Food and Farming Action Plan


The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance has just released a new 5-year Action Plan.

This Action Plan is broken down into 3 goals to achieve the vision of the organization:

  1. The GHFFA is recognized as the leading organization with expertise on food and farming issues and opportunities in the Golden Horseshoe Region of Ontario
  2. Establish the Golden Horseshoe as Canada’s leading innovative agriculture and agri-food cluster
  3. Enable the agri-food cluster to support sustainability outcomes

The Executive Summary

Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe lies on the western edge of Lake Ontario and contains a diverse mix of landscapes, people, institutions, and industries. Similar to Foodvalley in the Netherlands, the food and farming cluster in the Golden Horseshoe presents unique opportunities for innovative development and forward-thinking policies.

The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance (the “Alliance”) has proven itself to be a valuable partnership among municipalities, agricultural groups, educational institutions, and provincial ministries to co-ordinate efforts within this vibrant region. In 2012, The Alliance produced an Action Plan to set goals and guide activities over a 10-year planning horizon.

This new Action Plan provides an update to the previous Plan based on economic and societal changes that have arisen since 2012, in order to guide the Alliance over the next 5 years. These changes include advancements in technology (such as automation and artificial intelligence), the impacts of climate change, the changing policy context, as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agri-food system.

This Action Plan aims to build on past successes while taking into consideration emerging trends and opportunities to plan for a prosperous future for the agri-food sector within the Golden Horseshoe region.

Through research and engagement, including interviews, a survey, an environmental scan, and a virtual Summit, this Action Plan identifies 3 broad goals for the Alliance over the next 5 years. To help achieve each of these goals, this Action Plan identifies a series of objectives with 39 practical and measurable actions. The Action Plan also includes a roadmap for each goal to demonstrate how each action contributes to broader progress.

Access a condensed summary version of this Action Plan here.




The Golden Horseshoe food and farming cluster is vital to the economic health of Ontario and Canada.

The one million acres of farmland under production in the region generate in excess of $1.5 billion in gross farm receipts annually from a production profile that includes 200 different agriculture commodities. When the value of food processing is factored in, the annual economic activity is estimated at $12.3 billion. This economic activity is estimated to contribute $35 billion annually to the Canadian economy through the multiplier effect and creates thousands of jobs.

To ensure the on-going  vitality  of  the  area’s  food  and  farming  cluster,  the  GTA  AAC,  in   partnership with the Region of Niagara and the City of Hamilton has developed and released a 10-year Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Action Plan.

“Food  can  play  a  powerful  role  in  promoting  health  as  well  as  building  strong communities, protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. That is why food is such an effective vehicle to connect people to one another, to their neighbours and  their  cities.”  – Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto, May 2010


Download the 2011-2021 Action Plan (pdf)



Want to learn more about agriculture in the Golden Horseshoe over the years?

Our blog post here has more information.