Ontario Federation of Agriculture marks Food Freedom Day



    Despite Rising Costs, Canadians Still Get Good Value for Money

    GUELPH, ON, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - On February 12, 2009, the average Canadian
will have earned enough income to pay his or her individual grocery bill for
the entire year. In observing Food Freedom Day, farmers in Ontario and across
the country will celebrate their role in providing consumers with one of the
safest and most affordable food supplies in the world.
    Food Freedom Day is occurring slightly later in 2009 due to the recent
rise in the price of food. This bucks the trend of recent years, where the
disposable income of Canadians rose significantly faster than the cost of
food. However, "thanks to farmers, Canadians still get the best deal in the
western world for their food dollar," says Bette Jean Crews, President of the
Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). In many parts of the world, the cost
of food is significantly higher. Member countries within the Organization for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on average, spend 8.3% more of
their disposable income on food than Canadians. Australians spend 12.7% more,
the Japanese spend 35.7% more, and Mexicans spend over 125% more of their
disposable income on food than Canadians.
    In 2008, while prices in some agriculture commodities rose, Canadian
farmers continued to take only a very small percentage of the consumers' food
dollar at the store. In 2005, a grain farmer received $0.07 for the corn in a
box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes and $0.11 for the wheat in a loaf of bread. Given
the processed nature of many consumer foods, it is far more likely that an
increase in energy costs played a much larger role in the retail price
increase.
    Canadians continued to receive high quality food produced at the highest
food safety and environmental standards. To ensure that consumers are able to
identify Canadian food products and support our agriculture sector, the OFA,
together with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, will continue to
advocate for effective ingredient-based 'Product of Canada' guidelines that
are both informative to the consumer and practical to the agri-food industry.
Crews adds "in order to maintain a sustainable local food system, Ontarians
need to buy local food and support the agricultural industry." Agriculture is
the second largest economic contributor and third largest employer in Ontario.

    The OFA is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing
39,000 farm families. We are a dynamic farmer-led organization working to
represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers. The OFA is Ontario's
voice of agriculture.

    The Ontario Federation of Agriculture will work collaboratively towards a
profitable, sustainable future for Ontario farmers.





For further information:

For further information: Bette Jean Crews, (613) 921-0597; Don McCabe,
(519) 331-6175; Mark Wales, (519) 773-6706

Organization Profile

ONTARIO FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE

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