TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec 21, 2012) - As family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year, Canadians are looking to put more locally grown food on the table. According to a BMO survey, the majority of Canadians (87 per cent) believe it''s important to support local farmers on a regular basis, and on average are willing to pay 16 per cent more for locally produced food.
"Canadians understand the significant contribution our farm families, and the agricultural industry as a whole, make to Canada''s national economy," said David Rinneard, National Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal. "By buying locally, it supports an industry that currently employs one in eight jobs directly and accounts for approximately eight per cent of Canada''s total GDP."
Fast Facts About Canada''s Agriculture Industry:
- Canada is the world''s fifth largest agriculture exporter and 6th largest importer, accounting for a combined $63.5 billion in global trade
- Local farmers'' markets are responsible for over $1 billion in sales and have a total economic effect of over $3 billion
- The agriculture sector accounts for 8.1 per cent of total GDP
A BMO survey revealed Canadians try to purchase the following home-grown products always or frequently:
- Poultry (84 per cent)
- Vegetables (91 per cent)
- Beef (78 per cent)
- Fruit (86 per cent)
- Cheese (81 per cent)
"By visiting a nearby farmers market or surveying your grocery store, many of the staple holiday menu items such as turkey, ham, beef, vegetables, grains and beverages - including wine and beer - can be bought from local producers," added Mr. Rinneard.
BMO reminds Canadians that while the holidays are a great opportunity to spend time and celebrate with family and friends, there are many who will not have a holiday table of their own. "We believe it is important to be part of the community, and encourage Canadians to donate to a food bank or community organization through your local United Way. This helps ensure those with limited resources can sit down to a healthy, nutritious meal this holiday season," stated Mr. Rinneard.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at October 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.