Transforming Ontario's Food Systems Together

Good Food Policies

Join Sustain Ontario in developing Good Food Policies for Ontario.

Photo by Laura Berman

Good food policies have the potential to grow Ontario’s economy, reduce our health care spending, reduce our environmental impact, combat poverty, improve our education system, and ensure a sustainable future for our province. Support us in developing great policies and programs for our province.

The Local Food Act

The Ontario Liberals are currently working on policies and programs for a Local Food Act, which they promised in their election platform. Sustain Ontario has developed a Statement of Purpose and is currently working on a series of backgrounders that highlight recommendations that we would like to see included in the Local Food Act and in other food policies. Additionally, the drafting notes outline the administrative and legislative aspects that should make up the Act and that help to achieve its objectives.

The Local Food Act Statement of Purpose

When the Local Food Act was first introduced, a large number of businesses and organizations signed on to the statement of purpose in order to send the strongest possible message.

Drafting Notes

Click the link above to access the drafting notes on which we continue to accept input. If you have feedback on this document, please send it in an email to If you are in touch with other groups that are not members that you think would have useful input for the drafting notes, please share this page with them.

Local Food Policy Recommendations 

In the spring of 2013, Premier Wynne reintroduced Bill 36 – An Act to enact the Local Food Act, 2013 (Local Food Act) to the Ontario legislature. In response, Sustain Ontario and ten other signatories representing food and farming in Ontario wrote a joint letter recommending opportunities to strengthen the Bill by extending its focus to include food literacy, food access, regional economic development, and environmentally sustainable practices. Access the PDF of the letter below.

Joint Letter to Premier Wynne on the re-introduction of the Local Food Act (March 28, 2013)

Update [2 October 2013]: Hearing Submissions from Sustain Ontario partners

The Local Food Act continues to make its way through the legislature and is now in committee after having passed a second reading in the House. Over the next few weeks, hearings will take place on proposed amendments to the Act. The committee has also voted to hold hearings within the next few weeks to allow citizens to share their ideas for making the Local Food Act stronger.

Those wishing to speak at the hearings or propose ideas for the Local Food Act are encouraged to contact the Clerk of the Committee, William Short at:

William Short
Clerk, Legislative Committee on Social Policy
Tel: 416-325-3883
Fax: 416-325-3505
99 Wellesley Street West, Room 1405, Whitney Block
Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2

The list below is an on-going collection of submissions for the hearings provided by partners of Sustain Ontario. Click the links to access to PDF copies of each organization’s letter.

Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance

Canadian Environmental Law Association

Ontario Collaborative Group on Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

Green Thumbs Growing Kids

Good Food Policies by Sector

Our sector specific Good Food Policies and programs are great ideas to improve Ontario’s education system, health, and economy. You’ll also find background research, references and analysis showing why these policies are so important and an update about what government initiatives have already been undertaken.





Below are drafts of the backgrounders on which we continue to accept input. If you have feedback on these documents, please send it in an email to If you are in touch with other groups that are not members that you think would have useful input for these backgrounders, please share this page with them.

Forest and Fresh Water Foods Backgrounder

Regional Food Hubs Backgrounder

Food Literacy, Food Security, and Local Food Procurement in Schools Backgrounder

Institutional Procurement Backgrounder

Ecosystem Goods and Services Backgrounder

Land Use Planning Backgrounder



Backgrounders on regional food hubs; food literacy, student nutrition and food service in schools; institutional procurement; land use planning, and ecosystem goods and services were compiled by Sustain Ontario interns Avalon Jennings and Tegan Chislett.

See our past work on Good Food Policy and Program Ideas and Good Food Policies by Sector here. You can also see more on the different party platforms and our elections campaign at

  • Marc Xuereb

    very comprehensive! thanks for putting the work into developing such a detailed proposal. now you need to tell us how to advocate for its adoption!

  • Nick Ferri

    Great news Ravenna! The GTA Agricultural Action Committee is working on an Agriculture and Food Strategy for the Golden Horseshoe and most of the programs and polices are the same. By following a concurrent course, we will have a stronger case to put before the policy makers. Please feel free to contact me for information to help you complete this Act.
    Nick Ferri
    Chair, GTAAAC

  • danielbida

    Have you thought about integrating biogas production into the food plan? Anaerobic digestion solves multiple farm-related problems – safe manure management, better than commercial-grade fertilizer (free of weed seeds), and local heat production – while also producing renewable energy, diverting organic waste from landfills, and providing an additional revenue source for farms.

  • Lorenz

    a moratorium on GM crops in Ontario would give family farmers and organic producers a fighting chance of survival. All our efforts on food security and sustainability will be worthless if we let the current trend of GE crop introductions continue. If the trend continues we will have one multinational company (monsanto) fully control more than 80% of our agricultural crops. Most of these GE crops will have GM traits that require substantive chemical use. As GM traits cross over into other non patented, heirloom and even wild varieties we stand to loose our right to safe and store seed of any type. Variety, disease resistance, price stability, decentralized supply, family farms and the ability to grow your own food could all become victims to the GMO giant.

  • Amanda Comeau

    I am curious to know if SustainOntario is aware of any farmers utilizing Aquaponics in Ontario. Its a relatively old technology being revitalized now across the world as a sustainable way of growing food and fish in tandem as a part of the local food movement. I am considering a career change, and I am thinking of pursuing a GTA based project using this technology to produce food and educate the public on the importance of locally grown sustainable production.

  • Atthefarm

    After paying more for food these past few weeks due to gas prices……I wonder why local food is still rising too. Could we not have a local discount!

  • Carolyn

    Hey all, if you are interested in helping out on this, we have an “Elections Working Group” that is working on a provincial campaign using, in part, this Act. Contact me, if you would like to get involved.

  • Ravenna

    Hi Amanda, 
    FoodShare has a small aquaponics demonstration project. They can probably connect you to others as well.

  • Carolyn

    Amanda, please email me at for connections to more aquaponics in Ontario info.

  • Eskay Singh

    How are you getting along on Aquaponics. I am interested in setting it up in Stouffville and would like to talk to anyone before I make my presentation to TRCA

  • Eskay Singh

    Could you e-mail me connections to more aquaponics in GTA.
    I am interested in setting it up in Stouffville and about to make a presentation to TRCA for approval. Any help/suggestions will be welcome.

  • Eskay Singh

    Need to talk to you about your comments. Am in the process of setting up aquaponics in Stouffville and your comments would help expand and complete the cycle.

  • Joans

    York Region Food Network is looking at an aquaponics project – I would be interested in what you’re doing.

  • Kelly Carmichael

    Hi Carolyn,

    I just wanted to endorse Lorenz’s comments. We need to develop a strategy to grow sustainable food that promotes a healthy environment and population. More and more data is emerging about the dangers of Round-up ready crops – the new, untested proteins they are producing and the carcinogenic dangers of glysophate in the herbacide Round-Up.

    In this article, you will find a link to a new study that outlines the dangers.

    Great work on the proposal, I would love to be included in the working group! I’ll email you to be put on the list.


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