Ontario Government to continue to focus on food security and supply chain strength
NEWS October 27th, 2022
TORONTO – Yesterday, the Ontario Legislature passed a motion brought forth by Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma that focuses on food security and strengthening the agri-supply chain throughout the Province.
MPP Bouma’s Motion reads as follows: “That in the opinion of this House, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs should continue to develop agricultural policy with an emphasis on food security and consideration of the entire agri-food supply chain and advocate to the federal government to adopt similar policies related to agriculture and food processing, in the spirit of ensuring Ontario farmers remain productive and competitive.”
“Almost everybody remembers, at some point during COVID, the gaps we witnessed in grocery shelves and we need to remind Ontarians that food doesn’t just magically appear in grocery stores,” said Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma. “We cannot be dependent on foreign countries that do not require the same environmental standards that we do, while at the same time, we need to be able to export food to those countries that cannot achieve the same levels of responsible production.”
“Persistent market and weather-related volatility, combined with labour challenges and unprecedented disruptions in global supply chains has resulted in a growing threat to food security, said Jack Chaffe, President Beef Farmers of Ontario. “Increased focus by governments to ensure this volatility is minimized through supportive policies and programs that enhance and protect our domestic food system and the hard-working farmers, processors, and other agri-food businesses that underpin it, is simply the right approach. Now is not the time to make it harder to produce food in this country.”
“The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association supports MPP Bouma’s motion on Food Security”, said Charles Stevens, Chair, OFVGA. “The ability of Ontario growers to supply consumers with local, fresh and safe produce is rooted in strong provincial and federal government policies, which must be positioned to support the success and growth of Ontario’s domestic food production.”
This motion builds on work the Ontario Government has done to date which includes this year’s Ontario Food summit with over 160 industry leaders from farmers to processors, transporters and retailers, meeting to gather ideas towards this strategy in support of Ontario’s food supply chain, as well as an Innovation Summit that was held last Fall. The provincial government has also announced over $50 million in investments in the agri-food supply chain this year.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is currently developing a food supply chain and innovation strategy with the input of farmers, producers, processors and industry to further strengthen Ontario food security.
In 2022, our government has announced over $50 million in investments that will benefit Ontario farmers, including:
- $25 million to increase the industry’s processing capacity,
- $2 million to develop made in Ontario fertilizer alternative and innovative solutions,
- $4 million to improve livestock veterinary services,
- $7 million in two new mental health initiatives including the Farmers Wellness Initiative which provides free specialized counselling services to farmers and farm families,
- $22 million in the Agri-Tech Innovation Program for 170 innovative projects to support the adoption of technology and set the sector up for future growth,
- And $4 million to help build a strong competitive agri-food workforce.
For more information, contact MPP Will Bouma at 519-759-0361 or [email protected]