Initiated in 2005 on a platform of farming reform to increase the industry’s viability, Local Food Plus certification system incorporates economic, environmental and social issues and opens new markets for Canadian farmers.
This project catapults local, sustainably produced food into the public consciousness in Ontario. Consumers are recognizing the label in their universities and grocery stores, and vendors and shoppers alike are recognizing the value of what it means to buy from certified farmers and processors: that the food is produced using environmentally and socially responsible growing practices.
A two-day event celebrates Durham farmers’ agricultural culinary tourism in Durham with farm tours and local fare. The tour reinforces the value of Durham’s local food economy and strengthens collaborations among farmers, local restaurants, B&B accommodations and others to buy, sell and promote locally grown foods.
The project increase sales, the number of farm vendors and the number of farmers' markets in the Greenbelt by recruiting new farmers diversifying products sold at markets, attracting new customers, and establishing four new urban markets. Project GREEN also brands markets as ‘Greenbelt’ markets and informs consumers on the important role farmers’ markets have in supporting local agriculture and the business of farming.
Grape Growers of Ontario hosts a Kick-Off Luncheon for the Wine Festival and produces and distributes educational material about VQA wine and the Greenbelt. The event is attended by provincial and municipal politicians as well as business and community leaders. The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival is held in September of each year to celebrate the wine harvest, showcase the industry and promote local Tourism. The event supports a viable agricultural sector by promoting agri-tourism and the consumption and awareness of local agricultural products.
$62,000 - June 5, 2006
Through the appraisal of existing programs and the building of partnerships throughout the Greenbelt’s agricultural sector, this project will determine the best ways to train and support new farmers, including recent immigrants and graduates of agricultural programs.
Approximately half of all newcomers to Canada settle in the Golden Horseshoe, bringing with them their skills, energy, cultures and often, farming experience. By exploring opportunities such as the farming of currently leased lands, development of a farm training centre and the creation of new ethnic food markets, this project will inject new life and perspectives into Greenbelt agriculture.