Ontario Driving Economic Growth in Rural Communities

Boosting local food producers and wholesale capacity Peterborough County

NEWS                                                                                                                         2023-12-05

Peterborough- The Ontario government, through through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Rural Economic Development Program is providing $59,768 to Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) and the City of Kawartha Lakes (CKL).

The Growing the Local Food Wholesale Market in Kawartha Region multi-phase, multi-year initiative aims to scale up the local food production and regional wholesale marketing with the goal of creating a more robust availability of locally produced foods through local wholesale channels.

The project is a collaboration between PKED and CKL with the goal of expanding local food production and consumption capacity by connecting, training and coaching food producers and food buyers. This project builds upon previous agricultural economic development initiatives by PKED and CKL and seeks to take the next step in this process of expanding the local wholesale food marketplace, including tailored aggregation and distribution systems.

“By increasing the production and consumption of locally produced food, a key component of our provincial Grow Ontario Strategy, the Kawartha region is setting up the local agricultural industry for success in their communities for success” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “I am glad to see our provincial strategy and the RED program intersecting to promote such a great local initiative.

The RED program provides cost-share funding support towards activities that create strong rural communities. This includes funding assistance to build local capacity and improve job prospects. The program aligns with the government’s priorities of removing barriers to investment, opening doors to rural economic development, and creating good jobs across the province.

This project is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

For more information about the project, local food producers and wholesale food buyers are encouraged to contact their respective economic development offices.

Businesses in the City of Peterborough and Peterborough County: www.investptbo.ca/local-food-wholesale

Businesses in the City of Kawartha Lakes: www.kawarthalakes.ca/local-food-wholesale

“Investments in rural communities help diversify and grow local economies, making growth more inclusive in our region,” said Dave Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha. “Good things grow in Ontario when we nurture local entrepreneurs and give them the tools they need to collaborate and innovate.” MPP Dave Smith added.

“It’s great to see our government investing in the ongoing agricultural economic development partnership between Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough,” said Laurie Scott, MPP of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “This initiative will drive more production into our local food service, restaurants, and retail businesses, strengthening our community’s food economy and fostering local prosperity.” MPP Laurie Scott added.

“Our government is committed to driving innovation to promote locally grown and produced foods that support a strong Ontario,” said David Piccini, Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP

“This investment through the Rural Economic Development Fund to support local and rural wholesale marketing contributes to growing a strong argi-food industry and ensuring that communities across Ontario continue to share in the province’s growth and economic success.” MPP David Piccini added.

Quick Facts

  • The latest intake of the RED program opened on January 23, 2023, and closed on February 23, 2023.
  • Since 2019, the RED program has invested more than $21.6 million to fund more than 380 projects that are helping to attract investment, create jobs, and boost economic development in rural communities across the province.

Additional Resources

Rural Economic Development Program

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Invest Peterborough

Kawartha Region Local Food Wholesale Project

Media Contacts

Kelly Jessup, Director of Marketing & Communications, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, kjessup@investptbo.ca, 704-749-7747

Kirsten Meehan, Communications, Advertising and Marketing Officer, City of Kawartha Lakes, kmeehan@kawarthalakes.ca, 705-879-5218