Celebrating Local Food Champions

Published on July 29, 2019

Celebrating Local Food in Northumberland-Peterborough South
Ontario’s Local Food Report benchmarks success

PORT HOPE, ON - The Government of Ontario is celebrating all the good things that are grown, harvested and made in Ontario. David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, congratulated Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, on the release of Ontario’s annual Local Food Report which provides a benchmark for progress made over the past year in Ontario’s local food economy and celebrates champions of local food across the province.

MPP Piccini recently showcased Northumberland-Peterborough South’s strong and vibrant farming community to Minister Hardeman. On July 4, the Minister awarded Entomo Farms with the inaugural Excellence in Agriculture Award and attended a roundtable with local farmers to discuss red tape reduction ideas in Ontario’s agriculture industry.

Ontario is a strong supporter of the agri-food sector and is committed to the province's farmers and food processors. Ontario farmers produce more than 200 commodities, and support food and beverage manufacturers whose products feed our local communities and the world. The sector contributes over $39.4 billion to the local economy and employs one in eight Ontarians.

A key milestone this past year was the establishment of the final goal of the Local Food Act, 2013. To support that goal, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs created numerous tools and best practice resources to help the Broader Public Sector achieve more local food procurement. The goal, to remove red tape barriers and open the door for more local food across the Broader Public Sector will help schools, hospitals and other institutions purchase more local food.

“We believe that by reducing unnecessary red tape and equipping local food businesses with strong business tools, Ontario’s agri-food value chain will thrive,” said David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South.

The report also includes the new Local Food Champion program that recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses who have demonstrated leadership in putting local food on the tables of the people of Ontario.

“The Local Food Champion program is a celebration of our hardworking farmers, food processors and entrepreneurs who are committed to ensuring more local food is available for everyone in their community,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “When we buy local food, we are making a choice to support Ontario, our communities and our economy. I encourage everyone to support our agriculture sector by choosing local food and to enjoy all the amazing produce grown right here in Ontario.”

MPP Piccini is continuing the celebration of local food by recognizing Local Food Champions in Northumberland-Peterborough South. Local Food Champions work hard to put great local food on the tables of the people of Ontario and open more doors to opportunities to share in the bounty of food and beverages produced right here in Ontario.

“When we know where our food comes from and support those who grow, harvest and make it, we strengthen our communities, support a sustainable environment, create jobs and boost the economy,” said MPP Piccini.

Examples of a Local Food Champion in your community could be:

  • A café, restaurant or other dining establishment which primarily sources local food and ingredients.
  • A farmer’s market or grocers who sells local food and ingredients.
  • A food processor or food and beverage business which sources, processes and manufactures products using local food.
  • Hospitals, community centres or schools that provide healthy and nutritious meals from locally sourced food products.
  • Stores that make the effort to source from local farmers or even tourism organizations that promote people to buy local.

To nominate a Local Food Champion in Northumberland-Peterborough South, please contact our office by calling 905-372-4000 or by emailing [email protected].

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is home to nearly 49,600 farms that grow over 200 different kinds of foods.
  • Ontario’s food and beverage manufacturers purchase about 65 per cent of Ontario’s food-related farm production.
  • Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes $39.4 billion to the GDP and supports over 822,000 jobs – about one in every 8 jobs in Ontario.
  • Ontario’s hardworking farmers produce over 200 different agricultural commodities and are home to more than 3,000 food processing facilities.
  • The Community Food Program Donation Tax Credit for Farmers in Ontario was the first tax credit of its kind to be introduced in Canada. It gives farmers a tax credit valued at 25 per cent of the fair market value of the agricultural products they donate.

Additional Resources

Broader Public Sector Champions Program
Encouraging local food use in Ontario’s Broader Sector
Ontario’s Local Food Approach
Toolkit for Initiating Sustainable Food Procurement Policies in Your Region

For more information, contact:

Ralph Kerr, Executive Assistant
Office of MPP David Piccini
E: [email protected]
O: 905-372-4000