Ontario welcomes recommendations for agri-food sector growth
The Agri-Food Growth Steering Committee, comprised of leaders and experts in industry and government, was appointed last year by Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal, who tasked the committee with developing the recommendations.
Since the Premier Kathleen Wynne issued the Agri-Food Challenge in 2013, the industry has added $1.3 billion in GDP and over 34,000 jobs.
The recommendations focus on three key areas:
Increased government and industry promotion of Ontario's agri-food sector at home and abroad.
Stronger advocacy of Ontario's food processing sector, particularly at the federal level.
A focus on medium-sized agri-food businesses to enhance competitiveness.
In 2013, Premier Kathleen Wynne challenged the sector to double its annual growth rate and create 120,000 new jobs by 2020. The committee's recommendations, which were presented at this year's Summit, will help the sector meet the Premier's Agri-Food Challenge.
At the Summit, the Premier also honoured the contributions of agri-food innovators from across the province who are improving existing products, creating new jobs and helping to grow Ontario's economy.
The Top Five Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Awards include a Premier's Award, a Minister's Award and three Leaders in Innovation Awards. ■