Local Food News — Ontario

Steve Peters now a general manager at Salt Creek Farm Market

Steve Peters’ career path has come full circle in a rather satisfying way. Peters, a former speaker of the Ontario legislature, was working at a St. Thomas supermarket in 1991 when he scored a dark horse victory in St. Thomas mayor’s race that kick-started his political career. When he was elected a Liberal MPP and became minister of agriculture, he became a big promoter of Ontario food. Now in his new job as general manager of Salt Creek Farm Market, Peters is back to selling groceries, but with a rigorous focus on locally grown and processed products. “I’ve always had this vision of creating the Ontario store,” Peters said. London Free Press story.


Ontario and Greenbelt Fund Bringing More Local Food to Ontario Colleges

The Greenbelt Fund, in partnership with the Ontario Government, is providing Mohawk College with $100,000 in funding through the Local Food Investment Fund (LFIF) to develop the first provincial local food procurement model for Ontario colleges.  Along with increasing local food literacy and availability at Mohawk College, the pilot project is expected to increase local food purchases by $1.5 million over two years at three participating colleges. Greenbelt Fund post.



Operated by a not-for-profit board, Food Starter focuses on helping early-stage food processors commercialize and scale the development of their food products. With an emphasis on baked goods, hot and cold fill products and confectionery items for both traditional and ethnic markets, Food Starter provides access to a provincially inspected food production facility that offers shared food production and packaging equipment, business advisory services and structured training to help companies scale and grow their food processing businesses. Website.


Eating local in Lambton County

Breakfast on the farm is being held for the third time since it’s inception in 2014. After being held at Kevin and Melissa Forbes’s Dairy farm for the past two years, this year’s breakfast will be served at the farm of Brian and Joan Pelleboer, a goat dairy farm where they also have cash cropping and calves. Community Economic Development Officer and organizer Tracy Ranick said they first heard about farm breakfasts being held in other parts of Ontario and Michigan, and decided to put something together in Lambton County, a major hub for farming. Petrolia Topic story.


Not Far From The Tree

Not Far From The Tree is a Toronto-based fruit picking project inspired by 3 things: the spirit of sharing, the desire to give back to our community, and a passion for environmentally sustainable living. Torontonians with fruit-bearing trees often have fruit to spare – everything from apples, pears and grapes to sumac, apricots and elderberry! Once they register their tree, we’ll pick their fruit and divvy up the harvest 3 ways: between the homeowner, our volunteers, and local food banks, shelters and community kitchens. Website.


Mohawk College goes local for its food

During a news conference June 8 at Mohawk College’s food court, the Ontario government and the Greenbelt Fund announced it will be providing $100,000 for a 14-member advisory committee to develop a plan for the college to establish locally-sourced food procurement policies that will be adapted for implementation across the province. Mohawk College, said Griffiths, will contribute $100,000 to the project. Hamilton News story.


Metro Expanding Local Food Purchasing Plan To Ontario

Metro has announced it’s expanding it’s local purchasing program into Ontario. Metro is a food and pharmaceutical distributor in Quebec and Ontario. It’s more than 600 food stores include Metro, Food Basics, Metro Plus and Super C. The local purchasing program is intended to promote local agri-food products and increase access to them by all consumers. Blackburn News story.


Ontario Self-Guided Brewery Discovery Routes Bigger and Better for 2016

Self-guided Brewery Discovery Routes Maps provide five complete itineraries for folks looking to get out and explore breweries, cideries, Feast On restaurants, and local attractions. Along the way, participants can indulge in the flavours of artisanal cheeses, lovingly prepared culinary treats using fresh, local ingredients, premium craft beverages, farmers’ markets and scenic outlooks. Marketwired press release.


Celebrating 25 years of success: Ontario’s Environmental Farm Plan

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), one of Ontario agriculture’s flagship programs, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The EFP, which has been adapted across Canada and its workbook shared with more than 30 countries, provides training, self-assessment, and action plan development for 23 environmental areas on and around the farm and outlines best management practices. Since EFP’s inception, over 40,000 Ontario farm businesses have voluntarily participated in almost 3,550 educational workshops, resulting in a total estimated investment of $390 million in on-farm environmental improvements, supported by associated incentive programs. AgInnovation post.


2015/16 Ontario Local Food Report

The agri-food sector in Ontario is made up of hundreds of thousands of people: farmers, food and beverage processors, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs. Within those ranks are countless local food champions who drove the local food movement forward in 2015/2016 – from nutrition programs supporting students in Northern Ontario to innovators in Cornwall turning shipping containers into hydroponic farms. Report.




How Robots in Restaurants Will Change the Way We Eat and Live

The first step in understanding what automation means, is realizing the moment has already arrived. Wendy’s and McDonald’s locations, for example, have begun implementing tablet-based ordering stations in the front of restaurants, and Cali-based mini-chain Eatsa (more on that, later) can be viewed as an early nonpareil of what seamless automation should look like. “At McDonald’s, a lot of what they are cooking is automated, but needing a human touch at some point,” Templeton said. “In the front of house, automation has been popping up in the form of tablets — replacing waiters — and I can only see that becoming more widespread. We will probably see a lot of restaurants letting people order food with their phones, too.” Thrillist story.


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