BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

October 07, 2010 07:00 ET

BMO: Say Thanks to Canadian Farmers This Thanksgiving By Buying Local

- Canadian Farmers Fill the Harvest Table With Healthy Choices

- Local Farmers' Markets are Responsible for Over $1 Billion in Sales and have a Total Economic Affect of Over $3 Billion

- Donate an 'Extra Plate' of Food to Local Food Bank

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2010) - BMO Bank of Montreal today encouraged Canadians to support local farmers and choose locally produced foods and wines this Thanksgiving weekend.

The agriculture sector plays an important role in the Canadian economy, employing one in eight jobs directly and accounting for 8.1 per cent of total GDP, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada dates back to the 1600s in New France, when explorer Samuel de Champlain and early settlers celebrated their successful harvests. Many of the holiday foods we enjoy today are the same as those originally grown and harvested by Aboriginal Peoples in North America including: corn, pumpkins, squash and cranberries.

"Thanksgiving is a great opportunity, not just to give thanks for family, good friends, and the harvest, but also to show our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our local farmers," said David Rinneard, National Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal. "By filling your holiday table with superb locally grown and produced food and wines, you can help support the fabric of Canada's rural economy," added Rinneard.

BMO Bank of Montreal also supports Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz's appeal, calling on Canadians to donate an 'extra plate' of food to a local food bank to help ensure Canadians with limited resources can sit down to a healthy, nutritious meal this holiday weekend. "At BMO we believe it is important to be part of the community, and we add our voice to the Minister's in encouraging Canadians to do what they can to help support local food banks and community organizations this Thanksgiving," added Mr. Rinneard.

BMO's roots in the Canadian agricultural sector date back to 1817, when it first began working with farmers. BMO Bank of Montreal provides customized loan and deposit solutions to Canada's agri-business owners, the single largest core commercial sector that the bank serves. In July, in the aftermath of this year's heavy rainfall and devastating floods across the Prairies, BMO launched a Financial Flood Relief Program for farm customers affected by the extensive damage.

Fast Facts About Canada's Agriculture Industry:

  • Canada is the world's fourth largest agriculture exporter and 6th largest importer, accounting for a combined $65 billion in global trade
  • Local farmers' markets are responsible for over $1 billion in sales and have a total economic affect of over $3 billion

Turkey, all the Fixings, and Canadian Wines

  • Turkeys were domesticated by North American Aboriginal Peoples over 2,000 years ago
  • Turkey (both white and dark meat) is an excellent source of protein, lean, low in sodium and an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals
  • In Canada, over 500 turkey framers produce on average 164 million kg of turkey worth over $388 million annually
  • Wild fruits and berries; cranberries in eastern portions of North America, the Bakeapple or Cloudberry in the Maritimes, and the Saskatoon Berry have a long tradition at harvest celebrations dating back to early settlers
  • Today, pumpkins are the fastest growing crop in Canada, and are the seventh most important vegetable after potatoes, sweet corn, peas, beans, tomatoes and carrots
  • The holiday favorite pumpkin pie, became popular over time with early settlers as supplies of the essential ingredient molasses became more readily available
  • Canadian wines offer many choices to compliment a festive holiday meal, including the popular Chardonnays, Merlots, Gewürztraminers, and even cranberry and specialty wines 

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