Local food engagement
Gathering input on ways the government can encourage growth in the local food industry.
Consultation status: Open until Jan 19, 2018
Ministry responsible: Agriculture and Forestry
Demand for locally produced food continues to grow in Alberta as more consumers are interested in knowing where their food comes from and how it's produced.
Alberta's local food industry is a key part of our economy – farmers' market and direct farm purchases exceeded $1 billion in 2016.
According to a 2016 survey, 92% of Alberta households have bought local food from supermarkets and 80% have bought local food from farmers' markets. The number of Albertans spending more than $1,000 per year at farmers' markets has doubled since 2008.
Increased interest in locally produced food is an opportunity for Alberta producers and processors. Growing the local food industry will help create jobs, complement Alberta’s agricultural export opportunities and further diversify the provincial economy.
Legislation under consideration
To support the growth of Alberta's local food industry, we're considering new legislation to highlight the importance of local food and increase consumer confidence. Similar legislation exists in other provinces.
Considerations for the proposed Local Food Act include:
- establishing a definition of "local food" as "food grown, made and/or harvested in Alberta and then marketed in Alberta"
- proclaiming a Local Food Week to celebrate the local food industry and increase awareness
- enhancing food safety training requirements for approved farmers' market managers and vendors
- applying existing federal organic product regulations and certification requirements to organic products produced and then marketed within Alberta
Public and stakeholder engagement
We will meet with local food industry stakeholders in early 2018 to discuss and collect input on potential legislation.
Provide your feedback on the proposed Local Food Act through the online submission form by Jan 19, 2018. All comments will be compiled and considered.
Input collected from Albertans and local food industry stakeholders will help inform legislation that is focused on creating opportunities for Alberta producers and processors, encouraging growth in the local food industry and further diversifying our economy.
Email questions or comments to ExploreLocal@gov.ab.ca