ONTARIO — As we gear up for Food Day Canada on August 1, it is the perfect time to celebrate the good things that grow in Ontario and across Canada.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is pleased to announce the provincial and federal government’s support of OFA’s project, Always in Season: A Practitioner’s Guide to Local Food.
Through Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding, OFA, its partners, and Wilton Consulting Group developed a toolkit for communities to guide them through potential activities, key performance metrics, funding opportunities, and ways to collaborate to support the agri-food sector.
The project aims to increase local food sales, provide new opportunities for local producers for value-added agriculture, enhance agri-tourism and culinary tourism opportunities, and elevate the brand of local agricultural products.
The Always in Season Toolkit can be used nationwide. It includes many tips, templates, and innovative ideas for communities to initiate, particularly during events such as Local Food Week, Ontario Agriculture Week, Canadian Agricultural Literacy Month, Canada’s Ag Day, and Food Day Canada. Through interviews with stakeholders across the province, OFA learned of many innovative approaches to supporting the agri-food sector, and ways communities are helping their producers sell more local products and encourage agri-tourism.
“There are so many great initiatives already happening across Ontario and Canada to support agriculture and food,” said Keith Currie, OFA President. “We know there are communities that support farmers and want to help. We hope this Toolkit sparks new ideas and a new way of thinking about agriculture, food and agri-tourism as an economic driver.”
Supporting agriculture, local food and local beverage processors has never been more important. Community organizations and municipalities have a vital role to play in fostering an environment where agricultural producers and processors can thrive.
OFA and our partners are looking forward to celebrating Food Day Canada, and our diverse offerings we produce for Canadians and the world to enjoy.
OFA is proud to partner on this project with the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance, Greenbelt Foundation, South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation, Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance, Greenbelt Fund, Meat and Poultry Ontario, Rural Ontario Institute, Food and Beverage Ontario, Rural Agri-Innovation Network, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, Ontario East Economic Development Commission and Farm and Food Care Ontario.
To learn more and access the toolkit, visit ofa.on.ca/AlwaysinSeason.
This project was funded by the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer. For more information, visit ofa.on.ca.