Greenbelt Fund Local Food Symposium Convenes Leading Experts at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair


November 8, 2017

Symposium brings stakeholders to the table to talk innovation and local food

Toronto, ON – The Greenbelt Fund was host to a Local Food Symposium on November 8th, 2017 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, bringing together 150 stakeholders and food activists for an in-depth conversation about Ontario’s local food sector.

Over 40 panelists took part in conversations about a range of topics across the food value chain from innovative financing options for farmers and local food entrepreneurs to best practices in marketing local food to consumers. Other panels included increasing the amount of local food served in public institutions, food safety and provincial meat plants, what does and does not work in operating a successful food hub, and new technology in agriculture and procurement.

“Today’s Symposium celebrates the $36 billion agrifood industry and looks to the future to generate ideas and solutions that will lead to more Ontarians choosing local food,” said Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “We know that local food is good for our communities, our economy and for individual health, and by building connections within the local food sector we are delivering on our mandate to increase local food access and sales across Ontario.”

Attendees ranged from farmers and commodity organizations to processors and distributors, building connections along the local food value chain. Procurement staff from student nutrition programs, colleges and universities, municipalities and longterm care homes were able to network with local food distributors and food hub operators. Government policymakers connected with non-profits and local food advocates. These connections strengthen the local food value chain and build partnerships to increase sales of local food in Ontario.

“Today’s Symposium is helping establish new partnerships that will strengthen our local food movement both now and in the future. By working together to get more locally grown and processed food on Ontarians’ plates, we are helping boost our economy and create good jobs across the province,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Greenbelt Fund also presented the Local Food Champion Awards to recognize leadership and innovation that is creating systemic change in Ontario’s agri-food sector. Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal did the honour of presenting the awards to Dan Munshaw from the City of Thunder Bay, Mohawk College, and Local Line in partnership with Flanagan Foodservice.

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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 business, 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 non-for-profit, the Greenbelt Fund is supported by public and private sources. The Local Food Investment Fund is supported by the Government of Ontario.

Erica Woods
Communications Manager
Greenbelt Fund
Phone: (416) 960-0001 ext. 306
[email protected]