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Ontario expands “Buy Ontario” campaign

June 24, 2008  By OMAFRA


Ontario expands “Buy Ontario” campaign

Ontario government is providing 4 million dollars over four years to help
people buy food directly from Ontario farmers.


June 24, 2008, Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario government is providing $4 million over four years to help people buy food directly from Ontario farmers.

The funding will help Farmers’ Markets Ontario and the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association work with farmers to sell more local food.

offmalogo“This support will provide a real boost to direct farm marketing in Ontario,” said Mark Saunders, president of the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association. “For 35 years, Ontario Farm Fresh has been providing Ontario farmers with the tools necessary to be successful selling directly to the consumer – things like research, training and sharing best practices.”

“This new funding will also expand our ability to train farmers in product lines like meats, grains and fibres.”

fmologo“The future just got brighter for farmers and farmers’ markets in Ontario, thanks to the provincial government,” said Philip Powell, chair of Farmers’ Markets Ontario. “We’re looking forward to expanding the number of markets, vendors and products they sell, improving the quality of research and training we can provide to them, and, ultimately, increasing the production and sales of Ontario products, which benefits all of us.”

This is part of the budget announcement of $56 million over four years that will be used for buy Ontario and buy local initiatives.

“By helping farmers’ markets and other venues that directly connect farmers and consumers, we all win with a greater availability of local food, more focused promotions and more sales,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Leona Dombrowsky.

Farmers’ Markets Ontario provides support, training and advice to farmers’ markets, including start-ups, promotions and liability insurance.

It will receive up to $750,000 in 2008-09 and $600,000 in each of the next three years to:

  • Expand the “MyMarket” brand with Farmers’ Markets Ontario, as well as at farmers’ markets that are not part of the organization through producer and market certification. This will help ensure that the products sold at markets are grown or made by local farmers.
  • Develop information to help farmers who may be new to selling at farmers’ markets.
  • Research what consumers are looking for when they buy Ontario food via direct marketing channels.
  • Undertake consumer awareness and marketing activities to promote these efforts.

The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association is made up of Ontario farmers with a keen interest in promoting the direct farm sales industry (which includes roadside marketing and pick-your-own operations), encouraging improvements and maintaining integrity in the industry.

It will receive up to $250,000 in 2008-09 and $200,000 in each of the next three years to:

  • Conduct consumer research and marketing activities.
  • Increase consumer awareness of, and access to, farm markets.
  • Expand the number of farmers selling directly to the public.
  • Expand the number of products on offer at on-farm markets, including meat, cheese, fibre and grain products.

OMAFRA is also committing up to $600,000 to provide business information and market analysis to Ontario farmers who would like more information about direct consumer marketing. This funding will also support the development of marketing tools and best practices for local farmers’ markets and food trails.

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