Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference Taking Shape

October 4, 2019
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – Program details have been finalized for the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference, and organizers are now focusing on registration.

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference 2019

With a theme of Growing Communities Together, the conference will explore exciting local food initiatives in the region. The program features prominent entrepreneurs, municipalities, and organizations, all sharing how their innovations create economic opportunities. Program details for the conference, which takes place Wednesday, November 13th and Thursday, November 14th at the NAV Centre in Cornwall, are now available on the conference website.

The Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference attracts over 200 local food producers, processors, consumers, rural economic development officers, NGOs and others who directly impact local food. It is being organized by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in partnership with the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont Dundas and Glengarry (SDG).

“We are proud to be partnering with this year’s local hosts to offer the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The conference supports our mission to grow Ontario’s agri-food sector and support rural communities, helping to create a stronger economy for the province.”

Local Food Tours

The excitement begins on Wednesday, November 13th, when three tour routes will take participants to visit culinary and cultural stops throughout the region. Participants can choose one of three routes: Cornwall and SDG: The Highlands; Cornwall and SDG: The Seaway; and Akwesasne. All tours will offer tastes of the region, and knowledgeable local hosts and interpreters.

The tours are followed by a local food reception at the NAV Centre, where attendees will be treated to a range of local delicacies.

Conference Day

On November 14, the full conference program will provide a wide range of content for local food businesses, municipalities, and community organizations. Keynote speaker Tareq Hadhad will kick off the day. Mr. Hadhad came to Canada as a Syrian refugee and, with his family, settled in rural Nova Scotia and founded his gourmet chocolate business, Peace by Chocolate. Mr. Hadhad’s keynote will not only share his experience of settling in Canada, but also address topics such as inclusion in the food system, workforce development, global peace efforts, and shared economic prosperity.

A stimulating plenary offering diverse perspectives on the future of local food will follow. The afternoon will offer sessions targeted to businesses, municipal leaders, and community organizations, and will cover topics such as:

  • Funding and Financing for Local Food Projects
  • The Municipal Role in Agriculture Economic Development
  • Innovation in Retail and Public Sector Food Service: Making Space for Local
  • Welcoming Newcomer Food Entrepreneurs in Rural Places
  • Workforce Development in the Agri-Food Sector
  • And much more!

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our community, and offering this excellent program,” said Bernadette Clement, Mayor for the City of Cornwall. “Together, we can further strengthen our food system, and our region.”

This is the eighth offering of the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference, and the first time it has been held in the Cornwall / SDG region.

“Once visitors see what the United Counties of Stormont Dundas and Glengarry has to offer,” says Jamie MacDonald, Warden for SDG, “they may not want to go home.”


Registration for the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is now open, and includes two options –  a two day registration (including a choice of a local food tour) and a single day registration:

  • November 13th and 14th: $148.10
  • November 14th only: $91.60

To register online, please click here.

Additional Information

For more information about the conference content and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the conference website:

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