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Introduction - The Future of Farming in Ontario Agriculture is one of the building blocks of our province - and it seems certain to play a critical role in our future. The agri-food industry sustains us, provides jobs and opportunities for Ontarians, and links rural communities to urban centres.
The sector is a major contributor to Ontario's economy - and, through the effort of producers, processors, distributors, and others along the value chain, including government, the sector's impact continues to grow. From a global perspective, the agri-food sector is more important than ever.
It is widely believed that the world's population will grow to more than nine billion people inand will require a rapidly-increasing, safe and healthy food supply. At home, Ontario's agri-food sector remains one the most diversified in the world, with 52, farms across the province producing almost commodities.
The sector touches every corner of this province and provides jobs to a diverse array of Ontarians. Opportunities for Growth The agri-food sector provides stability to the provincial economy because it has shown consistent growth and has been less affected by negative economic cycles compared to other sectors.
Growth in agriculture is being fueled by increasing domestic and international demand, a reflection of global population growth and the middle class's purchasing power. In fact, the agri-food sector was highlighted in the Federal government's Advisory Council on Economic Growth report February as one of Canada's high-potential sectors that government should collaborate with to help leverage their economic prospects and strengths relative to global opportunities.
Ontario is in step with this direction. InPremier Wynne issued the Agri-Food Growth Challenge to the industry to double its growth rate and createnew jobs by the year The reasons for the success of Ontario's agri-food sector can be squarely placed on the people who work in the sector; on having some of the most productive land, soil, climate and water in Canada; and the research, technology and innovation that have been driving the sector forward.
There are many other partners across the province playing key roles. Municipalities and community-based groups, along with not-for-profit organizations, have also done important work to help the province's agri-food sector thrive and grow.
Agri-food research and innovation also contribute to the strength of the sector. Advances in a wide range of subject areas - as diverse as crop science, community economic development and environmental protection - have driven the province forward as a producer of food and agricultural goods.
In particular, Ontario colleges and universities continue to undertake research that informs and supports decisions affecting agri-food's present reality and future growth. In addition, these colleges and universities are training the future labour force that the sector will need to continue to grow.
The Government of Ontario is also a key partner in the success of the agri-food sector.
Ontario understands that the sector needs a stable and positive business climate; one where government is supporting growth and investment.
This helps to build resilience into the system so that our farmers and food processors can grow into the future. The government provides many tools to help the province's farmers and other agri-food stakeholders succeed. These include provincial investments in infrastructure, research, a strong regulatory regime, as well as business risk management programs, to name but a few.
This discussion paper summarizes the ways in which agri-food sector partners support and strengthen the province's agri-food sector. It also provides suggestions for moving forward toward an even stronger, more vibrant sector.
Specifically, the paper looks at how the Ontario government's "Farms Forever" can, with the help of input from sector stakeholders, support farming and agri-food production in Ontario into the future.
Overview and the Importance of Stakeholder Feedback The Ontario government has continually recognized the significance of the province's agriculture and agri-food sector. In the Premier's mandate letter to the Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, the ministry was instructed to move forward with Farms Forever to help support a strong and innovative agri-food sector.
This support includes investing in agricultural research and programs to support innovation in the sector. This paper sets out the basis for a broad discussion on Farms Forever. The four policy objectives of Farms Forever are the following: Help preserve the productive capacity of agricultural land close to major urban centres Support the local sourcing of food Strengthen Ontario's agri-food sector Support young farmers and new entrants Each section of this paper provides an overview of one policy objective and highlights accomplishments to-date under each one.
There are brief descriptions of various programs and initiatives, which illustrate how the Ontario government and agri-food stakeholders have been working to help the sector thrive and prosper.ESTABLISHING AN EFFECTIVE INTERNAL AUDIT FUNCTION. ASSESSING THE NEED FOR INTERNAL AUDIT • Growth of the business – E.g., rapid growth, small company organization’s operations and activities.
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Farms Forever Discussion Paper. Summary of the Farms Forever Discussion. The Ontario government recognizes that our agri-food sector is the foundation of our province - and it seems certain to play a critical role in our future.