Over 40% of all fruits and vegetables purchased in Canada are imported*, including fruits and vegetables that grow in Canada, like strawberries and apples!
Instead of buying produce that has traveled thousands of miles, why not spend your money on products that have been grown locally, taste fresher and benefit our local businesses?
Buying local means your money goes directly into the community to support its growth and sustainability. In fact, buying local food has a positive economic impact that is three times greater than buying food that’s been imported!
When you buy local food, you’re supporting local farmers, sustainable farming practices, while doing your part to reduce air pollution and packaging waste.
The agri-food sector is a key component of Ontario’s economy, making $63 billion in 2006. Wellington County agricluture plays a key role in our local economy, with a diverse farming community that includes 2, 588 farms spanning 196,621 hectares of land.
Wellington County’s agriculture is evolving and has exceed provincial growth for the last few years. Wellington County and the City of Guelph also have a large agricultural support network, including mills, suppliers, distributors and service providers for the agricultural industry.
Wellington County has a rich heritage of diverse agriculture and food production. The farms that are represented on the Guelph Wellington Local Food Map are as diverse as the landscape including small scale horse powered production to larger farms that specialize in specific crops.
In our region you will find pick you own operations, on farm market stores, agri-tourism experiences and lots of local food opportunties.
* Statistics Canada, June 12, 2008
Aspire to be a locavore — eat food harvested close to home and reap the benefits in freshness and flavour. Wondering where to shop for locally grown food in your area? Check out the Guelph Wellington Local Food Map– a free directory of businesses that feature local food, including farms, markets, restaurants, caterers and others.
The Local Food Map also includes a useful seasonal availability chart so you’ll know exactly when your favourite fruits and vegetables are in season. Pick up a copy at your local library branch or call Guelph Wellington Tourism at 1-800-334-4519 to request a mailed copy.
The food on your plate does not have to travel thousands of miles! Buy from Guelph Wellington and taste the freshness while supporting your local community and preserving the environment.
When you buy local food, you VOTE with your food dollar.
Did you know: if every household in Guelph and Wellington County spent an extra $10 of their grocery money on local food, it would equal an investment of $750,000 per week back into our local economy. Wow! That’s $39 million per year!
When you spend your money at local small businesses, your money returns to the local economy and is spent again locally, often another five to seven times. That not only helps keep local businesses in business, it fosters new business and creates more jobs in town.
Take the pledge!
No matter how much you already spend locally, why not consider how you can shift $10 more toward local food? It’s easy to find the right places to spend that extra money. Pick up or download the Local Food Map or simply visit your local farmers’ market, farm gate stalls or roadside stands; look out for retailers, restaurants or business that display the Taste Real logo, when you see it, you’ll know you are buying food grown close to home.
Tell us what you’re doing to eat more local food! Share your story with us!