The head of a local food co-operative in Sudbury is glad to hear the federal government is changing the way it defines local food.
For a time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency allowed companies to market food as "local" if it was produced within 50 km of where it was being sold.
The federal government wants to change that definition — but in the meantime, it has set a new guideline: food can be called local, as long as it’s sold in the province in which it is produced, or across provincial borders within 50 km of the originating province or territory.
The managing director of Eat Local Sudbury said the changes make sense for northern Ontario.
"Sometimes there's no farmers within 50 km … so when we broaden it to province-wide, it allows us a scope to work with," Peggy Baillie said, noting the broader definition could create more demand for farmers in northern Ontario.
Eat Local Sudbury sells food produced from within a 250 km radius.
"It does create new opportunities [for] farmers who are able to scale up and meet those demands," she said.
"I think those could be the opportunity for new markets."
She also noted the Ontario government is trying to promote local food in hospitals, schools and daycares.