Backgrounder: Full List of Local Food Investment Round 5 Projects

BACKGROUNDER: Local Food Investment Fund Round 5

 The Government of Ontario is investing over $315,000 in 15 innovative projects that will increase access to more local food across the province. With $4.6m in support from the Ontario Government, the Greenbelt Fund has supported 114 projects across Ontario since 2015.

The projects are:

Abate Rabbit Packers Increase Market Access for Ontario Rabbit Farmers through Productivity Improvements ($25,000)

Abate Rabbit Packers will increase capacity for their rabbit products by investing in new equipment to improve efficiency in production. The project is expected to increase production by 108%, increasing availability of a more sustainable meat source and enabling Abate to hire more skilled butchers and offer different cuts of meat.

Artisan Farms Direct Ltd. Increase Market Access through Development of a Meat Distribution Terminal ($25,000)

Artisan Farms will develop a Meat Distribution Terminal to provide a centralized hub to aggregate meats for further distribution to grocery and foodservice sectors, much like the Ontario Food Terminal does for produce. Artisan Farms will conduct outreach to farm organizations to secure more product, and implement a product verification and traceability system. They will also develop a brand and marketing strategy to market the variety of Ontario meat offerings.


Casa Bonita Foods Inc. Casa Bonita Market Access ($21,000)

Casa Bonita will invest in new equipment to increase production capacity for their Mexican-style corn tortillas and tortilla chips, while shifting to increase use of Ontario flour and launching a new product line featuring the Foodland Ontario logo.


Everdale Micro Farms at Schools ($25,000)

Everdale will develop a comprehensive “Start a Micro Farm at Your School” teaching module for schools to help deliver practical farm-based food education. The project will pilot the micro-farm module at Erin Public School and Erin High School.


EZ Grow Farms Ltd. Before Bloom! Producing Ontario Strawberries Year-Round ($25,000)

EZ Grow Farms will work with 9 new growers and 20 greenhouse operations to be one of the first producers to offer Ontario strawberry plants for commercial production to harvest during the winter season. The funding will allow EZ Grow Farms to invest in essential cold storage facilities to enable this production.  


Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance and TRCA Serving Up Local Food Training at Long-Term Care Facilities ($20,000)

The GHFFA and TRCA will build on the success of their two-year local food procurement initiative to launch a comprehensive local food literacy initiative to train long-term care professionals and frontline staff on local food offerings to increase the visibility and awareness of local food in LTC homes.


Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology Developing a Local Food Procurement Training Program for Industry Professionals ($30,000)

Mohawk College will develop an online professional certification program in local food procurement through their Online Continuing Education division. The program will teach foodservice staff local food procurement skills, as well as how to create menus that celebrate and maximize the use of Ontario foods.


Open Food Network Canada Customizing an Open Source E-commerce/Logistics Platform for Ontario Food Hubs ($10,000)

Open Food Network Canada will improve its online tools for food hubs and farmers by simplifying the user interface and making other improvements requested by users, including the creation of a community discussion board to foster communication, knowledge transfer and collaboration among farmers.


Parkdale Active Recreation Centre FoodReach Goes to School ($10,000)

Parkdale Activity – Recreation Centre will expand its FoodReach program, which provides nutritious prepared meals for schools without food preparation areas, by increasing the number of customers through a marketing campaign, and upgrading its ordering system to label products that are locally grown.


Rootham’s Gourmet Preserves Ltd. Increasing the Demand for Ontario Produce Ingredients in Prepared Jams, Sauces and Condiments ($25,000)

Rootham’s Gourmet Preserves will develop new products such as jams, sauces, and salad dressings made from Ontario-grown ingredients. Partnering with Longo’s and Ravine Winery, Rootham’s will launch in-store promotions to distinguish its products as 100% local, farm-to-table products. Rootham’s presence in Longo’s will be a first in offering consumers a total line of condiments made from local fruits and vegetables.


Roots to Harvest Get Fresh Café Expansion ($35,000)

Roots to Harvest will partner with the Lakehead District School Board scale up its “Get Fresh Café” to two area high schools in Thunder Bay, reaching over 2,500 students. The project is a complete overhaul of the schools’ cafeteria offerings from pre-packaged food to sourcing all fresh and from-scratch ingredients, sourcing as much as possible from Ontario growers.


Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre Taste Northern Ontario ($25,000)

A partnership between RAIN and NOFIA, this project will recruit 8 agri-food businesses from northern Ontario to exhibit at the Ontario pavilion at the Restaurants Canada Show, with a view to establish new business contacts and customers for the participants.


St. Luke’s Anglican Church Incubator Kitchen and Improved Local Food Access at St. Luke’s Burlington ($10,000)

St. Luke’s Anglican Church will convert its commercial kitchen into an incubator kitchen, with outreach programming specifically targeting New Canadian entrepreneurs, and partner with Feed Halton to trial a pop-up market that provides fresh local produce at low-cost.


West End Food Co-op West End Food Co-op Local Food Access Expansion Project ($15,000)

West End Food Coop will expand its local food offerings and in-store promotion of made in house local foods, and begin purchasing directly from additional farmers. In addition, the Co-op will increase its local food making and preserving workshops by offering year-round canning and bread-making workshops.


Youth Action Network (Black Farmers & Food Growers Collective) Increasing Access and Awareness of World Crops ($14,550)

Youth Action Network will scale up its world crops production to provide culturally appropriate produce at local farmers’ markets, and provide entrepreneurship, farming and food literacy training for youth and food-insecure persons.

The Government of Ontario has invested significantly in projects across Ontario to increase local food awareness and sales. Since 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has seen a 13:1 return on its investment in local food projects.



Erica Woods                                                               

Communications Manager                                          

Greenbelt Fund                                                          

Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306                                 

[email protected]