On March 18, 2019, we announced the third aspirational goal under the Local Food Act, 2013 to Remove Red Tape Barriers and Open the door for Local Food in the Broader Public Sector.

In support of this goal, we committed to awarding broader public sector institutions that achieve their targets for purchasing local food with certificates of recognition from the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Broader Public Sector Champions Program gives institutions the opportunity to voluntarily submit and report back to the province on meeting their local food purchasing targets.


The broader public sector generally refers to organizations that receive funding from the Government of Ontario. They are not a part of the government itself.

For the purposes of this program, here are some examples of eligible broader public sector institutions:

  • hospitals
  • municipal long-term care facilities
  • school boards
  • universities and colleges
  • municipal childcare centers


Beginning in April of each year, we encourage eligible institutions to voluntarily submit their:

  • current baseline for local food purchases
  • target as a percentage increase for local food purchases in the current year

In February, we follow up with each participating institution to report back on their progress. We encourage each institution to submit their final local food purchasing data for the current year to determine if they have met their original target.

In June, we award participating institutions with certificates of recognition from the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs during Local Food Week.

How to participate

For the 2019 to 2020 period, the Broader Public Sector Champions Program operated from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

The deadline to submit your baseline and targets for this period was December 31, 2019.

Due to the COVID‑19 pandemic, the program has been paused.


Food origin audit

Conducting a food origin audit is an effective way to increase the purchasing of local food. By identifying the origins of food and beverages served in your institution, the audit can be used to:

  • establish a baseline of local food purchases
  • assist in setting goals for local food procurement
  • track and report on the progress being made by your institution

Use these tools to help you with your audit:

Defining local food

Almost 90% of Ontarians recognize the Foodland Ontario logo. Foodland Ontario has a set of Ontario food definitions developed in conjunction with industry, such as commodity associations, and tested with consumers. These definitions are credible and widely accepted as a proven way to help define local food as being from Ontario.

The Ontario food definitions help to set a clear definition for local food which will help you:

  • conduct a food origin audit
  • determine a baseline measure for local food purchases
  • set targets or goals for local food procurement
  • track food purchases over time

Learn more about using and obtaining the Foodland Ontario logo.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please email foodland@ontario.ca.