TORONTO — Ontario cares about farmers and encourages consumers to show their support for beef and pork farmers by buying and enjoying Ontario meat products.

In a mid-July news release, the Ontario government announced it is launching a campaign through Foodland Ontario to highlight the province’s pork and beef in response to China’s current trade restrictions on those products. The campaign includes radio commercials, recipe books, promotional materials for in-store displays and social media promoting Ontario pork and beef.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman is also encouraging Ontario restaurants to bolster the use of local Ontario meats in their day-to-day menu planning.

“The quality of Ontario and Canadian beef and pork products are and always have been ranked among the best in the world,” he said. “Ontario-produced meat continues to be a top choice during barbecue season.”

Hardeman wants consumers to give the province’s farmers a boost following China’s temporary restrictions on imports of Canada’s beef and pork products. “I stand with our farmers in the province and those across the country, and I support the federal government’s efforts to resolve this situation,” he said.

Ontario is home to close to 6,800 beef farms that marketed about 720,000 beef cattle worth $1.3-billion in farm cash receipts in 2018. In addition, the province is home to more than 1,200 pig farms that marketed about 5.6-million hogs worth $1.2-billion in farm cash receipts in 2018. Approximately 55,000 direct jobs and $2.9-billion in direct GDP can be attributed to Ontario’s hog industry value chain including farm, processing and retail (2017).

Ontario is working with the federal government, other provinces and Ontario’s beef and pork sectors to ensure the province’s meat products have fair access to markets while also exploring supports that can be provided to farmers.