Green Party Food and Farming Strategy: Better Food, Better Jobs, Better Ontario
Prescott, Ontario – The old parties at Queen’s Park have failed to promote and protect Ontario Farmers. Only the Green Party has championed this issue, calling for a Ontario Food and Farming strategy since Mike Schreiner was elected Leader in November 2009.
“Ontario needs real change at Queen’s Park. The empty rhetoric of the other parties has only led to fewer local farmers and the closure of local food processors,” said Schreiner. “Only a Green MPP will raise this important issue to ensure all Ontarians have access to healthy local food. We will push for accountability and demand action.”
The Green Party of Ontario is committed to making a healthy food and farming system a provincial priority. The Green Party’s Ontario Food and Farming Strategy supports Ontario farmers, while providing all citizens access to healthy local food within a framework of sustainable, local agriculture.
“Ontario has only 7,000 farmers under the age of 35,” added Schreiner. “Without action on this issue today, Ontario’s food system will crumble.”
It’s time to strengthen our food system so that Ontario can feed itself and others.
The Green Party’s Ontario Food and Farming strategy includes:
– Investing $200 million over four years for a comprehensive healthy school food program.
– Supporting Buy Local campaigns and set targets for government institutions. – Setting a standard for purchasing forty percent Ontario food for all public institutions.
– Investing $100 million over four years to reward farmers for stewardship practices which provide environmental and societal benefits.
– Establishing an Ontario Food and Farming Policy Council to coordinate planning across ministries and consult diverse stakeholders.
– Investing in rural infrastructure, research and innovation, bio-based product manufacturing, distribution hubs, farmer co-ops, organic and specialty crops.
– Cutting red tape for family farms and local food processors; implement smart regulations that recognize differences in the size of operations.
– Eliminating tax penalties and reduce zoning restrictions to facilitate local, on-farm food enterprises and innovative sources of farm income.
– Improving income stabilization programs so they are more accessible for family farms, cover a wider range of products and don’t penalize farmers who experience bad years.
For more details on the Green Party’s commitment to supporting farming in Ontario, visit: http://itstimeforgreen.ca/food/
Director of Communications
Green Party of Ontario