Burlington – The Ontario government, in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund, is making it easier for Ontarians to enjoy healthy and locally-grown produce.
With a $49,000 grant from the Greenbelt Fund through the province’s Local Food Investment Fund, EarthFresh Farms will invest in the development of a new, premium white potato to be grown in Ontario for the first time. Working with nine growers, EarthFresh Farms is bringing Polar White potatoes to consumers this growing season.
EarthFresh Farms is known for its premium and organic potatoes, and is proud to be innovating in the potato marketplace. The launch of the new Polar White variety fills a niche for locally-grown, high quality white potatoes, and will contribute significantly to Ontario’s agri-food economy.
Earlier this year, the Government of Ontario, in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund, announced more than $830,000 for 24 local food projects across Ontario. EarthFresh was selected based on its strong record of innovation and leadership in local food, and the great potential for increased profitability for growers by introducing a premium, local white potato product to shoppers.
“The Polar White potato is going to be a game changer for shoppers and for growers,” says Tom Hughes, President at EarthFresh Farms. “For growers, the Polar White stores better is more resistant to scab and has higher pack-outs than traditional varieties. For consumers, this is a premium potato that tastes great, will be available much longer than traditional Premium white potatoes and is locally sourced.”
“We’re thrilled to support innovators like EarthFresh,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “Ontarians want to choose local and support farmers more often, by enjoying delicious, Ontario-grown food like the Polar White potato.”
“Through the Local Food Investment Fund, our government is helping Ontario’s agri-food sector grow and innovate making it easier for innovative food companies like EarthFresh to bring even more locally grown, harvested and made food to Ontario plates,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “These investments will help strengthen our economy and create good jobs across the province.”
“We have a strong connection with the agricultural sector in Burlington and with local food leaders like EarthFresh," said Eleanor McMahon, MPP for Burlington. "Locally-minded neighbours choose to support farmers when they bring home great new products like the Polar White potato.”
”Halton is home to a number of high-quality food producers and processors. Supporting these local businesses is key to building a strong local economy,” said Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP for Halton. “Through grant funding, companies like EarthFresh can develop new and innovative products for consumers, while also supporting local growers and strengthening Halton’s economy.”
EarthFresh Polar White potatoes will be available in stores beginning in August 2017.
About the Local Food Investment Fund:
In 2015, the Ontario government provided the Greenbelt Fund with $6 million over three years to support initiatives that will help support the province’s local food strategy by enhancing consumer awareness and access to local food, as well as generating demand and supply of Ontario foods and beverages. The investment supports initiatives such as the Local Food Investment Fund, which is a grant program for farmers and other businesses along the food value chain, broader public sector institutions, and not-for-profits working to increase the amount of Ontario-grown and made food purchased and enjoyed across the province. The Local Food Investment Fund's three grant streams focus on enhancing local food literacy, increasing market access for small and mid-size Ontario farmers and processors and increasing purchases of local food in the broader public sector, such as hospitals and universities.
About the Greenbelt Fund:
The Greenbelt Fund changes the way we eat food in Ontario. Our innovative investments get more local food onto the plates of Ontarians. We work with businesses, institutions and NGOs to make Ontario’s farmers the first choice for consumers. The Fund’s work has generated a 13-fold return on our investments, permanently changed the food value chain, and improved local food awareness and education around the province. As a not-for-profit, the Greenbelt Fund is supported by public and private sources.
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