Giving thanks during Ontario Agriculture Week – ‘If you ate today, thank a farmer’


This, the first week of October, is a time to celebrate the incredible contributions of the women and men who are proud to be Ontario farmers.

The vast array of safe, local food on grocery store shelves is the result of Ontario farmers’ talent, hard work and dedication.

For almost a quarter-century, Ontario Agriculture Week has been an opportunity to recognize farmers and the contributions they make to our daily lives. It is the work they do that make it possible for Ontarians to enjoy healthy and locally grown food, every day of the year.

As Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, I want to express my gratitude and admiration to Ontario farmers for their crucial work. Thank you for making Ontario food among the best in the world. And thank you for ensuring our food supply is strong. You never let us down.

In the past few years, I know the agri-food industry has needed to be even more resilient. The sector has stepped up to the challenge and been an inspiration around the world.

This is a great time to reflect on those achievements. Ontario farmers and the agri-food industry give so much in many ways; from the great food produced in the fields to hundreds of thousands of jobs for workers across the province. They bring prosperity to local communities and to our province as a whole. Ontario’s agri-food industry is a farm to fork food supply chain, that contributes $47 billion to Ontario’s economy each year.

I want to assure you that our government is doing our part too. We are strengthening Ontario’s food supply by investing $25 million in Strategic Food Processing and $10 million to establish a Food Security and Supply Chain Fund. We are boosting made-in-Ontario capacity with the upcoming Ontario Food Security and Supply Chain Stability Strategy which is being developed with the input of the province’s farmers and agri-food industry leaders and will provide a roadmap to help strengthen our province’s food supply chain.

As Minister, it’s also my job to open doors to new opportunities for the people and businesses in the agri-food sector. I want to ensure rural communities and agriculture businesses are competitive at home and abroad, and that rural economies, of which agriculture is key, are respected and protected.

Our government is working with farmers to inspire, attract and invite made in Ontario solutions to strengthen food security in our province. The Fertilizer Accelerating Solutions & Technology Challenge is a $2 million investment in made-in-Ontario long term solutions to increase fertilizer options, alternatives and technology This initiative and others such as the $22 million Agri-Tech Innovation Program are among our efforts to support farmers and the entire agri-food industry now and into the future.

You know how the old saying goes- “if you ate today, thank a farmer”. It rings true this week, and every day of the year. On behalf of Premier Ford, and our entire government, I want to thank Ontario farmers and the entire agri-food industry for all you do. I commit to you that we will continue to do our part to ensure productivity, efficiencies, global competitiveness and a proud future for the success for the entire agri-food industry.