The provincial government is planning to introduce a bill that makes it easier to buy locally-grown foods.
“If families dedicated just $10 more of their weekly foods budgets to buying Ontario products, it would generate $2.4 billion in economic activity and create 10,000 new jobs,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty said in Ary, Ont. on Tuesday.
McGuinty told farmers gathered for the International Plowing Match that the government will introduce a Local Food Act to get their products into more places for consumers.
“Our government is committed to supporting, promoting and celebrating local food. That’s why we’re building on the good work we’ve accomplished with our industry and community partners, to help the sector be even more prosperous, competitive and sustainable,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ted McMeekin.
Ontario farmers grow more than 200 different agricultural commodities including fruits, vegetables, as well as meat and dairy products.
McMeekin said this initiative could help double the number of food processing plants in Ontario over the next five years.
Since 2003, the McGuinty government has invested more than $100-million to support Ontario food initiatives and to encourage local organizations and businesses to promote and carry Ontario food products.
The provincial farming industry contributes more than $33-billion to the economy each year and employs more than 700,000 Ontarians.
With files from The Canadian Press