Greenbeltfresh.ca launches today: "a dating service for local food"

TORONTO, May 18 /CNW/ - The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation today celebrates the launch Greenbeltfresh.ca, an online database of Greenbelt farm products designed to help meet consumer demand for local food and help Greenbelt farmers find new market opportunities.

Free and easy to use, this online tool supports the building of regional food networks in the densely populated Greater Golden Horseshoe and beyond. Commercial buyers can source their requirements by tapping into listings for over 600 farms, while individual consumers can use the Marketplace to find fresh food from local farmers' markets, on-farm markets, pick-your-owns and more.

The site also features delicious local and seasonal recipes by some of Ontario's greatest chefs, including Jason Parsons from Peller Estates and Jeff Crump, author of the recently published cookbook Earth to Table.

"This site removes some of the difficulty from local sourcing. It's like a dating service for local food - it helps people with an interest in local food find each other," says Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, who developed greenbeltfresh.ca. "Eating local food is a powerful way to support family farms, to improve our regional economy, and to strengthen the Greenbelt."

Greenbeltfresh.ca serves two main audiences: individual consumers, who can type in their postal code to find farmers markets, pick-your-owns, on-farm markets and CSA farms; and commercial buyers who can search some 600 farms for new sources, and will be able to find out products, volume, pack sizes and distribution details.

The site is also available in a mobile format specifically to help individual consumers find local food via their smart phones.

The Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance and the Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee are supporting partners of the project.

Wrapping around the Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt is 1.8 million acres of potential to make Ontario a better place. Encompassing the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park, hundreds of rural towns and villages and thousands of farms, Ontario's Greenbelt is the largest and most diverse in the world.

The Greenbelt Foundation began in June 2005 as an independent, charitable foundation with a mandate to promote and sustain our Greenbelt as a beneficial, valuable, and permanent feature, enhancing the quality of life for Ontario residents.

SOURCE Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation

For further information: For further information: Jennifer Story, Communications Manager, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, (416) 960-0001, ext. 306, jstory-at-greenbelt.ca or visit www.greenbeltfresh.ca

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