Province Helping To Promote Local Foods



August 13, 2009

Ontario is spurring rural economies and local food sales by supporting marketing projects across the province.

To promote the local foods that fuel the people, communities and economies of rural Ontario, the province is investing in 10 new projects through the Ontario Market Investment Fund, including:

  • “Buy Local” initiatives for Lanark County, Northumberland County, Peel Region, Bruce County and the Sudbury area
  • A local distribution network for the Perth-Waterloo-Wellington Chapter of organic farmers
  • A promotional campaign for Water Buffalo milk produced in Eastern Ontario
  • A culinary tourism campaign for Frontenac County, Norfolk County and Waterloo Region.

With the announcement of these new projects, the four-year Ontario Market Investment Fund program has invested more than $3 million in 62 projects to date.  The program helps develop economic opportunities through trade events, marketing campaigns and industry research initiatives that promote Ontario foods.  It is also part of Ontario’s enhanced investment in ‘buy local’ initiatives.


“The Ontario Market Investment Fund is helping to stimulate local economies and increase consumption of local foods by supporting efforts to sell and promote fresh foods that are grown and made close to home in rural Ontario.”
- Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


  • The Foodland Ontario program has expanded to include meat, dairy and eggs in addition to fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • The new Pick Ontario Freshness commercials launched in June showcase the variety of fresh Ontario foods that are available in retail and food service settings.
  • The Ontario government is investing $24 million over three years to develop the logistics to get more Ontario-grown food into the province's schools, hospitals, food service companies and other institutions.



About the Ontario Market Investment Fund program, and the projects it helps finance.

About Pick Ontario Freshness.


Ontario Market Investments Fund New Announcements

Growing New Farmers Initiative
ecoPerth is developing a new buy local initiative to help meet the growing demand for local food in the County of Lanark. The project will get youth involved in growing food, and encourage and enhance overall local food production and consumption. Promotions include expanding the Lanark Local Flavour website, coordinating farmer-to-business networking “meet and greets”, developing two four-page newspaper ads featuring local agriculture and culinary tourism, and the printing and distribution of Lanark Local Flavour Guides. The province is contributing $20,000 to this project.

Proudly Northumberland @ Home
The County of Northumberland and the Burnham and Glover’s Farm Markets are teaming up to increase consumer purchases of local food and increase awareness of the importance of agriculture to the local economy. Initiatives include fresh food preparation demonstrations held at each of the county’s community markets using local and celebrity chefs. The province is contributing $12,500 to this project.

Water Buffalo Food Festival
The Water Buffalo Food Festival in the Municipality of Stirling-Rawdon will be bringing together local producers, suppliers and chefs to raise awareness of the production of cheese from water buffalo milk to local farmers and local culinary professionals. Several chefs will prepare meals with this cheese. Vendors of the Stirling-Rawdon seasonal farmers market will also be supplying chefs with their locally grown produce and meats. The province is contributing $3,300 to this project.

Caledon Farmers’ Market
Residents and visitors of the Caledon Farmers’ Market can help “Take a Bite out of Climate Change” thanks to a new project by the Town of Caledon and Caledon Countryside Alliance. This project provides an outlet for vendors to sell their produce, grow Caledon’s local food network, encourage the promotion of Ontario foods and build greater awareness of what is grown in Caledon. This project includes a series of on-going demonstrations and workshops, special events promotions and a marketing strategy. The province is contributing $12,200 to this project.

Farmers Fields Growers Collective
The Perth-Waterloo-Wellington Chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers will be connecting organic farmers with the local retail and institutional markets to raise awareness of the local distribution system available for organic farmers. The project includes hiring a new project coordinator, creating educational material to increase consumer awareness, developing an online market website and expanding farms tours to retail staff. The province is contributing $43,400 to this project.

Honey Trailer
A new food trail map will showcase where local food can be purchased and restaurants that serve local products in Bruce County. Anderkin Foods Inc. and the Grey Bruce Agricultural and Culinary Association are also purchasing and outfitting a mobile trailer promoting local culinary fare and Ontario honey products, and delivering information on local foods and honey production at markets, fairs and trade shows. The province is contributing $16,576 to this project.

Marketing and Education Campaign for Greater Sudbury and Area
Eat Local Sudbury Co-operative Inc., along with the Greater Sudbury Restaurant and Foodservice Association and the National Farmers’ Union Ontario North will be reaching out to northern Ontarians about the availability of local foods through a new marketing and education campaign. This campaign includes educational materials about where to buy local food products, a “Meet Your Farmer” tasting event, a comprehensive list of local farms for the foodservice industry, promotion of the Eat Local Sudbury Co-op store and enhancements to the Eat Local Sudbury website.  The province is contributing $26,552.

Local Foods, Local Chefs Initiative
Residents and visitors to the Kingston Public Market will enjoy a unique blend of rich cultural heritage and gourmet culinary experience thanks to the Local Foods Chefs Initiative. This project will coordinate business networking events to establish relationships between market vendors, local growers, processors, restaurants and commercial outlets in Frontenac County. The project will improve and expand the Kingston Market, increase the number of restaurants using local food and build the authenticity of culinary tourism in Kingston. The province is contributing $100,000 to this project.

Know Where Your Food Comes From
The Corporation of Norfolk County, the Norfolk County Agricultural Society and more than 50 agriculture and 150 tourism marketing partners across Norfolk County are working together to help establish this area as an agri-tourism and culinary tourism destination. This three year project will help spur economic activities through buy local initiatives, including developing culinary workshops, local food promotional campaigns, coordinating market exhibits and events, hosting Ontario’s largest fair and FlavourFest, conducting an Agri-Food and Agri-Tourism gap analysis, and developing a wholesale food sales marketing plan and an institutional local food plan. The province is contributing $100,000.

Local Summer in the City
The Turkey Farmers of Ontario’s Local Summer in the City culinary event will be promoting Ontario turkey at four restaurants in the Kitchener/Waterloo area. The Charcoal Group of restaurants (Wildcraft, Charcoal, del Donte and Martinis) will provide 10,000 diners per week an opportunity to experience Ontario turkey. Six Ontario recipes will be developed, and marketing for the event will include flyers, e-mails and promotional information on the website. The province is contributing $4,000 to this project.

For more information, contact:

Kelly Synnott, Minister's Office, 416-326-6439
Brent Ross, Communications Branch, 416-326-9342

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
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