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Growing the Local Food Wholesale Market in Kawartha Region

Local food producers and wholesale food buyers are being sought to participate in an exciting new project that seeks to support expanded production, wholesale marketing and purchasing of local food within Kawartha Lakes, the City of Peterborough and Peterborough County. 

Building upon previous agriculture economic development initiatives, this is a collaborative partnership between Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) and the City of Kawartha Lakes (KL). This project is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. 

The deadline to apply is December 22, 2023. Spaces are limited.

Matt Anderson handing off local produce to Lisa McGhie at Fresh Urban Plate

During this two-year project, participating Local Food Producers and Local Wholesale Food Buyers will receive, at no cost: 

Aligned streams of group training for producers and buyers to better understand effective wholesale production and marketing practices, and wholesale purchasing possibilities. 

One-on-one coaching at their own convenience to adapt training material to individual businesses. 

Facilitated coordination for aggregation and distribution of locally produced foods to local food buyers in restaurant, retail, food service, and institutional businesses within the region from local food producers who will be concurrently participating in both sides of this project. 

Project Timeline

  • Interested producers and buyers are encouraged to complete the Expression of Interest to indicate willingness to participate in the project. (November-December 2023) 
  • Those who express interest will be contacted for a follow up discovery discussion with the trainer/coach to obtain a better understanding of each business. (November–December 2023) 
  • A one-on-one interview will be arranged with the trainers/coaches to discuss how we can work together to best assist each business throughout this project. (November-December 2023) 
  • The team of trainers/coaches will use the information obtained about the participants to create specialized Guidelines and Toolkit content. (October 2023–January 2024) 
  • Several weekly group training sessions will be held to work with the trainers/coaches. The sessions will be formatted using the Guidelines and Toolkit. (February-March 2024) 
  • One-on-one coaching will be available to participating producers and buyers at no cost for the duration of the project (April 2024 through December 2025). 
  • The project will include the facilitated coordination for the establishment of a local food aggregation and distribution pilot that will be organized with input from participating producers and buyers. (June 2024 – December 2025) 

Benefits of Participation

  • Participating local food producers and food buyers will build mutual understanding, lasting relationships, and identify wholesale models that work for both sides of the relationship. By doing this together, with the assistance of a team of trainers/coaches, the group can expand access to networks that offer collaboration and support and create greater availability and use of locally produced foods obtained through local wholesale channels. The trainers/coaches have decades of experience working with producers and buyers of local food, providing them with extensive ideas for effectively marketing local food. 
  • One-on-one coaching that offers practical tools to establish or expand the local food wholesale of participating business operations. 
  • Participating businesses will have an active role in shaping the facilitation of the project, allowing the provided services to fit each business’ unique needs. 

To register for this project, complete this short Expression of Interest Form. Tell us why you are interested in this project and what you hope to achieve by participating. 

For additional information contact: 

Gabi Dragomir

Gabi Dragomir

Rural Economic Development Officer

Cell: 705-872-6224

Erika Inglis

Erika Inglis

Project Coordinator

Cell: 705-872-6529

If you are a business in Kawartha Lakes, visit the project portal here:

This project is a collaborative partnership between Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development and the City of Kawartha Lakes. This project is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.