FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2019
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT OPENING THE DOOR FOR LOCAL FOOD IN THE BROADER PUBLIC SECTOR
Greenbelt Fund Resources Key Asset for Institutions in Sourcing and Using Local Food
The Greenbelt Fund welcomes the removal of barriers to getting more Ontario food into broader public sector organizations such as hospitals, schools and long-term care facilities across the province. The broader public sector provides a huge market opportunity for local food producers and Made-in-Ontario economic growth.
The Greenbelt Fund has been a key partner of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in their efforts to increase market access and opportunities for Ontario farmers and food entrepreneurs since 2010. The Fund has leveraged millions in matching investments across Ontario’s agri-food sector and delivered a 13:1 return on investment. This partnership has also generated valuable tools and resources that can support public sector organizations to increase their use of local food.
“The public sector represents a huge market opportunity for Ontario farmers and food processors,” said Edward McDonnell CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “Providing high quality Ontario grown food to students, patients and seniors is a win-win for both the general public and the province’s agri-food sector.”
“Public sector institutions interested in increasing the amount of local food they serve don’t need to start from scratch,” said Kathy Macpherson, VP of the Greenbelt Fund. “The Greenbelt Fund has a range of tools and resources that can give them a head start on proven methods for sourcing local food.”
Resources available to accelerate local food procurement in the public sector include:
1. The Greenbelt Fund’s Local Food Solutions Papers, identifying the most commonly perceived barriers to increasing local food in public sector institutions, and offer a range of solutions.
2. Case Studies that highlight innovative steps that champions within institutions have taken to buy and use more local food. For example:
- Halton Healthcare’s Case Study on Local Food Purchasing
- The City of Thunder Bay Case Study on Food Forward Contracts and Breaking Down Local Food Barriers
- Local Food Procurement in Long-Term Care Resources by Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance
3. Toolkits and training for the range of public sector institutions operating in Ontario.
- Mohawk College and Greenbelt Fund:
- Sustain Ontario Toolkit: Local Sustainable Food Procurement For Municipalities and BPS
4. Extensive Menu Planning Tips and Recipes for Institutional Use
A wealth of additional resources available at greenbeltfund.ca/local_resources.
Greenbelt Fund's current funding agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will be completed as of March 2019. Tools and resources in support of accelerating market access for Ontario food within public institutions and beyond will continue to be available at greenbeltfund.ca and hundreds of eligible Ontario suppliers can be found on ontariofresh.ca.
The Local Food Investment Fund grant program, workshops and other supplementary programming are coming to a close. However, the Greenbelt Fund is working with leading agricultural and producer groups to seek additional investment in order to build on the tremendous success to date.
We are committed to continuing to find ways to support the growth of the local food sector, contribute to increased farm receipts, support innovative agri-food entrepreneurs, and ensure the economic viability of farming in Ontario.
About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund changes the way we eat food in Ontario. The Fund’s 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 for Greenbelt Fund:
Phone: (416) 960-0001 ext. 315
Mobile: (647) 686-6945