“July 30 is Food Day Canada, an opportunity to celebrate the Alberta producers and processors who make, bake and grow healthy, nutritious and safe foods for Canadians and people around the globe.

“Food and beverage processing is one of the largest employers in our province’s manufacturing sector, with record sales of $21.4 billion in 2021.

“There are many ways to support local food production in our province. You can visit local producers, growers, distillers and brewers, shop the local food section in your grocery store, eat at a restaurant that serves local food or head to the community farmers’ market.

“Alberta has a vibrant farmers’ market industry with more than 140 approved markets contributing more than $700 million annually to the growth and diversity of our provincial economy.

“Later this summer, in the third week of August, Alberta Local Food Week follows Alberta Open Farm Days on Aug. 13-14, where farms open their gates to their neighbours. I encourage all Albertans to take this opportunity to have a closer look at how our food is produced and get to know the people who produce it.

“Consumer interest in, and demand for, local food continues to grow. Local food systems support the production of safe, nutritious, high-quality food and create innovative small business opportunities. Local food is an important and stable market opportunity for Alberta’s agri-food sector.

“We know that the past few years have been challenging for many producers, and our government stands with Alberta’s agriculture and food processing sector. It is more important than ever that Albertans support the province’s food producers and processors. Continuing to support the growth of the local food industry is an important step in Alberta’s economic recovery.”