by SUSAN MANN
Ontario Progressive Conservative agriculture critic Ernie Hardeman wants food processors to provide ideas on how the province’s $39 billion processing industry can be strengthened and kept competitive.
Hardeman, the MPP for Oxford, has launched an online survey aimed at food and beverage processors as well as packagers to find out.
The survey asks about government red tape, barriers to recruiting and retaining employees, barriers to using Ontario products and the best incentives to produce healthier food.
Hardeman says in a news release “we need to ensure that government policies allow our food manufacturers to be successful here at home and allow them to compete around the world.”
Food processing is the second largest manufacturing sector in Ontario. There are more than 3,000 food processors in Ontario, including large manufacturers along with local abattoirs, bakeries and wineries. The sector employs 120,000 people, Hardeman says. BF