OFA: Food security in Ontario remains strong during COVID-19 pandemic
March 17, 2020 By Ontario Federation of Agriculture
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is reassuring Ontarians about the strength and safety of the local food supply system. Despite consumer concerns with availability, Canadian and Ontario products continue to be produced, processed and distributed through our food distribution networks across the province. However, to help ease immediate short-term supply pressures, OFA is urging consumers to practice normal grocery buying habits with the assurance that fresh and processed products will continue to be made available.
Yesterday’s announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the provincial statement on March 14 by Ministers Ernie Hardeman and Christine Elliott, provide additional reassurances of public health protection measures and business continuity support. The food supply system in Ontario, and across Canada, is well equipped – even in times of crisis – to continue providing healthy, safe and affordable food. Ontario’s food distribution system will continue stocking grocery store shelves and our food supply chain can handle the additional pressures put on it as a result of the current health crisis.
“Please practice normal grocery buying habits and rest assured that our grocery production and supply chain will continue to provide Ontarians with the food we enjoy each and every day,” the joint-statement from Ministers Hardeman and Elliott read.
“Our food system has never been stronger, and we want to assure all Ontarians that they will not run out of fresh, affordable food during these challenging times,” says OFA President Keith Currie. “Consumers are understandably anxious about the uncertainty we are all facing, but one thing we want to do is quell their fears about food running out. There is no reason to hoard food. There is enough to feed us all.”
There are 49,600 farms across the province growing more than 200 different farm and food products, and many of those commodities are further enhanced by the thriving and innovative food processing sector in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area. Ontario consumers can be assured of the consistent, reliable and secure food supply that Ontarians have access to every single day, even during uncertain times.
Everyone in Ontario is facing an unprecedented situation where we are seeing the effects of a global pandemic in our own homes and communities. During this time of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to look out for our families, friends and neighbours. As Prime Minister Trudeau stated yesterday, “That is what Canadians do in difficult times. We pull together and we look after each other.”
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