Ontario’s local food industry impacts our economy, our environment and our culture. The local food value chain includes farmers, processors, distributors, retailers, restaurants, other food service organizations like the broader public sector, who are working to provide quality products to Ontarians.
In March of 2019, the Government of Ontario established the final goal of the Local Food Act, 2013: to remove red tape barriers and open the door for using more local food across the broader public sector (BPS). To support the goal’s success, the government developed many tools and resources including the Broader Public Sector Champions Program. Organizations are encouraged to share their local food procurement baseline with the province. Then create and track targets for increasing local food purchases, and voluntarily report back to the province how they are meeting their local food goals.
Certificates of Recognition from the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will be awarded to participating institutions each June during Local Food Week.
What Does This Mean for you?
Broader Public Sector organizations receive funding from the Government of Ontario but are considered outside the governing body. BPS organizations that can participate in the local food Broader Public Sector Champions Program are hospitals, municipal long-term care facilities, school boards, universities or colleges, school boards, and child care centers.
As a BPS organization, you can get started today! Click here to fill out the baseline survey, or visit the Broader Public Sector Champions Program page on the OMAFRA website for more information.
Knowing where our food comes from makes it easier to support those who grow, harvest and make it, we strengthen our communities, support a sustainable environment, create jobs and boost the economy.
Let us know what local food options are available at your local healthcare centre, university, school, or childcare centre in the comments below or on Twitter @RegionalEcDevON.