November 10, 2014
MORE FRESH LOCAL FOOD ON THE MENU IN GREY COUNTY
Chefs’ Forum Provides Market Opportunities for Local Farmers
A new project from the Grey County Chefs’ Forum will provide even more opportunities for farmers in Grey County to bring local produce to the community.
With support from the Greenbelt Fund and funding from the Ontario government, the Grey County Chefs’ Forum will provide farmers in the region access to new market opportunities. A local food hub in Flesherton will help with the collection, storage, and distribution of local food and products. Food will be dropped off by area farmers twice a week for distribution into the Greater Toronto Area as well as locally.
“Grey County’s enthusiasm for local food initiatives is inspiring. This project means helping more farmers and in turn local institutions and foodservice operations gain access to more Ontario grown food. More local food for Ontarians leads to increased economic activity for the province and we are excited to be a part of such a project,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund.
The Grey County Chefs' Forum project Establishing a Grey County Chefs’ Forum Food Hub, receives $22,000 in support from the Fund. The food hub will aggregate regional foods and extend distribution to restaurants and retail buyers beyond Grey County. Once the hub is established, they will begin expanding their marketing in order to grow the number of farmers and buyers that rely on the hub.
“Food hubs, like this one by the Grey County Chefs’ Forum in Flesherton, provide local farmers with one convenient location to bring their produce,” says Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Through partnerships like these, we can ensure that even more local food reaches Ontario customers, and helps support our farmers, local communities and our economy.”
Since its launch in 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has supported dozens of projects, increasing the amount of local food purchased across the province. Ontario’s investments in the Greenbelt Fund are connecting more farmers to new markets and putting more Ontario food in hospitals, schools, daycares, universities, and restaurants. To date, we have increased local food sales by $37.8 million—or a seven to one return on investment for every dollar spent.
About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund, a non-profit organization, supports and enhances the viability, integrity, and sustainability of agriculture in the Greenbelt and Ontario.
The Fund delivers support to farmers and local food leaders to ensure more of the good things that grow in Ontario are being served and distributed through our public institutions, retail, and foodservice markets. Helping to overcome challenges and support economic growth, the Fund’s goal is to create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food consumed in the province through grants, education, policy, and networking initiatives. The Fund is supported by public and private sources. For more information about the program and grants visit Ontariofresh.ca. For more information on local food, visit foodlandontario.ca.
For more information about the Ontario government’s new Local Food Act and broader local food strategy, visit the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food website.
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306