"Local Food Week" kicked off at the Civic Centre in Chatham. June 4, 2018. (Photo by Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent).

CK’s Ag Industry Has ‘Nowhere Else To Go But Up’

The president of the Kent Federation of Agriculture says more and more people are catching on that buying local is better.

“Local Food Week” is celebrated across the province from Monday, June 4 to Sunday, June 10.

To kick off the celebrations, a flag raising, farmers’ market, and barbecue were hosted on Monday outside the Civic Centre in Chatham.

Kent Federation of Agriculture President Ron Faubert says more people should take advantage of the locally-grown produce in Chatham-Kent. He says if we don’t support farmers, they can’t survive.

“We have a lot of jobs being created by these local suppliers on their farms. They are farmers, they grow under our Canadian standards, which are much safer than other ones around the world,” explains Faubert. “It shows up on our doorstep and it’s something that’s been picked that morning.”

He says more and more people are turning to locally-grown produce.

“They realize the freshness. They realize the quality,” says Faubert. “They just needed to know where it was located. That’s why we put so much effort into the Buy Local Buy Fresh movement.”

Mayor Randy Hope says Chatham-Kent’s agricultural industry is worth $3-billion and still has room to grow.

“When we look at what the demands are and the population increases around the world, people are looking for safe food that they can put in their mouth,” says Hope. “Because of our regulatory environment in Canada and the way the farmers are here in Chatham-Kent, that’s a huge industry that we can tap into — starting to export our food.”

Hope says the industry has “nowhere else to go but up.” He says there are so many opportunities for greenhouses, food processing, export, and marketing.

For more information about where to buy locally-grown foods in Chatham-Kent, visit the Buy Local Buy Fresh website.