World Foods

Bring Home the World - Improving Access to Ontario's World Foods

Ontario is a strong supporter of local food production and sales. Since 2003, the government has invested more than $180 million in initiatives and projects that help promote and celebrate the good things that are grown, harvested and made in Ontario.

Recognizing the diversity of Ontarians and their contributions to growing the agri-food sector, the Ontario government has launched Bring Home the World. This initiative is designed to promote World Foods as part of Ontario's Local Food Strategy.

World Foods are those which can be produced, harvested or processed in Ontario that reflect the diversity of the province's population.

Examples of Ontario world foods may include:

  • Fruits and vegetables - fuzzy melon, bok choy, specialty eggplant
  • Proteins - goat meat, shrimp, edamame;
  • Dairy - goat or sheep milk, lassi (yogurt-based drink), labneh (cream cheese);
  • Grains - quinoa

World foods can also be part of an internationally inspired recipe using locally-sourced ingredients, or as part of a culturally important or religiously required diet, such as Halal processed foods.

Engaging Ontarians

The Ontario government is engaging Ontarians to better understand where demand currently exists for World Foods and learn where there are opportunities to grow the market in the province. Improving access to World Foods will boost both convenience and choice and help support economic growth and job creation across the province.

This is a chance for Ontarians to share their views on what World Foods means to them and help the government better understand the demand for these globally-inspired, locally-grown-and-made foods.

As a key partner in the Local Food Strategy, Ontario's agri-food sector can also play a role in improving access to World Foods for Ontarians. A targeted set of questions have been prepared for growers, processors and agri-food organizations to assess barriers to entering the World Foods market.

How You Can Get Involved

Whether you are a consumer or an agri-food partner, we want to hear from you.

We encourage you to read the World Foods discussion paper. To provide feedback, please complete the World Foods survey; or email us at We are collecting feedback up to November 3, 2017.

We will collect all the feedback received and use it to help improve access and availability to World Foods so everyday Ontarians can Bring Home the World.

OMAFRA World Foods Supports

OMAFRA has resources and initiatives already in place that support World Foods in Ontario.

Foodland Ontario
  • Ontario-grown World Foods are promoted in over 600 food and lifestyle media outlets through recipe releases and television appearances. World crops and their use in international recipes have been promoted through Foodland Ontario's social and digital media channels (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and the website) and in 2017, the Foodland Ontario calendar features 'Deliciously inspired international recipes featuring local ingredients'. Over 500,000 have been distributed, predominately through Ontario grocery stores. Ontario retailers also use Foodland Ontario point-of-sale materials, such as commodity cards or international recipe cards to promote World Foods grown in Ontario. Recently, Foodland Ontario partnered with T&T Supermarkets to create an Asian greens banner promoting grown in Ontario - across eight stores in Ontario.
Speciality Cropportunities
  • A resource available to assist growers to transition to specialty crops, including information on crop research and trials.
Agriculture Business Management - Website
  • A website filled with resources for farming businesses to help manage production and marketing information, farm business diversification, budgeting, workshops, events, and newsletters.
Starting a Farm in Ontario: Business Information Bundle for New Farmers
  • Resources for potential new farmers and newcomer farmers with information on crops, expansion, and early market decisions, including world crops. In addition, OMAFRA collaborates with organizations like Farm Management Canada to build capacity-building resources for potential and new farm entrants.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: Jeff O'Donnell - Policy Advisor/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 5 June 2017
Last Reviewed: 5 June 2017