“We all want to raise awareness, and to celebrate the good things that are grown, harvested and made in Ontario. Sharing best practices and building on good ideas with a view to expand local food capacity demonstrates our collective commitment to support the success of our agri-food industry and to grow strong local food economies across Ontario.”
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
In March 2013, the government introduced Bill 36, the Local Food Act, 2013, which emphasized the importance of maintaining and growing Ontario’s local and regional food systems through a shared vision and collaborative partnerships, and creates a mechanism for setting local food goals and targets. According to the Act, the term “local food” refers to food produced or harvested in Ontario, and subject to any limitations in the regulations, food and beverages made in Ontario if they include ingredients produced or harvested in Ontario. The purposes of this Act are:
• To foster successful and resilient local food economies and systems throughout Ontario.
• To increase awareness of local food in Ontario, including the diversity of local food.
• To encourage the development of new markets for local food.3
The Local Food Resource Guide serves as a tool to enable municipalities to identify, develop and support dynamic local food initiatives and to promote evidence-based decision making regarding local food goals and targets. Ultimately, the Local Food Resource Guide aids in preparing municipalities to set targets, steps that are being taken to reach the targets, and progress that is being made towards meeting the targets.