Premier Doug Ford and Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, met with representatives from Ontario’s agriculture sectors at the 101st International Plowing Match and Rural Expo. The roundtable allowed the Premier to hear directly from stakeholders about the challenges faced by Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry, amidst international trade issues like NAFTA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
“Ontario families depend on our farmers to put food on the table every single day, and our government is working hard to make sure Ontario farmers can continue to thrive,” said Ford. “We will continue to do our part to protect Ontario farmers and farm workers, and we expect our federal counterparts to do the same. I will use every tool at my disposal to help the agri-food sector grow and protect the thousands of jobs it represents. Ontario is open for business, and I will not leave our farmers behind.”
“For too long rural Ontario was an afterthought,” said Minister Hardeman. “Our government is committed to listening to farmers and giving rural Ontario a seat at the table as we work to strengthen the agriculture industry.”
The agri-food sector is critical for Ontario’s continued growth and prosperity. In 2017, the agri-food sector contributed $39.5 billion to Ontario’s economy. The roundtable meeting provided an opportunity for open discussion on ways the agri-food industry can grow and diversify into the global market.
“Sitting down and having these important face-to-face conversations is an excellent opportunity to collaborate, and determine the right tools these industries need to strengthen their operations,” said Ford. “We will do everything in our power to protect farmers so that they can continue to feed their families, and families all across Ontario.”