March 2016

At the end of last month, we held our annual Queen's Park Day downtown Toronto, with Alliance members, food processors, farmers and more meeting with our municipal leaders to talk food and farming. 

This year our focus was on support for Ontario' small and mid-sized food processors, our  reaction to the Crombie report, and an invitation to the (mostly) urban MPP's and their staff to an "Ag and Food 101" seminar during Agriculture week in October. 

Chicken Farmers of Ontario Photo
The Chicken Farmers of Ontario have approved Premier Kosher Inc.'s application to process kosher certified chicken at a processing plant in the Niagara Region.

"We are extremely pleased that Ontario consumers will now have a local option for their kosher chicken purchasing needs," said Henry Zantingh, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. "The decision to accept the application of Premier Kosher Inc. is the culmination of tremendous effort on the part of both farmers and industry to find a suitable business partner to own and operate an Ontario kosher chicken processing plant." 

The plant is expected to be operational by the beginning of 2017, and will have an initial capacity of 50,000 chickens per week. Read more.

The Great Amazing Duck Race is coming back this April for its third year, with King Cole Ducks Ltd. inviting culinary students to rise, shine, race and cook in their daylong Farm-to-Fork competition. 

Ontario's top culinary students will eagerly race through 4 legs of competition, ending up in a culinary lab for the final cook off.  

2016's competition is taking place on  Saturday, April 2 , from the "crack of dawn to dusk" (a farmer's day), starting at  King Cole Duck Farms in Newmarket .   Read more here .
Food Starter and CaterToronto are working with the City of Toronto to launch a Pilot Project, titled Food Venture Program, in an effort to help nourish and grow the GTA food sector by supporting the area's entrepreneurs.

Dana McCauley, Program Manager with Food Starter, shares with us: 

"We're very excited to be working with CaterToronto to deliver programming and mentorship for the new Food Venture program! The response to the information night showed us that there is no shortage of dedicated food entrepreneurs working to bring innovative locally prepared foods to market. We expected 40 people to attend the session but ended up having well over 60 attend. In the end, over 90 applications for the grant were received!" 

Recipients are now well into their training. We look forward to following up on the entrepreneurial growth that will come from this program!
Janet Horner, Executive Director,
Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance