A Message from the Director
September 8, 2022
It has taken a pandemic to show us the strengths and weaknesses of our Canadian food system. Disruptions in supply and distribution of food have taken the headlines in the last year, illustrating that we have a food system that was able (with a few exceptions) to pivot and get food to the consumer. And while our border did not close to food shipments, it is evident that we must continue to produce our own food and as much as we can in Canada.
To do that requires resolve on many fronts – a resolve politically to protect good agricultural lands for growing food, a resolve by industry to attract investment in a strong food processing sector, a
resolve by entrepreneurs to create food products that meet the needs of an ever-evolving consumer and a resolve to value food for the benefit it brings to good health and a biodiverse environment.
The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance exists to promote that resolve to Provincial and Municipal governments as they move to house an ever-expanding population. Through partnerships, we bring attention to the need for a strong food processing sector that brings jobs and economic value to the province. Our promotion of local food initiatives help to foster an innovative and creative sector that offers fresh choices to even the most vulnerable in our population.
We bring together a diverse group of people to our table – Municipal politicians, Conservation Authorities, Farmers, Post-Secondary Institutions, Provincial representatives, the Greenbelt Foundation, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and farm businesses. Together we bring ideas and energy to keep the food production and processing sectors strong and thriving in the Golden Horseshoe. The pandemic has shown us some of the weaknesses in the system but it has also more clearly shown our strengths.
It is important that we continue to work together, that no matter what changes politically, economically or even through a worldwide pandemic, we are able to bring together the people who care to make things better – better land use policies for Canada’s most productive lands, better care for our environment through practices that reduce long term effects on our soil, water and air, better collaboration throughout the sector so we speak with one voice on issues pertaining to agriculture and food and finally better understanding of the value of a food secure society in Canada where culturally appropriate food is safe, available and affordable.
Our 5 year Action Plan helps to guide our work. This report focuses on some of the things that have been accomplished by the Alliance in 2021 despite a pandemic. Thank you to the Board who make it possible, the ever-present energy from the staff of the Alliance and the Working Group members who keep us real!
Please read more about the Alliance’s latest work, including our Top 10 Accomplishments, in our 2021 Annual Report.