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Ontario funds local food initiative

The Ontario government is making a total of $12 million available over four years through the Ontario Market Investment Fund to help promote consumer awareness of Ontario-produced foods and to encourage Ontarians to buy locally.

A government release said the program will help develop opportunities through trade events, marketing campaigns and industry research initiatives that foster partnerships and collaboration to promote Ontario foods. It is part of the McGuinty government’s investment of $56 million over four years in buy local initiatives.

Under culinary activist and local food promoter Anita Stewart’s upcoming World’s Longest Barbecue campaign, Ontarians are being encouraged to plan menus made from local products, invite friends and family for a meal on the Civic Holiday weekend and send their stories to www.flavoursofcanada.ca. This year, the date for the celebration is August 2, 2008.

“I cannot tell you how pleased I am that the Ontario government has taken up the promotion of local food in such huge fashion,” Stewart said in the release. “I look forward to reading all the creative, utterly delicious barbecue menus that will come out of this province. Go Ontario Go!”

Applications are now available at www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/food/export/index.html

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