Our food doesn’t just nourish us. It reflects our diverse population and lets us share our traditions, cultures, and lives with one another. It connects us.

That’s why I think it’s so important that we celebrate and support the good things that are grown, harvested, and made right here in Ontario.

It’s also why the Ontario government introduced and passed the Local Food Act. The first legislation of its kind in Canada, the Act is designed to increase local food awareness and boost sales by setting local food goals and targets.

Benefits to eating local food

When we eat local food, we not only enjoy fresh, tasty meals, we strengthen our communities, support a sustainable environment, create jobs and boost the economy.  
But how do we ensure that “local food” isn’t just a fad or a trend?And how do we support this movement to help it become sustainable for the future?

"That’s the power of our agri-food sector: it connects all of us across urban and rural communities."

That’s where we all come in. By working together to better understand where our food comes from, we can ensure future generations benefit from a rich variety of locally grown food.

That’s why the Ontario government is working to increase food literacy in our schools and homes.

Today, nearly 14,000 teachers and more than 270,000 students from junior kindergarten to grade 12 are benefitting from agricultural education programs offered through Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc.

Growing opportunities

Ontario’s agri-food sector is full of opportunities.It’s important for Ontarians — especially those starting to think about their future career choices — to know about the good jobs that our agri-food sector has to offer, including in the food processing, manufacturing, agri-business, and food service industries.

There is also a broad range of learning and educational resources available for new and beginning farmers to help support their path towards success.

The agri-food sector is an important contributor to our province, providing jobs for more than 740,000 people and contributing $34 billion a year to our economy.
In fact, the food and beverage manufacturing cluster in the Greater Toronto Area is the second-largest food processing cluster in North America. Our province produces more than 200 different commodities. From trout, ice wine, apples, and paneer, it reflects our diversity.

That’s the power of our agri-food sector: it connects all of us across urban and rural communities. Not to mention, there is so much potential for growth. I encourage all Ontarians to buy local, learn about where their food comes from and consider careers in our world-class agri-food sector.