The first ever Alberta Local Food Week kicked off Sunday, showcasing the province’s farmers and ranchers.
The event is part of the provincial government’s renewed plan to support Alberta’s local food sector and diversify the agriculture industry.
The goal is to raise awareness about the quality of food produced in the province and highlight the individuals who work to get quality ingredients to the table.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier said Albertans are asking more questions about where and how their food is made.
“I think anything grown or produced in Alberta is great,” said Carlier. “[Albertans] are interested in where their food comes from and who grows their food.”
Alberta Local Food Week is also highlighting different aspects of the agriculture industry. Rod Bradshaw, president of Calgary Farmers’ Market, said the celebration of Alberta agriculture is exciting for producers.
“As farmers, we take our job of producing high-quality, safe food seriously,” Bradshaw said. “We continue to educate ourselves on new and cutting-edge technologies so we can use the best techniques available to care for the land and our plants, putting safe, healthy foods on Albertans’ plates.”
Kent Zentner, general manager of Silver Sage Beef, said more people are shying away from buying meat produced south of the border and looking for alternatives closer to home.
“They want to support local and know who the rancher is and know who’s raising their animals and growing their crops,” Zentner said. “It’s definitely given us a boost.”
Alberta Local Food Week wraps up with Open Farm Days on Aug. 18-19, when farmers and ranchers will showcase how their products make it from the farm to the table with tours and tastings taking place across the province.
WATCH: Alberta Food Week and Open Farm Days aim to encourage people to support Alberta producers and educate them about eating local. Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier joined Mike Sobel with further details.