This week I was happily surprised to hear that the Local Food Procurement Policy for the City of Toronto was not scrapped after all! A couple of weeks ago it was under threat when a consultant's report was released, stating that it was unrealistic to get the City to buy 50% of its food from local sources. When a compromise was suggested, that of targeting the policy at the departments that purchase food for child care centres, long-term care homes, and shelters, one Councillor went so far as to recommend the entire policy be scrapped. So this good news is actually great news, because the motion to keep the policy under these new terms was passed at 40 votes to 1! Please read this press released from Food Forward for more details:
Attention News/City Editors:
For Immediate Release
Thursday July 14, 2011
Council gives green thumbs up to local food
TORONTO, ON – Good news comes out of City Council’s third day this week as Councillors voted nearly unanimously to keep the City’s local food procurement policy, providing fresh food at City child care centres and long-term care homes.
“This is a win for the City’s food movement, the environment and Toronto food sector jobs,” said Darcy Higgins, Executive Director of Food Forward. “In deciding to support local food, Council sends a clear message that it cares about local farms and healthier food for its residents.”
The policy, which began in 2008, had been at risk after a tie vote at Government Management Committee brought the matter to Council. Over the last two weeks, letters and petitions from residents and cooperation by councillors on different sides of the political spectrum helped to return support for the policy.
“Over 58,000 people in Toronto are employed in the food sector, providing 1 in every 8 jobs, and this policy will continue to generate support for good work in this sector.” said Higgins. “Toronto residents and our members hope for continued support from this Council in recognizing the benefits of expanding food programs like urban agriculture and allowing community food projects and businesses to flourish.”
Food Forward especially thanks new Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon and the Toronto Environmental Alliance for their work to support local food.
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Darcy HigginsPhone: 416-459-9975Email: email@example.com