Category Archives: Local Food

Highlights from the 2021 North & Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

The North & Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference has officially ended. This year, hundreds of attendees from regions across Ontario attended the virtual conference to learn about topics such as agri-tourism, farming, greenhouse production, and more from experts and small Ontario businesses. Following the theme of local food, two chef-led lunches were hosted to encourage people to support Ontario farmers by purchasing local Ontario produce.

Session 1: “Local Food More Than Ever” – March 10

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North AND Eastern Ontario Local Food Virtual Conference

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique
opportunities and pressures for local food systems. The
current situation has demonstrated how critical these
systems are, as well as exposing weaknesses that make
them vulnerable. The North & Eastern Ontario Local Food Virtual Conference provides an opportunity for people to share their experiences and provide diverse perspectives on local food.

About this event:

The virtual conference consists of four free sessions, taking place every Wednesday starting March 10, from 10am – 12pm. The goal of these sessions is to explore the hard-won lessons learned from the pandemic that can help strengthen local food businesses and organizations.

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GET YOUR BRAND NOTICED – Private Label Week Virtual Trade Show

The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) 2021 Virtual Trade Show is now Live! This virtual event is taking place February 1-5, 2021 and features online exhibits and private virtual meetings, where retail buyers can search for products and network live with store brands suppliers. This year, eight Canadian businesses will be exhibiting within OMAFRA’s Ontario Pavilion.

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Restaurants Canada Show 2021 – Live Online

Restaurants Canada’s annual food service and hospitality trade event for the first time ever, will take place virtually this year from February 28-March 3, 2021.

Register NOW to exhibit in the Ontario Pavilion and SAVE!

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is partnering with Restaurants Canada to provide Ontario food and beverage manufacturers the opportunity to promote their local products within the Ontario Pavilion. You can register by completing the RC Show 2021 application and submit it to theshow@restaurantscanada.org by February 14. Some perks of exhibiting with OMAFRA:

  • All-inclusive promotion package at a discount rate of $1,599
  • RC Member Fee will be waived under the OMAFRA group booking
  • 6 exhibitor staff registrations
  • Promotion on RC Show website (must submit .jpg logo by Feb 1)

Please complete the PDF application below if you’re interested in exhibiting within the Ontario Pavilion!

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Learn About How Your food Business Can Be Part of the PLMA Week Virtual Trade Show

The Private Label Manufacturers Association Trade Show will be in a virtual format where thousands of retail buyers from across the world will be searching for new business partners. The event happening February 1-5, 2021 will feature trade shows, enabling retailers and visitors to search for products and network with exhibitors using virtual communication tools. Participants will be able to exchange virtual business cards and other company information including social media accounts.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will be hosting the virtual Ontario Pavilion, which will assist and promote its Ontario exhibitors. The pavilion will provide opportunity for export-ready Ontario food and beverage processors to showcase their offerings to the United States and international private label buyers.

Join OMAFRA on December 15th for the Virtual PLMA Pre-Event Webinar.

The session will prepare exhibiting companies for the event and provide detailed answers to questions you may have. Topics covered include:

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Register Now with the Choose Ontario Pavilion at Grocery Innovations Canada Live @home show

The Choose Ontario pavilion will be at Grocery Innovations Canada in its first-ever virtual format where thousands of grocery retail buyers around the globe will be looking for new business partners like you!

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Registration open – Selling Food to Ontario Training Workshop

Registration is now open for the FREE Selling Food to Ontario Training Workshop, brought to you by collaboration between OMAFRA, York Region, and the Town of Georgina!

Looking to learn more about different sales channels, how they work and how to decide which channel(s) may be best for business? This webinar will help you create new opportunities for your farm or food business by learning how to expand into new markets such as farmers’ markets, restaurants, food service, and food retailers.

This webinar is best suited for farmers, producers, food & beverage start-ups, small food & beverage manufacturers and food business retailers/restaurants.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, November 5th, 2020 (8:45am-12:30pm), and participants will hear from expert speaker on the topics of:

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Buy Local!!!

Ontario’s Local Food Week is here from June 3rd – 9th, 2020! This week we emphasize the importance of Ontario’s hardworking farmers, food processors, organizations and agri-sector workers who are committed to providing Ontarians with access to a steady, reliable supply of fresh local food products. With the vast array of food options available, we can remain confident that our agriculture and agri-food industry continues to be resilient and innovative.

girl workingOMAFRA’s Agriculture Economic Development Resource Guide for Communities notes that Ontario’s agri-food sector is one of the province’s largest economic contributors. In 2016, over $37 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) was contributed to Ontario’s economy from the agri-sector with the provision of over 800,000 jobs – roughly 12% of total provincial employment. This means that one in eight Ontarians are agri-sector workers!

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Exhibit with the Ontario Pavilion at SIAL Canada 2020!

UPDATE: SIAL Canada has recently released the following about this event: “SIAL Canada, as an industry leader, has been following the evolution of the COVID-19 crisis very closely. In light of recent developments in the ordinances announced in Quebec, we have decided to postpone the event to August 5-7 at the Palais des Congres.”

SIAL Canada is an annual international food and beverage trade show that offers a complete range of products, equipment and technologies designated specifically for the food industry. This year, SIAL Canada will be held in Montreal, Quebec at the Palais des Congres, on April 15-17, 2020.

SIAL Canada will feature an Ontario pavilion, presented by OMAFRA comprised of Ontario food and beverage processors. There are still limited spots left to exhibit with the Ontario pavilion. With over 25,000 visitors, SIAL Canada is the perfect springboard for your product. Booth spaces are limited and filling up fast! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet the industry’s major players!

Why exhibit at SIAL Canada?

  • SIALThere will be 25,000 visitors from more than 60 countries. Your clients will be there! And if not, you will receive free invitations for your clients as part of your exhibitor package.
  • An average of 350 contacts per booth which offers you the opportunity to develop your business around the world.
  • Attend exclusive conferences to keep you informed of the biggest market trends, food innovation and growth opportunities.

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Sobeys Helps Local Suppliers Expand Their Business

Sobeys Ontario held two Local Supplier Partner Roadshows to help their suppliers grow their businesses on February 4th in Ajax and February 5th in Hamilton. Over 372 people from local Ontario agri-food businesses attended each event.

The Local Supplier Partner Roadshows were composed of:

  • Presentations by Sheri Evans, Sobeys Local Development Manager who provided an overview of the Sobeys Local program, and;
  • Interactive panels who answered questions about working with the Sobeys stores and growing their brands.

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