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Press release from Marketwire

Food Freedom Day 2013: BMO Recognizes Important Milestone for Canadian Consumers

- Canada's agriculture sector accounts for 8.1 per cent of total GDP - 87 per cent of Canadians believe it is important to purchase food products made in Canada

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Food Freedom Day 2013: BMO Recognizes Important Milestone for Canadian Consumers06:00 EST Thursday, February 14, 2013TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2013) - Today, BMO Bank of Montreal recognizes an important milestone - Food Freedom Day 2013. According to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, today marks the calendar date by which the average Canadian will have earned enough money to pay for groceries for the entire year. A recent BMO poll found 87 per cent of Canadians felt it was important or very important that they purchase Canadian-produced food. "Canadian families benefit from a strong and stable agriculture system with reliable food sources, plentiful selection and unparalleled safety. Consumers place great value on these factors when making their food purchase decisions," said Karl McLaren, Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Food Freedom Day is a great opportunity to thank Canadian farm families and show our support for their efforts to maintain a strong and vibrant Canadian agricultural sector," added Mr. McLaren. "Food Freedom Day is a chance to acknowledge the secure and safe food supply we enjoy in Canada. The agriculture and agri-food industries are important to our economy and the well-being of our nation. We each have a role to play in ensuring its success and sustainability. Buying Canadian and minimizing food waste are a few examples that would go a long way in supporting the Canadian brand, our farmers and all those in the food system across Canada," said Ron Bonnett, President, Canadian Federation of Agriculture. 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. Fast Facts About Canada's Agriculture Industry:Canada is the world's fifth largest agriculture exporter and 6th largest importer, accounting for a combined $63.5 billion in global trade Local farmers' markets are responsible for over $1 billion in sales and have a total economic effect of over $3 billion The agriculture sector accounts for 8.1 per cent of total GDPAbout BMO Financial Group Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at October 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Contact Information: Media Contacts:Russell Baker, Toronto(416) 867-3996russell.baker@bmo.comValerie Doucet, Montreal(514) 877-8224valerie.doucet@bmo.comLaurie Grant, Vancouver(604) 665-7596laurie.grant@bmo.comInternet: www.bmo.comTwitter: @BMOmedia