Only 11% of Canada’s land can support agricultural production, and Ontario boasts 52% of all of Canada’s class 1 farmland.
The Ontario Farmland Trust is an organization devoted to protecting and promoting Ontario farmland by working directly with farmers, rural communities and other interested parties.
Keeping Greenbelt Farmland in Farming involves a major campaign to encourage the donation of agricultural easements throughout the Greenbelt, aiming to establish three easements in year one, seven in year two and ten in year three. The Ontario Farmland Trust aims to impact the policy and planning process, communicating the importance of retaining active farming, local food and enjoying the countryside.
The OFVGA is comprised of 28 member organizations representing more than 7,500 farmers throughout the province.
This economic impact study is the ﬁrst of its kind, looking at the Greenbelt as an agricultural region within Ontario through an in-depth picture of the fruit and vegetable industry in this near-urban agricultural area. The study examines the economic viability of the industry and the impacts of recent changes in land use legislation. It also looks to future opportunities, in particular the economic signiﬁcance of having eight million consumers within driving distance and how farmers might beneﬁt from this rural-urban relationship.
Annual Clean Air and Environment Guide
The Clean Air Partnership, a charitable organization working to improve local air quality, produces an annual clean air and environment guide which provides information to help individuals conserve energy and protect the environment. It also encourages businesses to market their energy-efficient products in ways that will increase consumer demand. Such information guides educate the public and supports businesses committed to energy conservation and improving air quality.
The planning grant enables the Corporate Knights Foundation to investigate ways the organization and its magazine can contribute to making the Greenbelt a success. For example, the Greenbelt possesses great opportunity for innovation and development of green energy in Ontario, which can offer savings in operating costs for individual farmers.
The sponsorship program supports a diversity of cultural festivals across the Greenbelt.
“Exclusively Ours” is strategically positioning the areas of Caledon, Erin, Orangeville, Shelburne, Mono and Dufferin County as Greenbelt tourist destinations. A promotional campaign positions the natural landscape of the area within the Greenbelt; strengthens the Hills of Headwaters’ brand; increases tourism in the area; and, engages area businesses and the community to collaboratively offer a wider tourism “franchise” that includes marketing seven tourism experiences - trails, heritage, arts, culinary, equestrian and agriculture, golf and corporate meetings in the Headwaters.
The 17th Annual Niagara Peach Festival showcases the peach industry for one day in August. The Festival is extra special this year, with an expansion of the ‘Peach of an Evening’ event held on the Thursday evening prior to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Peach Festival. The event promotes tourism in Niagara-on-the-Lake and builds awareness of the peach industry. The goals are to develop the demand for local produce, solidify strong relationships with growers, increase business involvement and visitors' length of stay. The Festival draws thousands of visitors each year.
The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, with 100 members in the Greenbelt, is developing a marketing strategy to increase the number of repeat customers and the frequency of their visits to these on-farm markets. An outreach plan will attract new visitors including members of the GTA’s diverse ethnic communities; create seasonal, low-cost promotional activities for OFFMA; and pursue co-marketing opportunities with other tourism operators in the Greenbelt. The project promotes agriculture and farms in the Greenbelt and Ontario.
The "Economic Impact Study Regarding Viability of Fruit and Vegetable Industry within the Greenbelt" project will assist the long-term goal of establishing policies to maintain the viability of this sector. The study produces an economic impact statement about the value of industry today and the impact of government policies, such as the Greenbelt. It also explores new activities such as developing value-added products, undertaking product research and creating strategic marketing alliances.
The replant strategy converts up to 25% of total acreage from juice grape production to wine grapes, which typically experience higher market demand.
Representing over 600 grape growers in eastern, southern and southwestern Ontario, the Grape Growers of Ontario provides resources and support to maintain a healthy market for grape growers.Farmers in Niagara face an uncertain future after a local company announced an end to manufacturing grape juice. Many of these farmers want to transition to growing new products, including high quality wine grape varieties that would elevate Niagara’s reputation as a world renowned wine region. This project invests in that goal.