Provincial Funding to Support Ontario’s Farm to Consumer Sector

June 10- (Niagara, ON) With the support of the provincial government, Ontario’s leading farm to consumer association is going through some exciting changes that include a new name, new logo, new website, and the launch of a five-year strategic plan.

Formally known as the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, the member driven organization will now be known as Farm Fresh Ontario. The rebranding was lead by the creative team at Geddie Advertising in St. Catharines.

With nearly 300 members plus dozens of associate members, Farm Fresh Ontario is the leading organization for direct farm-to-consumer businesses in Ontario. Founded in 1973 Farm Fresh Ontario helps its members improve profitability through a variety of channels including marketing, education, promotion, professional development, and government relations.

“We greatly appreciate the funding from the Minister which will allow us to launch our new brand and execute our strategic plan as we grow our association, champion the importance of farm fresh and strive to make supporting local farms a priority for Ontario residents,” said Thomas Wilson, President of the Farm Fresh Ontario Board and owner of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt many businesses across the province and Ontario’s farmers, many of whom are in the agri-experience sector, have been hit extremely hard. At the same time, our members have not wavered from producing quality food and other products for the residents of Ontario,” added Wilson.

The nearly $200,000 in funding over three years provided by Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will support not only the complete rebranding process but also training programs and a Who’s Your Farmer Program which is a public outreach initiative designed to help educate Ontarians about the diversity of products grown on local farms.

“It’s Local Food Week in Ontario and we are proud to announce an investment in Farm Fresh Ontario,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Through this investment, FFO will increase education and promotion of all the good things that are grown and made in Ontario. Buying local food supports our farmers, our environment and our economy.”

Some of the training programs that Farm Fresh Ontario will be offering over the next few years to its members include: how to use technology to improve business; best practices for customer experience; event management; how to use social media to improve business; and compliance/best practices for human resources.

Farm Fresh Ontario is a not-for-profit, educational, and promotional organization. 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.