Ontario Government and Greenbelt Fund Making Local Food More Accessible

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 29, 2016

ONTARIO GOVERNMENT AND GREENBELT FUND MAKING LOCAL FOOD MORE ACCESSIBLE
Funding Partnership Supports Peterborough Food Business Innovation Centre

Peterborough – The Greenbelt Fund, in partnership with the Ontario Government, is providing The Mount Community Centre with $58,000 through the Local Food Investment Fund (LFIF) to launch a new Food Business Innovation Centre.

This new Innovation Centre will be part of The Mount’s Food Hub project, and will provide emerging entrepreneurs in Peterborough with access to commercial kitchen space, on-site packaging and labelling facilities and an on-site food safety advisor. The Mount is creating this shared space to encourage experimentation, production and learning for small-scale local food producers.

“The Mount’s project helps new chefs develop their ideas and bring new products to the market,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “Local food is a thriving industry because of the passionate leadership of organizations like The Mount, which are creating an important space for new ideas in local food to emerge and grow.”

“Through the Local Food Investment Fund, our government is helping small business owners in Peterborough and across Ontario bring more local food to Ontarians’ plates,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “As Peterborough celebrates Local Food Month throughout September, I am thrilled to support The Mount as they help provide local food entrepreneurs with the opportunity to be successful local food champions for our community.”

Through the LFIF, the Greenbelt Fund has invested over $1.5 million to support 24 local food projects across Ontario.

“Through our Food Innovation Centre, we’re giving smaller entrepreneurs the chance to grow their businesses and support Peterborough’s local economy,” said The Mount Community Centre Chairperson Steve Kylie. “This project is creating jobs in Peterborough while supporting our local agricultural community.”

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About the Local Food Investment Fund:
In 2015, the Ontario government provided the Greenbelt Fund with $6 million over three years toward initiatives that help enhance consumer awareness and access to local food, and generate demand and supply of Ontario foods and beverages. The investment supports initiatives such as the Local Food Investment Fund, which is a grant program for farmers, businesses and not-for-profits working to increase the amount of Ontario-grown and made food purchased and enjoyed across the province. The Local Food Investment Fund's three grant streams focus on enhancing local food literacy, increasing market access for small and mid-size Ontario farmers and processors, and increasing purchases of local food in the broader public sector, such as hospitals and universities.

About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund changes the way we eat food in Ontario. Our innovative investments get more local food onto the plates of Ontarians. We work with businesses, institutions and NGOs to make Ontario’s farmers the first choice for consumers. The Fund’s work has generated a 13-fold return on our investments, permanently changed the food value chain, and improved local food awareness and education around the province. As a not-for-profit, the Greenbelt Fund is supported by public and private sources.

Contact:
Erica Woods
Communications Manager
Greenbelt Fund
Phone: (416) 960-0001 ext. 306
ewoods@greenbeltfund.ca