Province Announces Inaugural Farm and Food Awareness Week Starts Today

September 21, 2015

Agriculture Positively Impacts Life of Every Manitoban: Minister Kostyshyn

Manitoba’s first-ever Farm and Food Awareness Week runs Sept. 20 to 26 and will celebrate the many contributions of agriculture to the province, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.

“Manitoba’s farms, the food sector and the agriculture industry as a whole have a positive impact on every Manitoban’s daily life,” said Minister Kostyshyn.  “I encourage everyone to use this week to learn more about the nutritious food we produce, the farm families who take care of our land and the exciting research that happens right here in our province, providing jobs and strengthening our economy.”

Public activities will take place throughout the week and include:

  • training for food entrepreneurs who have, or are considering, entering the Great Manitoba Food Fight in Stonewall tomorrow from 4:30 to 9 p.m.;
  • the Manitoba Beer, Food and Film Festival spotlights local beer and food, films and tours of the Farm and Food Discovery Centre at the Glenlea Research Station on Friday, Sept. 25 from
    7 to 10 p.m.; and
  • an organic banquet featuring local cuisine, organized by the Manitoba Organic Alliance at Red River College’s Jane’s Restaurant on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Minister Kostyshyn also invited Manitobans to enjoy locally produced food and other goods at one of the farmers’ markets still taking place this week.

Approximately 32,000 jobs in Manitoba are in the agriculture and agri-food industries.  These jobs contribute $3.6 billion to the provincial economy, the minister noted.

Farm and Food Awareness week is an example of the province’s ongoing commitment to the success of this industry, Minister Kostyshyn said, adding this past January, a new five-point strategy was announced to support the long-term growth of Manitoba’s food industry including smaller-scale farmers and processors.  The strategy includes:

  • growing and retaining food businesses, by finalizing a food-processing strategy to reach   Manitoba’s $5.5-billion processing industry goal, working with existing businesses to accelerate their growth and creating online resources and tools to support food businesses;
  • investing in sector development, in partnership with industry and stakeholders, by focusing on areas with economic growth and job opportunities, such as functional foods;
  • supporting small-scale farming and processing by reallocating existing staff resources to create a small-scale processing specialist and a small-farm production specialist, while also implementing the recommendations of the Small Scale Food Manitoba working group;
  • developing innovative food safety models, through outcome-based regulations that protect food safety and consumers without creating unnecessary barriers for all sizes of food processors; and
  • increasing awareness of food production in Manitoba, through existing initiatives like the Local Sustainable Food Pilot Project and new investments that support industry-led activities.

The report of the Small Scale Food Manitoba working group, chaired by Dr. Wayne Lees, was released this past January.  It made 21 recommendations to improve this growing section of the food economy, based on consultations with the public, farmers, processors and many other stakeholders.

A copy of the Small Scale Food Manitoba report is available online at

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