Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

The CFFO Commentary: Ontario Reintroduces the Local Food Act

by Nathan Stevens

This week, the Provincial government introduced the Local Food Act, 2013. This act has the potential to be a positive opportunity for government to lead the way on local food. It also represents an opportunity for farmers in Ontario to supply Ontario’s public bodies with local food. 

The Act has three simple purposes. The first is to foster successful and resilient local food economies and systems throughout Ontario. The second is to increase awareness of local food in Ontario, including the diversity of local food. The third is to encourage the development of new markets for local food.

The Local Food Act will focus primarily on enabling the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food to establish local food targets for a wide array of publicly-funded institutions. Targets and goals can be set, in consultation with organizations that have an interest in the particular goal or target that is being considered. Every three years a report is to be prepared that assesses the progress being made on achieving the local food goals and targets.

The scope of the Act allows for a selection of which foods are included in a target, which means that the quantitative targets can also have qualitative implications. This will allow government to prioritize certain food types over others if it chooses to do so, based on public concerns. For example, it could set a target for fruits and vegetables in public institutions, but not for other food groups.

Unfortunately, there is no contingency for dealing with price gaps between what an institution can afford and what a farmer needs to be profitable. This means that some targets may be very difficult to achieve for public institutions, especially in an era of tight fiscal situations for both governments and public institutions. If targets must be met, then institutions will be forced to reduce service in other areas.

The Local Food Act has the potential to turn our public institutions into champions of the local food movement. This, in turn, has the potential to benefit many Ontario producers that are focused on producing food for consumers close to home.

Views: 66


You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Comment by Maureen Temme on April 2, 2013 at 12:04pm

Hi Nathan,

Could you locate and find a link to the Ontario Food Act, new version, and add it to your blog?

Thanks for the post,


Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Sulzer’s PLAnet bioplastic technology creates market opportunities for sugar producers

The growing appetite for sustainable bioplastic made from polylactic acid (PLA) is opening new doors to corn, sugar beet and sugar cane farmers.

2019 Cereals Seasonal Summary

The cool, wet spring in 2018 resulted in delayed soybean planting for many producers across the province.

North American Fertilizer Industry Supports CUSMA Deal

Fertilizer Canada and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) welcome Tuesday’s announcement of a bipartisan agreement on the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

Helping Ontario Farmers Improve the Environment

New application intake will support measures to benefit Lake Erie

Diversifying crop export markets: Has Canada reached its limit?

Diversifying export markets can help mitigate ag producers’ risk. This is important in Canada, a country which depends so heavily on exports.

© 2019   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service