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Province pushes local food with $11.6M investment

The Ontario government is spending $11.6 million to help the province’s food processing sector.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says the money will fund 68 projects to improve access to Ontario food across the province.

Wynne, who is also the minister of agriculture and food, says the initiative is fostering more knowledge across the food supply chain.

“We’re moving away from a time when farmers didn’t necessarily know where their produce was going,” said Wynne at a press conference Saturday morning at the Stonemill Bakehouse in Scarborough.

“We want to make sure they know where the produce is going, and purchasers know where the produce is coming from.”

Stonemill Bakehouse is receiving $147,000 to help market its Prince Edward County Rye Bread and boost its use of rye in other breads.

This round of funding is part of the province’s $30-million Local Food Fund, which began accepting applications from food producers and processors last fall.

The province hopes the money will help grow the economy and create jobs.

Ontario’s agri-food sector is a $34-billion industry that provides more than 740,000 jobs.