08/12/2013

The Guide is designed to help municipal governments consider a range of initiatives in relation to the government’s proposed Bill 36, the Local Food Act, and the provincial Local Food Strategy.
 
The Guide is designed to help municipal governments consider a range of initiatives in relation to the government’s proposed Bill 36, the Local Food Act, and the provincial Local Food Strategy.  It is directed toward initiatives that support the local food sector which can be assessed and monitored to ensure information is available to all local food stakeholders.  The intent is to highlight best practices and innovations by municipal governments and to move the Province away from mandatory reporting of local food initiatives as the proposed legislation begins to take shape.

AMO, OMKN and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) developed the Guide with advisory support from the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) and Sustain Ontario. The OMKN retained Deloitte Inc. to conduct research and interviews of a large cross-section of municipalities from Ontario, Canada and abroad that have implemented successful local food initiatives.  Ontario municipal councillors, staff and organizations from across the agri-food sector were interviewed to provide their insights and thoughts on the development of the Guide.
 
The Guide builds upon many of the current municipal local food initiatives in Ontario and from other jurisdictions.  It also supports the broader objective in Bill 36 of prioritizing local food in Ontario.  Specific guidance is provided in the form of best practices and innovative case study examples to help inform and support municipal decision-making regarding local food initiatives, policies and programs that could be helpful to replicate in communities given each municipality’s unique local circumstances.  Importantly, the Guide identifies the need to embed a commitment to the development and support of initiatives in day-to-day municipal operations in order to promote and support local food sectors.

Moving forward, it is recommended that the municipal sector, the provincial government and other agri-food stakeholders work cooperatively to support continuous improvement and innovation for local food initiatives.  OMAF should continue its leadership with the full range of local food stakeholders by developing a user-friendly resource, such as a central website or linked websites, to continue to capture and share a broad range of local food practices, insights and knowledge.

At the 2013 AMO Conference in Ottawa, a concurrent session will showcase the research, observations, case studies and findings of the Guide.