Published: CBC News,  November 7, 2013

photo credit: CBC News

A farmer in northeastern Ontario says the province’s new local food act is a good start, but doesn’t go far enough.

This week, the province introduced legislation to promote food grown, harvested and processed in Ontario.

It also means a non-refundable tax credit of 25 per cent for farmers who donate surplus food to food banks.

The co-owner of Leisure Farms in Sturgeon Falls said a tax credit of 25 per cent isn’t a huge incentive, especially for smaller operations.

“For us, it’s all hand harvested. So that barely covers the cost of harvesting,” Diane DesChatelets said.

“And then it doesn’t even cover the cost of production, so, if we’re going to give something away, at least it should cover that.”

DesChatelets said the tax credit would have to be bumped up to at least 60 per cent for a smaller operation to break even.

Nevertheless, a bill about local food is good for farmers, she added.

“The government is making an effort to get companies to buy local, which is good. They have done a lot of improvements. Shop Ontario has done a lot to promote local produce.”

DesChatelets noted that, even without the tax credit, her farm still donates what it can to food banks.

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