Ontario Federation of Agriculture Marks Food Freedom Day

GUELPH, ON, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Food Freedom Day arrives the same time as last year. On February 12th the average Canadian will have earned enough income to pay their grocery bill for the entire year. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) reports that it has taken the average family just 43 days from January 1st of this year to acquire the income needed to cover annual food expenses (on a per capita basis).

Bette Jean Crews, OFA President, explains what Food Freedom Day means for Ontario farm families and consumers.

"As farmers in Ontario and across the country celebrate the vital role they play in feeding a growing population, they remain proud of their role in providing food under the highest food safety and environmental standards yet still Canadian consumers enjoy one of the most affordable food supplies in the world. Ontario consumers can be confident that from farm gate to the table, the safety, quality and value of Ontario grown food is second to none."

For Food Freedom Day 2010, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) reviewed food prices over the past 30 years at both the farm gate and at retail levels. This research highlighted the hard work farmers do in ensuring Canadians receive great value for their food dollar. The statistics continue to show the increasing gap between retail price and what the farmer is paid for his or her food.

The Farmers' Share, a recent study commissioned by prairie members of the CFA, showed that, on average, only 27 per cent of the cost of an entire week's worth of groceries for a family of four goes back to the farms where the food is produced. "While prices Ontarians pay for food has been steadily increasing over the past 30 years, the farmers' share is relatively small," says Crews.

Food Freedom Day is designed to raise awareness of the contributions made by Canadian farmers, and to also serve as a reminder to Ontarians of the value, diversity and quality of Ontario grown food. Buying local and properly labelled Canadian products can preserve this advantage. Visit http://www.ofa.on.ca/uploads/Videos/SlicedBread/VIDEO_TS/SlicedBreadEng.swf for farm footage.

To view a graph of food prices, click here: http://files.newswire.ca/854/FoodPrices.gif

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

SOURCE ONTARIO FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE

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

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ONTARIO FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE

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