Growers, wholesalers, retailers, chefs, green grocers, employees – literally thousands in Ontario’s food chain -- are relieved that the Ontario Food Terminal will remain at its current 40-acre site.
In a hastily called news conference on July 8, Ontario’s agriculture minister Ernie Hardeman announced the initial findings of the government’s review on modernizing and enhancing the terminal that was established in 1954. He confirmed that the provincial government is committed to the location which is at the confluence of several major highways close to downtown Toronto.
The minister was flanked by MPP Christine Hogarth (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) as well as Steve Bamford, Toronto Wholesale Produce Association and Christy McMullen, chair, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.
Steve Bamford, on behalf of the Toronto Wholesale Produce Association, also announced that in concert with the provincial government, a “significant investment” will be made to modernize the Ontario Food Terminal with a focus on the farmers’ market. The scale of that investment is yet to be determined pending the outcome of a strategic plan by the Ontario Food Terminal Board.
“With the security of knowing that the Ontario Food Terminal will continue on this site, we are committed to work with government on modernization and making it better for farmers and the entire industry,” said Bamford.
Attending the news conference was Christy McMullen, chair of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. “Improvements to the farmers’ market could include such things as improved temperature control and the addition of WIFI,” she told The Grower.
Source: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs July 8, 2019 news release