Local Food Makes for Healthy Economy and a Healthier Planet

Greenbelt Foundation premier sponsor of Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention, February 21 - 22, 2007(Brock University, St. Catharines) – The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is pleased to support Canada’s foremost horticultural event with a premier sponsorship of the 2007 Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention. “This is the second year that we’ve supported this important learning and networking opportunity,” says Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Foundation. “Our continuing support helps bolster growing interest in local foods, in turn improving the livelihoods of fruit and vegetable farmers.“ With polls showing over 89% of public support for the Greenbelt‘s goal of protecting area farmland and curbing urban sprawl, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has awarded to-date over $4.4 million in grants to assist farmers in the Greenbelt. “On another level,” Mr. Mausberg continues, “consumers know that buying cheap fruit and vegetables from far away places directly contributes to transportation-related smog and greenhouse gases. If we are serious about fighting global warming, we need more events like this to find real answers to lessening our dependence on imported foods.” Despite Ontario consumers’ increasing interest in fresh local food, it remains difficult for farmers to get their locally-grown fruits and vegetables on store shelves and dinner tables. The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is helping organizations bridge that gap. “Promoting local agriculture is critical,” Mr. Mausberg concludes. “Greenbelt lands, and those that work that land, can provide us with most of the fresh and nutritious food we now seek in our efforts to lead healthier lifestyles.” “The future of the Greenbelt,” adds Bob Chorney, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets Ontario, “relies on market conditions that allow our fruit and vegetable farmers to make a good living growing our food. With support from the Foundation, we are able to increase the collective knowledge, competitiveness and profitability of our Ontario fruit and vegetable growers. Funds also help get our local food message through to the purchasing public, thereby increasing our growers’ viability.” Burkhard Mausberg’s presentation “Greenbelt Links – Two Years and Counting” takes place on Wednesday, February 21 at 10:30 am at the Walker Complex of Brock University, St. Catharines. For further information, please contact: Donald Wiedman, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation tel.: (416) 960-0001, ext. 305, cell: (416) 559-3934 email: dwiedman@ourgreenbelt.ca

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