Erie Innovation and Commercialization: Growing Access to the Broader Public Sector Marketplace, Simcoe $40,450
As an operating group under the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Erie Innovation helped broader public sector institutions in the South Central Ontario Region (SCOR) increase their Ontario food purchases. A phone and online survey of 85 BPS institutions led Erie Innovation to conclude that focus should be on long-term care facilities, which have an annual estimated food spend of $13.1 million. Erie Innovation identified that a local food hub would better enable aggregation of locally grown products to serve BPS institutions in the SCOR. A business plan for the hub was developed, which included market opportunities and an assessment of different approaches for procurement and distribution.