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Eolfc 2013 omaf and mra - local food strategy and funding opportunities

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The Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference (EOLFC 2013) provided a great opportunity to share information, learn about success stories and gather information on innovative local food businesses, …

The Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference (EOLFC 2013) provided a great opportunity to share information, learn about success stories and gather information on innovative local food businesses, projects and best practices. The conference was organized by KEDCO (Kingston Economic Development Corporation) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs. The theme of the conference was Innovation Driving Local Food and it was held December 3, 2013 at the Ambassador Hotel in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Marc LeBerge from OMAF and MRA on local food strategy and funding opportunities.

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  • 1. Ontario’s Local Food Strategy Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference December 3, 2013
  • 2. Presentation Objectives • Provide an overview of: – Ontario’s Local Food Strategy; and – policy objectives of current funding support (i.e. Local Food Fund and Growing Forward 2). 2
  • 3. Context • The province is a proud supporter of local food, investing over $116 million in local food initiatives since 2003/04. • Buying local food creates jobs and economic growth in communities across the province, and can support social priorities. • In 2012, the ministry held a series of regional roundtables with a broad spectrum of local food stakeholders. They identified a number of challenges and opportunities, including: – increased education and awareness for consumers and industry; – funding to support local food collaboration, value chain development and infrastructure (e.g. distribution, post-harvest handling, etc.); – regional flexibility to define and market local food; and – public sector leadership in local food procurement. • Their input was used to develop a multi-pronged local food strategy to help celebrate, support and promote local food. 3
  • 4. Ontario’s Local Food Strategy Vision Ontario consumers enjoy local food more often – and in more places. Mission Goals Increasing the consumption of local food in Ontario. Ontario consumers are aware of, value and choose more local foods. Local food is identifiable and widely available through a range of distribution channels. Ontario’s agri-food sector is competitive, productive and responsive to consumer demand. Celebrate Promote Support New Activities Local Food Act, 2013 (Local Food Week, Local Food Goals/Targets, Local Food Report, Tax Credit for Donations to Food Programs) Local Food Funding OPS Local Food Procurement Policy Consultations on Provincial Designation System AMO’s Municipal Local Food Best Practices Guide Existing Activities Foodland Ontario (Media, Branding, Promotional Support, Retail Services, Client Services/Logo Use, Consumer Research) Support for Direct Farm Marketing and Farmers’ Markets BPS Investment Fund Agri-food Education Local Food Research Local Food Advisory Services Celebrating Innovation/Success (Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation, Retailer Awards) Ongoing Inter-Ministerial Collaboration to Link Local Food with Other Initiatives/Priorities (e.g. MCYS Student Nutrition Program, MEDU Healthy Schools Working Table) 4
  • 5. Local Food Act, 2013 • The government committed to introducing legislation that would celebrate, support and promote local food. – Intent was to be enabling and aspirational versus prescriptive. • Bill 36, Local Food Act, 2013 was introduced on March 25, 2013. – 13 days of debate from April 9-May 15; – 2 days of public hearings in October; – Passed unanimously by the legislature on November 5; – Received Royal Assent on November 6. • During debate and public hearings a number of key themes emerged: – importance of goal setting, but no desire for hard enforcement; – education and food literacy; – emphasis on food access, especially for vulnerable populations; – role of government to remove barriers and advance local food; – definition of local food should reflect regional and cultural diversity. 5
  • 6. Local Food Act - Continued • The Local Food Act, 2013 will: – require the Minister to set voluntary goals and targets around food literacy, access to local food and increased use of local food by public sector organizations – in consultation with stakeholders; – allow the Minister to set other voluntary local food goals and targets in consultation with stakeholders; – enable the province to work with public sector organizations on goals and targets, and share information on progress and results; – proclaim a “Local Food Week”, beginning the first Monday in June; – require the government to produce an annual local food report; – create a tax credit of up to 25 per cent for farmers for donations of agricultural products that they have produced to eligible community food programs. • Local food is defined as food produced or harvested in Ontario, including forest and freshwater food, and food and beverages made in Ontario is they include ingredients produced or harvested in Ontario. 6
  • 7. Provincial Designations • Building on past successes, the government is looking at new ways to help increase awareness of, access to and demand for local food. • Feedback from the 2012 consultations suggest stakeholders would like to “develop greater flexibility to define and market local food in a manner that resonates with customers.” – Considering aspects such as origin, production method and/or product characteristics. • Consultations are being held across Ontario this fall to help uncover: – interest in a provincial designation system; – input on its scope, including criteria for participation, enforcement, marketing, verification, delivery and implementation; and – stakeholder preference for the type of system and/or support for other marketing initiatives such as regional branding. • You can participate: omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/localfoodconsultation.htm 7
  • 8. Procurement and Best Practices Local Food Procurement Policy • There is a strong desire for provincial leadership in supporting local food – supporting local businesses is the “right thing to do”. • The Province has implemented a Local Food Procurement Policy for purchases under $25,000. Ministries and provincial agencies must consider local food when making their food purchases. Local Food Best Practices Guide for Municipalities • Building resilient local food systems requires local leadership, and many municipalities are doing exciting things. – Not all have the same capacity (e.g. resources, expertise, etc.). • The Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Municipal Knowledge Network led a project to develop a guide that would help share best practices and support municipal decision-making. – Funded in part by OMAF/MRA, and supported by Sustain Ontario and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association. • Can be found at www.omkn.ca/Best-Practices/Beneficial-Reports.aspx. 8
  • 9. Funding Provincial Objectives Jobs & Economic Investment Development Sector/Business Competitiveness Protect Public Good Common Program Elements Support Innovation Local Food Funding Outcomes Focused Encourage Collaboration/Partnerships Growing Forward 2 Build Capacity Focus on Local/Ontario Markets Address Barriers/Opportunities in Local Markets Stronger Local/Regional Food Systems Support Step-wise Approach (Planning/Implementation) Project Sustainability Performance Measurement Beyond Local Markets – National/Global Address Broader Competitiveness Issues Stronger Businesses/ Agri-food Sector • Funding was identified as a key need. A number of funding programs are currently available, depending on the nature of the project. 9
  • 10. Thank You! Contact: Marc LaBerge, Senior Policy Advisor Economic Development Policy Branch Ministry of Agriculture and Food/ Ministry of Rural Affairs (519) 826-3839 marc.laberge@ontario.ca 10