Aspirational goal for broader public sector local food procurement
Learn about Ontario's aspirational goal for broader public sector organizations including hospitals, colleges and universities under the Local Food Act.
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Pursuant to paragraph 2 of subsection 4(1) of the Local Food Act, 2013, I hereby establish the following goal to aspire to in area of encouraging increased use of local food by public sector organizations:
Remove red tape barriers and open the door for local food in the broader public sector.
In the winter of 2019, the Ontario government consulted with stakeholders to develop an aspirational local food public sector organization goal under the Local Food Act, 2013. These consultations resulted in the identification of red tape barriers to the use of local food by the broader public sector (BPS), as well as current strategies to increase the use of local food by public institutions.
On March 18, 2019, the government for the people announced the minister's remaining goal to: Remove red tape barriers and open the door for local food in the broader public sector.
The intention is to remove red tape barriers to the use of local food by the broader public sector.
The goal also aims to promote best practices that result in the broader public sector's increased use of local food.
To support the broader public sector's use of more local food through procurement processes, the government has developed the following resources:
- a suite of best practice resources including videos and tools like case studies and tip sheets to help increase local food procurement by public service organizations
- doing Business with the Ontario Government webinars facilitated by Supply Chain Ontario (Ministry of Government and Consumer Services) for agri-food businesses who are interested in becoming a vendor to supply local food to public organizations
- a factsheet that removes barriers to organizations using the Foodland Ontario logo by communicating the benefits of using, utilizing and obtaining the logo
- an interactive map of food hubs in the province to make businesses and BPS organizations aware of food hubs (aggregators).
- we will be working with partner ministries to explore how procurement policies might be clarified to permit public sector organizations to explore ways of increasing the use of local food while respecting trade obligations.
Tools and resources for use of local food
Increasingly, Ontarians are expecting local food options to be made available within public sector organizations. For many, serving local food can have a positive effect on the perception of the quality of food being offered at an institution.
Foodservice in public sector organizations has begun to respond with almost 60 per cent of institutions asking for Ontario food.
While institutions have significantly increased their use of local food over the last few years, there is still a great opportunity to reduce the barriers to local food procurement in public sector organizations.
General local food business tools
These tools are provided for information only and it remains the responsibility of any public sector organization using the tools to ensure compliance with the law and applicable trade agreements.
- Food and beverage manufacturing in Ontario
- Supply Chain Ontario, Doing Business with the Ontario Government
- Foodland Ontario: how to use the logo
- Greenbelt Fund's local food solutions papers
- Agri-Food Management Institute's The Food Entrepreneur's Journey
Procurement tools and resources for colleges and universities
- Mohawk College local food procurement framework for Ontario colleges
- Mohawk College research report: Increasing local food procurement at Ontario's 24 colleges
- Mohawk College course on local food procurement
Procurement tools and resources for long-term care facilities
- Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance: increasing local food procurement in municipally-operated facilities and cafeterias
- My Sustainable Canada: local food and Ontario's long-term care sector report
Procurement tools and resources for hospitals
- Halton Healthcare: foodservice procurement statement
- Greenbelt Fund's case study - Halton Healthcare: Knowing Your Power to Purchase Local
- George Brown College's local food training manual, recipe book and procurement guide for St. Michael's Hospital
- Sick Kids Hospital: local food recipes for hospital kitchens
- Greenbelt Fund's case study - Farm to institution: the power of public sector purchasing
- University of Guelph / University of Waterloo – Putting Quality Food on the Tray and Hospital Food Experience Questionnaire
Procurement tools and resources for municipalities
- City of Thunder Bay's institutional local food procurement guide
- Greenbelt Fund's case study - Breaking down local food barriers: food forwarding contracts in thunder bay
- Sustain Ontario: local sustainable food procurement for municipalities and BPS
Procurement tools and resources for schools
- Farm to Cafeteria Canada: An Evaluation Framework for Farm to School in Canada
- Sustain Ontario's procuring local food in schools tipsheet
- Fresh from the farm, healthy fundraising for Ontario schools
- Ministry of Education: School Food and Beverage Policy
- Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services: Student nutrition program nutrition guidelines (2020)
Tools and resources for aggregators and distributors
Many food distributors that supply the food service and institutional sectors have established buy local programs and have systems in place to track and report on local food purchases. For more information, visit OMAFRA's food broker-distributor information sheet.
Ontariofresh.ca is an online platform where you can connect with over 2,000 buyers and sellers of Ontario food.
This document provides a summary of the information used to develop the public sector organization goal.
The goal was developed based on two information sources (Appendix A).
- review of relevant documentation
- consultation with applicable stakeholders
The topic of red tape and barriers to the use of local food by public organizations was discussed with participants during consultations.
Participants were asked to:
- provide examples of red tape and barriers to the use of local food by public organizations
- provide current best practices that support the use of local food by public organizations
- identify ways in which the government can support the use of local food by public organizations
Participants provided feedback through:
- a minister-facilitated roundtable session held on January 9, 2019
- one-on-one discussions
- written comments
Highlights of feedback and document review
- Participants were supportive of the initiative.
- Stakeholders provided a range of barriers and/ or red tape examples to the use of local food by public organizations.
- Participants shared best practices, as well as supports that could help the local food sector.
- In summary, participants identified a list of barriers and/or red tape, as well as ways to support the sector, that fell into the following areas:
- supply chain
- Feedback was incorporated into the final goal and supports.
- Document and report review
- validated feedback from stakeholders
- provided strategies for improving use of local food by the broader public sector
- informed the consultation approach
Remove red tape barriers and open the door for local food in the broader public sector.
The government will report progress on the public sector organization goal in its annual local food report. Additional voluntary tracking may also be used to measure the success of the goal.
The statements summarized and captured in this document are based on notes taken during consultation and discussions with stakeholders. Every effort has been made to capture comments accurately and comprehensively.
Documents and reports reviewed
The following are a selection of reports and/or relevant documents used to create the goal and supports:
- Management Board of Cabinet (2011), BPS Procurement Directive.
- Ontario Ministry of Finance (2011), BPS Procurement Implementation Guidebook.
- Supply Chain Ontario, Doing Business with the Ontario Government.
- Greenbelt Fund, Local Food Solutions Papers (various).
- Sustain Ontario (2015), Local Sustainable Food Procurement for Municipalities and the Broader Public Sector.
- Mohawk College (2018), Local Food Framework for Ontario Colleges.
- Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance (2016) - Serving Up Local - Increasing Local Food Procurement in Municipally-Operated Facilities and Cafeterias
Organizations invited to participate in consultation
- Mohawk College
- George Brown College
- Durham College
- Centennial College
- University of Guelph
- University of Waterloo
- Carleton University
- Council of Universities
- Colleges Ontario
- 100KM Foods Inc.
- Building Roots
- Stratford Chef School
- Greenbelt Fund
- SCC Consulting
- Sustain Ontario
- Nourish Ontario
- Gordon Food Services
- Compass Group
- Ontario Federation of Agriculture