groceries and eating out.”

The Bring Home the World campaign uses Ontario’s diverse population as inspiration to promote the production of food not regularly associated with Ontario.

“The shifts in Ontario’s population are resulting in a more diverse consumer palate, but are also contributing to changes in where Ontarians shop, as well as where they like to eat,” OMAFRA said on its Bring Home the World webpage.

In 2015, producers dedicated 2,900 acres of land to growing specialty vegetables including bok choy, napa cabbage and Chinese broccoli. These specialty crops were worth a total of $15.5 million, according to OMAFRA.

Producers interested in growing some of these crops can visit OMAFRA’s Specialty Crop Opportunities webpage.

Until September 23, Ontarians are encouraged to participate in the World Foods survey to give OMAFRA insight into the foods desired provincially.

Use the hashtag #LoveOntFood to follow Local Food Week on social media.