MPP Jeff Yurek Supports New Local Food GoalPublished on March 18, 2019
March 18, 2019
Our Government for the People is removing red tape barriers and opening the door for local food in the broader public sector, to make it easier for organizations like colleges, universities, hospitals and municipalities to serve local food.
Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London today congratulated Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, on a recent announcement to help local food businesses across the province flourish through establishing a new goal under Local Food Act, 2013.
“I am thrilled that our government continues to demonstrate its support for agricultural producers in communities like ours in Elgin-Middlesex-London.” Said MPP Jeff Yurek. “Local food is a key aspect of our daily lives, our economy, and our rural identity, and we should promote it at every opportunity.”
“For consumers, local food is at the heart of our agri-food industry. Opening the door to the broader public sector for local food procurement is part of our government’s plan to strengthen Ontario’s local food economy,” said Minister Hardeman.
Hardeman announced a number of tools that can help farmers, food distributors and public sector organizations put more Ontario food on our plates. The government is taking several steps to support this 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 Ontario program
- Looking at options to enhance the farmers market as part of its review of the Ontario Food Terminal
- Ongoing consultation with farmers, distributors and the broader public sector on red tape barriers in the local food economy.
An important part of the Local Food Act, 2013 is increasing awareness for Ontario food and beverages. This includes celebrating public sector organizations that are increasingly using local food to serve their employees, students and patients. The government will recognize and celebrate public sector organizations that set and achieve their own local food targets.