Ontario, well known for its food and beverage industry, welcomed the McGuinty government on their recently announced Local Food Act. The Local Food Act builds on the success of the Ontario food and beverage manufacturing industry. A recent report showed that the food and beverage industry registered sales of USD 39 billion in 2010 showing an annual rate of increase of 2% per year from the last seven years. The study also revealed that Ontario food and beverage manufacturers are the largest customers of Ontario’s farmers.
According to Craig Richardson, Chairman of Alliance of Ontario Food Processors (AOFP), “The food and beverage processing industry has not only survived, but thrived during the economic downturn of the last several years.” “Ontario has long looked to the automotive industry to fuel the provincial economy, but it is clear that food and beverage processing is the economic engine that drives it,” he added.
Among Ontario’s manufacturing industry, food manufacturing is the largest segment. The Local Food Act will help this industry to build up new innovations.
According to Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods and member of Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Council, “Ontario’s food sector has been a lynchpin of the Ontario and Canadian economy.”
According to Steve Peters, Executive director of AOFP, “Our industry has a proven track record of success; we are the single largest manufacturing employer in Ontario and we know that there is huge potential for more growth in our sector.” He congratulated the McGuinty government on the Local Food Act.