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April 21, 2024

Ontario agritourism is ripe for growth over the coming years, but needs some liability protections. That’s why Matthew Rae, MPP Wellington-Perth, has put forward a Private Member’s Bill. 


 “This legislation, if passed, will remove barriers to investment, provide consistency across Ontario’s agritourism providers, and ensure participants are aware of the inherent risks associated with farm activities.”


The Growing Agritourism Act aims to mitigate some of the risks involved with agritourism operations on farms across the province. To benefit from the liability protections in this bill, agritourism operators would have to clearly inform visitors of the inherent risks associated with farm operations.


Darlene Downey, board chair of Farm Fresh Ontario and owner of Downey’s Farm Market, supports the proposed legislation for the peace of mind it would give to farm operators. As the first of its kind in Canada, the Growing Agritourism Act will remove barriers to investment in the agritourism sector across the province.


In 2022, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture conducted a local food and agritourism survey of its membership. More than 40 per cent of the respondents indicated that they would sell value-added products ranging from baked goods and wool to preserves and prepared meals, as well as providing on-farm experiences. Agritourism provides opportunities to both diversify farm income and raise awareness of the farm and agriculture sector with urban neighbours.


Source: MPP  Matthew Rae April 15, 2024 news release    


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 21 April 2024