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Press Release

County Celebrates Ontario Agriculture Week October 3-9, 2016

Midhurst/October 4, 2016 – In support of the region’s agricultural community, the County of Simcoe and the Food Partners Alliance join in celebrating Ontario Agriculture Week October 3-9, 2016, as proclaimed by Warden Gerry Marshall.

“We look forward to celebrating and promoting our farmers and agri-food entrepreneurs as we recognize our strong and diverse agricultural sector,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “From our rural farming communities to the Holland Marsh, which feeds 75 per cent of Ontario and 65 per cent of Canada, our farmers are the backbone of our economy.”

Simcoe County produces one of the most diverse ranges of traditional and organic agricultural outputs in Ontario. Among its unique offerings, County producers grow a variety of vegetables, a broad range of fruits, and supply many different animal products including beef, goat, lamb, duck, game meat and fish.

“The celebration will lead up to Thanksgiving and will provide the opportunity for residents to thank their local farmers, producers and all others that have supported Simcoe County’s local agriculture and food sectors,” says John Hemsted, Chair of the Food Partners Alliance.

Currently, there are 1,524 farms operating in Simcoe County, each of which contribute to ensuring a sustainable food system.

Join the celebration by sharing your support of our agricultural sector by using #loveONTfood, or visit www.loveontfood.ca for a list of resources on Ontario food and farming and more ideas on how to join in on the celebration.

For more information on how the Food Partners Alliance supports food and agriculture, visit fpa.simcoe.ca

The County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to county residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.


 

County of Simcoe
 

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Press Release

County of Simcoe Supports Local Food Week

Midhurst/June 3, 2016 With more than 2,400 farms within its borders, the County of Simcoe knows a little something about the importance of agriculture.  

To help increase consumer awareness, improve access to local food, and ensure there’s a sufficient supply of food to meet the demand, the County and the Food Partners Alliance is joining the province in celebrating Local Food Week June 6-12 as part of Ontario’s Local Food Strategy.

From farmers’ markets to food events that provide the opportunity for residents and visitors to explore the County’s agri-food and agri-culinary sectors, there are plenty of ways to connect residents with nutritious, delicious and environmentally friendly food.  

“It’s vital we work collaboratively with public, private and non-profit sectors to foster a secure local food system that is equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically prosperous,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “Food is essential for life and optimal health, and we understand the importance of continuing our support of our area’s farmers and agricultural industry.”

Area farms and businesses offer a bounty of food choices that can be easily incorporated in our daily meals. You can help support Local Food Week by buying local food and sharing photos of your support on social media by following #loveONTfood.

For more information on how the Food Partners Alliance supports food and agriculture, visit fpa.simcoe.ca

The County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

 

County of Simcoe 

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Food Freedom Day celebrates Simcoe County’s local food system                      

Midhurst/February 8, 2016 – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has declared February 9, 2016 as Food Freedom Day in Canada, the date by which the average Canadian will have earned enough income to pay for his or her grocery bill for 2016.

Food Freedom Day provides an opportunity to consider our roles and the impact we have on the Canadian food system, whether that be as a municipality, consumer, farmer, processor or retailer.

"Simcoe County has a strong, vibrant and growing agri-food sector and we are committed to supporting our farmers, food entrepreneurs and our entire local food system," said Warden Gerry Marshall. "As a County, we are investing in training opportunities for our business owners, protecting prime agricultural lands, promoting our products beyond our borders and supporting initiatives that create access to affordable local food options for all our residents, including our most vulnerable citizens."

This year's Food Freedom Day aims to bring awareness to the impact of increases in food prices on day-to-day budgets. It is estimated that in 2015, Canadians spent 11 per cent of their disposable income on food, compared to 10.4 per cent in 2014. In correlation with rising food prices, 2016 was also declared International Year of the Pulses by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in an effort to raise awareness about lower cost nutritional foods. Simcoe County produces a number of pulses (leguminous crops) including soybeans, dried field beans, white beans and alfalfa. Pulses are part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition, but also provide the opportunity for greater equal food access.

"There are different ways that people can deal with the increase in food prices due to the down turn of the Canadian dollar, this includes purchasing produce when it is in season or finding other healthy protein alternatives at lower costs – pulses is a good example. Increases in food prices can impact equal access to food and food security. It is then important that communities and organizations continue to work together to reduce hunger with more vulnerable populations," says John Hemsted, Chair of the Food Partners Alliance.

"As the cost of healthy food continues to climb, a sustainable solution to this situation becomes ever more urgent. We know that poverty is the root cause of food insecurity and that there is a need for solutions to ensure that even the lowest of incomes is enough to cover the cost of basic needs such as healthy food and housing," says Jane Shrestha, Public Health Nutritionist for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

The County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca


 

County of Simcoe