ONTARIO — Up to $100,000 is being offered to individual marketing projects that encourage Ontarians to buy locally grown-and-made food and agri-food products. The province is plowing $1-million annually into the newly launched ‘Grassroots Growth Initiative’, which is aimed at producer organizations to develop and expand local marketing opportunities.
Examples of projects that could be eligible for Grassroots Growth funding include:
- Branded display bins that make it easier for consumers to identify local grown fruit at grocery stores;
- A local print or digital marketing campaigns to boost awareness in target markets;
- A consumer awareness campaign and launch of a new table grape variety to Ontario consumers.
The province has a long history of promoting domestic food through the decades-old Foodland Ontario program — which encourages retailers to devote increased square footage to Ontario food — and the new initiative is intended to “build on” and “complement” that established program.
“Ontario farmers and food processors grow and make healthy fruits, vegetables, flowers, meat, honey, eggs, dairy, maple syrup, and other processed foods throughout the year. This funding will help boost awareness of all the good things that are grown and made in Ontario,” Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said as she recently announced the new initiative.
Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association Chair Bill George expressed his appreciation for the annual new expenditure on the endeavour.