Ontario’s fruit and vegetable growers are pleased with the provincial government announcement that the Ontario Food Terminal will stay at its current location in South Etobicoke.
The Ontario Food Terminal is the largest wholesale produce market in Canada, with over two billion pounds of produce sold through the facility annually, and is a hub for the fruit and vegetable sector and local food in Ontario and Eastern Canada.
“This is excellent news for Ontario’s agri-food sector, particularly the many growers for whom the terminal serves as a key conduit to getting their produce to market,” says Bill George, Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA). “It’s this infrastructure that makes local food possible in Ontario.”
The provincial government launched a review last year into modernizing and enhancing the facility, which consists of a network of warehouses, vendor stalls and a large farmers’ market that brings fresh produce from local farms as well as from around the world to local restaurants, shops, food processors and retailers.
The terminal, established in 1954, currently provides a location for 400 farmers to directly market their produce, with another 1,100 farmers marketing product indirectly through sellers at the terminal. Having farmers and wholesalers within one facility enables produce buyers a one-stop shop for all of their needs. The terminal is entirely self-funded through fees paid by users of the terminal.
“We appreciate the government’s announcement to keep the terminal in its existing location in easy proximity to buyers as well as transportation networks,” adds George. “And as the government’s review of the Ontario Food Terminal continues, we look forward to participating in ongoing discussions around modernization and how we can work together to ensure its long-term success.”