June 2017 

The Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance's  local food procurement long term care (LTC) teams from the regions of Durham, Halton, and the City of Hamilton, recently toured VG Meats in Simcoe to ignite conversation around getting more local, protein-dense meats on the plates of LTC home residents.

Representatives from long-term care, including food directors, cooks, food purchasers and dietitians, pulled on their gloves and hair nets at the farm to learn more about VG Meats, and to explore how they can get this u nique Ontario product on their menus -- bringing quality proteins to LTC residents while supporting local farmers

Les Tomaszewski of Arla Foods, photo from Retail Council of Canada

Congratulations to Arla Foods Inc. from Concord in York Region, who was the most awarded company at this year's Canadian Grand Prix Award Gala!

Arla Foods Inc. took home an impressive total of four awards, including the Innovation and Originality award. 

The Retail Council of Canada's Canadian Grand Prix Awards is a rigorous competition that showcases the past year's best new grocery products, offering winners significant recognition and the substantial opportunity of direct exposure to key retailers, buyers and consumers. Read more.

Ontario's burgeoning  Farm Boy chain is continuing to expand its fresh, locally-sourced market experience, bringing a new location to Toronto this fall.

The new 20,000 sq. ft. Farm Boy store will bring 150 new jobs to the Etobicoke community.

"After opening our locations in Whitby and Pickering we received many requests from residents in the Toronto area asking us to open a Farm Boy in their neighbourhood," says Jeff York, Farm Boy co-CEO in  a press release . Learn more.

Check out this article from the Toronto Star that shines the line on Greenbelt Microgreens fresh, high-quality greens grown with innovative, eco-conscious methods. 

The article highlights how Greenbelt Microgreens grow their lettuces in their own individual small pots filled with soil, just like in the garden, and goes on to explain:

"..the pots, a Canadian invention, are made from the same kind of cardboard as egg cartons, so we can compost them after use. Then the soil: it's a certified organic mix, formulated especially for Greenbelt, of 30-per-cent quality compost, plus all kinds of good stuff: sea weed, shrimp casings, coir, manure (from organically fed dairy cows in Quebec) coir, and a bit of perlite and vermiculite. It's compostable too. And when the pots get watered, they receive a further boost from the fertilizer organic gardeners love: fish emulsion."

Greenbelt Microgreens has greenhouses in Stouffville and Hamilton.
The Government of Canada is asking Canadians for their views on what should be included in  A Food Policy for Canada

An  online survey is now open, giving Canadians the opportunity to submit their input which will be used to build a food policy that explores four themes:
  • increasing access to affordable food
  • improving health and food safety
  • conserving our soil, water, and air
  • growing more high-quality food 
Photo from Reesor's Farm Market in Markham

It's strawberry season, and that means summer in Ontario is officially here! 

There isn't anything quite like fresh Ontario strawberries, and you  can't get any fresher than a juicy bite of a freshly-picked berry right from the patch. 

Thankfully, the Golden Horseshoe is packed with fresh strawberries and  pick-your-own (PYO) farms, so we've put together a list of PYO farms across the Golden Horseshoe on our blog.

Jay Reesor, the owner of Reesor's Farm Market, has been growing strawberries at their location in Markham since 1985, and earlier this month he told us "it is looking like it will be an excellent year for strawberries!"

Janet Horner, Executive Director,
Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance