Media Materials

Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association

A Source for Local Food

The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association (OFFMA) was founded in 1973 as a not-for-profit, educational, and promotional organization for Ontario farm marketers. Its general membership is made up of dedicated Ontario farmers with a keen interest in promoting the direct farm sales industry (which includes on-farm markets and pick-your-own operations) and encouraging improvements and maintaining integrity in the industry.

The Mission

OFFMA’s mission is to provide knowledge and leadership to grow the farm fresh experience.

The Members

Ontario Farm Fresh members are the face of agriculture. They are farmers who have decided to open their farm gates to the public to sell their products and educate people about Ontario agriculture. These entrepreneurs, growers and business people are dedicated to increasing consumer confidence by producing fresh, top quality, healthy food and sharing it in a fun, friendly and family-oriented environment. The OFFMA Board of Directors is represented by farmers elected by the members.

The Purpose of this Association

The purpose of OFFMA is to help its members keep family farms sustainable by:

  • Helping farmers connect to consumers,
  • Providing members with publicity and other merchandising materials that will assist in promoting the sales of Ontario farm products,
  • Encouraging networking among membership,
  • Representing members in matters concerning marketing legislation, and marketing issues, for the betterment of the industry as a whole,
  • Motivating and educating members for the advancement of the entire direct farm sales industry through newsletters, educational programs (e.g. conferences, workshops, tours, etc.) and networking opportunities, and
  • Monitoring the industry through surveys, consultations and international contacts.

Click here to download this backgrounder as a Word Doc.

Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association

Fast Facts about the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association (OFFMA)

  • Founded in 1973 by farmers for farmers.
  • It is a not-for-profit, educational and promotional organization for Ontario farm marketers.
  • Voluntary membership includes over 300 farms across Ontario.
  • Member farms produce many diversified products such as honey, maple syrup, elk products, organic ice cream, fruit wines as well as berries, apples and pumpkins.
  • Mazes are becoming more and more popular and many members are now including them on their farms.
  • More than 250,000 school children visited a farm last year on a class trip.
“On-farm marketing” is a term used to describe the number of diverse activities, ranging from pick-your-own operations to agritainment to on-farm markets selling fresh and in-season produce and processed foods.

Findings from the 2009 On-Farm Market Study

  • On-farm markets are a significant contributor to the provincial economy.
  • Total economic impact of on-farm markets in Ontario is $420 million per year.
  • It is estimated that there are 750 on-farm markets in Ontario generating an estimated 8,000,000 on-farm customer visits annually.
  • Family fun, freshness of product and tradition are prime motivators for customers visiting on-farm markets.
  • Fruits, vegetables, baked goods and agritainment are the top four products purchased.
  • Eighty per cent of customers rate purchasing directly from the on-farm market as extremely important or somewhat important.

Click here to download these fast facts as a Word Doc.