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Investment to help Ontarians eat local

Through the Local Food Investment Fund, the government of Ontario is investing almost $500,000 in 19 local food projects


Peterborough, Ont. – The government of Ontario is helping to bring local food to more consumers in the province.

In a press release, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced nearly $500,000 in investments in 19 local food projects across Ontario “that will increase access to local food and support the growth of Ontario’s agri-food sector.”

The investments are made possible by the province through its Local Food Investment Fund, which is administered by the Greenbelt Fund. The Greenbelt Fund works with businesses, institutions and NGOs to make Ontario farmers the first choice for consumers.

Here are the projects as listed in the release:

• Aramark Canada Go Local Every Day ($15,000)

Aramark Canada will partner with Azoti to test out a proactive ordering system that commits a buyer (in this case, Aramark’s Carleton University account) to purchase a certain volume of produce one year in advance from area farmers to grow towards guaranteed demand.  

• Bell’s Edge Farm Specialty Butter and Ghee ($10,000)

Bell’s Edge Farm will purchase packaging equipment to optimize the production of local flavoured butter and ghee, while developing new products under their flavoured butter line.  

• Country Heritage Park Building an Ontario Social Innovation Food Hub ($15,000)

Country Heritage Park will launch a new local-food food hub that will make it easier for farmers in the Halton region to access new markets and collaborate with local food entrepreneurs. Country Heritage Park will also provide discounted rates for non-governmental organizations and social enterprises to access its facility, conduct school farming programs, connect local farmers with food security organization Feed Halton, and provide farming and food service training for vulnerable populations with special needs.

• Exceldor Foods Limited Implementation of Packaging Line for Fresh Ground Turkey Products ($52,750)

Exceldor Foods will invest in a new packaging line to replace traditional styrofoam packaging for its Butterball brand ground turkey.  Working with Metro grocery stores, Exceldor will promote Butterball ground turkey as a healthy, Ontario-raised protein. 

• Fairhaven Farm Ontario Grown Black Seed (Nigella Sativa): An Innovative Project to Develop This World Crop Locally ($20,000)

As Canada’s only commercial producer of black seed honey, Fairhaven Farm will invest in equipment to increase capacity and production to meet growing demand for local black seed honey. 

• FoodShare South to North Good Food Distribution: Northern Food Justice in Motion($60,000)

FoodShare will reboot its northern food distribution program, which delivers affordable, fresh produce to remote northern communities experiencing food insecurity.  

• Grape Growers of Ontario We Grow the Wines You Love ($20,000)

Grape Growers of Ontario will partner with Metro and Food Basics grocery stores to promote the availability of VQA wines at 10 retail locations. 

• Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network Partners in Production 2017 ($35,000)

The Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network, in partnership with FoodShare, will provide cost-sharing investment assistance to 16-20 small and medium-sized farms to increase and diversify offerings at local farmers’ markets.  

• Huron Business Development Corporation Local Food in Local Schools, South Huron ($10,000)

Huron Business Development Corporation will pilot an Ontario student nutrition program in partnership with three to four South Huron schools, sourcing its fruits and vegetables from area farms. Locally-grown produce will be processed at a local community kitchen, and aggregated at a local food bank.  

• John Millar Farm Egg Room Storage ($6,000)

John Millar Farm Ltd., the only licensed egg-grading facility in Peterborough County, will enlarge and improve energy efficiency of its egg storage facility, providing the farm access to new market channels including local farmers’ market and high-end restaurants.  

• Norfolk Cherry Company Ltd. Increasing Storage Capacity and Extending Marketing Season for Ontario Apples ($40,000)

Norfolk Cherry Company will partner with Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Association to retrofit its storage facility to accommodate growing cold storage needs of local apple growers. Cherry production enjoys a relatively short season, with the facility going unused much of the year. This project addresses a shortfall in storage capacity for local apples while maximizing the use of Norfolk Cherry Company’s facility. 

• Northumberland County Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre (OAFVC) ($32,400)

The Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre supports the business development of local food products by providing equipment and facilities to test product ideas and markets. The OAFVC will purchase an automated liquid filling and bottling machine. 

• On the Move Organics Local Food, Ready to Eat ($20,000)

As the only organic online home delivery service and food hub aggregator in London, On the Move Organics will expand its ready-to-eat product line to include 30 new meals. 

• Parkhill Meats Limited Increasing Processing of Ontario Raised Halal Beef, Veal, Lamb and Goat Product Through Improved Production and Cooling Efficiencies($35,000)

Parkhill Meats will invest in new equipment to increase capacity at its halal processing facility, using 100% Ontario-raised beef, lamb, goat and veal.  

• Ripple Aquaponics Local Lime and Capacity Building ($15,000)

Ripple Aquaponics will establish a new growing facility on Seneca College’s Newnham campus to grow lime basil for its new “local lime syrup,” which will be processed at Food Starter’s commercial kitchen.  Additionally, Ripple Aquaponics will investigate sustainable packaging and labelling of its new syrup.

 • Riz Global Foods Feasibility Study for a Local Halal Distribution Hub ($25,320)

Riz Global Foods will conduct a feasibility study and develop a business plan for a halal food hub in the GTA. 

• University of Waterloo Local Growth Initiatives ($20,000)

The University of Waterloo aims to increase local food purchases by $500,000 through a variety of activities, including the development of local burgers, fries, smoked meat and deli meats. 

• The Whole Grain Hearth Heritage Grains ($9,000)

Whole Grain Hearth will trial growing four to five heritage grain varieties for Ontario climate suitability, which will then be passed on to a local bakery to process and test to optimize bread recipes.

• Zast Foods Corporation NudeSoup – Developing Locally Sourced Soups($46,000)

Zast Foods will launch a new frozen soup line, NudeSoup, featuring six frozen soups made with Ontario ingredients, in partnership with Longo’s. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $200,000 annually. 


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