BACKGROUNDER: ONTARIO GOVERNMENT AND GREENBELT FUND CONNECT ONTARIANS TO MORE LOCAL FOOD
The Ontario government, in partnership with the Greenbelt Fund, is supporting local food projects that make it easier for people across the province, including farmers, processors, distributors, foodservice operators and restauranteurs, to source Ontario food.
The following projects are being supported through the Local Food Investment Fund:
100km Foods Inc. Growing the Ontario Local Food Economy: Capacity Building and Investment Project ($120,000)
100km Foods will expand its warehouse and cold storage capacity to scale up operations efficiently and effectively. The expansion will allow 100km Foods to continue its current growth of 40 per cent per year, increasing sales of Ontario produce by $3.5 million.
Against the Grain Farms Winchester Resetting the Table ($15,000)
Against the Grain Farms is a small farm specializing in novel grain products, in particular heritage grain varieties. This project will establish value chain relationships with private and broader public sector foodservice providers interested in serving high-nutrition, Ontario-grown grain products.
Beverly Creek Improving Access of Lamb Products in Ontario ($43,000)
Beverly Creek will invest in new automation equipment and marketing tools to help develop new product lines, including humanely slaughtered and kosher products.
Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Operative Leveraging Local Food Purchases in Northwestern Ontario: Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Kenora, Rainy River & Beyond ($65,000)
Cloverbelt will expand its local food transportation network and establish two new major local food distribution points in Emo and Thunder Bay, as well as additional smaller distribution points in other communities. The project aims to increase the amount of Ontario food purchased by northwestern wholesale distribution, foodservice and retail markets and enhance the capacity of small- and medium-sized farms and processors to access mainstream distribution markets.
Cookstown Greens Expanding Cookstown Select Organic Brand and Increasing Market Access for Organic Growers ($33,000)
Cookstown Greens will invest in upgraded production equipment to launch a new “Cookstown Select” line of organic vegetables targeted to parents and families who want to feed growing children healthy, local, certified organic produce with direct lines of traceability.
D&D Poultry Marketing Poultry to Ontarians ($30,000)
D&D Poultry will increase its presence in the healthcare, wholesale, retail and corporate foodservice communities by improving its labelling and food safety processes. The project will help increase sales of Ontario processed chicken.
Eat Local Grey Bruce Eat Local Grey Bruce – Infrastructure ($49,000)
Eat Local Grey Bruce will launch a new food hub to enhance the profitability of local food producers and incubate small farms by providing access to a wholesale market. The project will establish the necessary infrastructure, including equipment and staffing, to grow local food presence in the counties of Grey and Bruce, particularly as part of a tourism experience.
Entomo Farms Embracing Entomophagy ($20,000)
Entomo Farms will engage chefs and restauranteurs participating in Toronto’s Winterlicious and Summerlicious festivals to experiment with new dishes using insects and insect protein to introduce Ontarians to this emerging niche product.
FoodShare Toronto Food Literacy at the Royal and Expanding the Local Food Distribution Hub ($80,000)
FoodShare will scale up its successful Ontario High School Cooking Competition by engaging with more than 20,000 students at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to promote local food and update its food literacy lesson plans for teachers. In addition, FoodShare will invest in an expansion of its local food distribution hub to increase capacity and local food purchases.
Gordon Food Service Ontario Ontario Ingredients for Success ($60,000)
Gordon Food Services Ontario will embark on a one and a half year local food literacy initiative to make it easier for foodservice operators to promote and communicate the value of menu items containing Ontario ingredients. Project elements will include forum-workshops and promotional materials highlighting Ontario products for restaurants. It will also connect local producers, processors and grower associations with distributors and foodservice operators.
Greenbelt Microgreens Bringing Microgreens to Broader Public Sector Institutions ($50,000)
Greenbelt Microgreens will invest in automation equipment to package and label its clamshell containers, which will increase capacity and reduce costs. This will allow Greenbelt Microgreens to be cost-competitive and gain access to large scale broader public sector institutions.
Greenhouse Juice Company Implementation of New Juice Press to Increase Production Capabilities and Access to Ontario Market ($75,000)
Greenhouse Juice Company will buy a new juice press system that will enable them to produce ten times the amount of juices made using local Ontario produce.
Guelph Community Health Centre Investigating the Feasibility of Local Food Brokerage Program ($15,000)
The Seed Community Food Hub in the Guelph Community Health Centre will develop a brokerage program to generate income to support its food security program, while partnering with local farmers and food aggregators to increase sales to community organizations and private institutions.
Just Food Ottawa, A Good Food City: Celebrating 150 Years of Food in the Nation’s Capital ($85,000)
Just Food will partner with Ottawa 2017 to organize and promote tours that highlight Ottawa and Eastern Ontario region farms and farmers’ markets as part of the Canada 150 celebrations. Just Food will also work with stakeholders to enhance farm and rural business’ “tourism readiness,” promote long-term product development and support new value chains.
Live Kitchen North Bay Value Added Chain ($15,000)
Live Kitchen will undertake a market assessment to identify supply partners and retail customers for the development of a local food hub and distribution strategy to bring more local food to retailers, butcher shops, restaurants and other food outlets in North Bay.
Meal Exchange Promoting Local Food Procurement Across Ontario’s Universities and Colleges: The Real Food Challenge and Campus Food Report Card ($125,000)
Meal Exchange will pilot a Real Food Challenge and Campus Food Report Card at eight Ontario Universities where it will promote local food procurement on campus, and encourage students to influence university decision-makers to increase local food procurement.
NMK Foods Inc. Increasing Local Chicken and Turkey Product – Automated Packaging ($43,000)
NMK Foods will invest in an automated packaging process to increase output of its ready-to-cook halal kebabs, meatballs, specialty meat cuts and other product lines. This project will allow NMK to meet growing demand for locally-raised, halal meats in the Greater Toronto Area.
Ontario Apple Growers
Ontario Apple Growers will increase consumer food literacy by highlighting the benefits, versatility and availability of Ontario apples. The project will share apple recipes, host educational farm tours, and share the stories of apple growers in Ontario.
Ontario Federation of Agriculture Food Literacy Attitude and Awareness Research ($65,000)
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture will establish a baseline survey of consumer awareness and understanding of local food, engage in a promotional campaign about Ontario agriculture and study the effectiveness of a local food literacy campaign to improve the success of future local food literacy projects across Ontario.
Ontario Pork Ontario Pork Consumer Outreach ($41,500)
Ontario Pork will educate consumers about the use of lesser-known cuts of pork to promote using the full carcass and decrease waste. The campaign will include grocery promotions for consumers, farm tours for bloggers and recipe development for under-used cuts of pork.
Ontario Water Centre Developing a Business Plan for a Local Food Hub in Georgina, Brock and East Gwillimbury ($35,000)
The Ontario Water Centre will develop a business plan for a local food hub in Georgina, Brock and East Gwillimbury, including the possibility of creating a mobile app to coordinate producer’s crop availability and food hub delivery status in real time.
Organic Council of Ontario Organic Sector Check Off Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan ($15,000)
The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) will study the feasibility of a mandatory organic sector funding strategy, similar to those in place for other commodity groups in Ontario. OCO will work with decision makers and sector leaders to investigate the regulatory implications, develop a realistic governance and collection strategy and create a sector-wide communications and engagement plan.
Roots to Harvest
Collaborating with the Lakehead District School Board, Roots to Harvest will launch a “Get Fresh Café” in a Thunder Bay high school, including a complete overhaul of the school’s cafeteria procurement to source all fresh and from-scratch ingredients. The model will be replicable across the school district.
Sheik Halal Farms Inc. Improving Access to Halal Chicken in Ontario ($75,000)
Sheik Halal Farms will invest in new equipment to increase production of halal duck and chicken. As Canada’s largest halal duck processor, Sheik Halal will build on its relationships with Ontario poultry and Mennonite farmers to increase capacity to meet growing demand for halal meet.
The Mount Community Centre Food Business Innovation Centre ($58,000)
The Mount will launch a Food Business Innovation Centre with a commercial kitchen and on-site packing facility to provide space for burgeoning local food entrepreneurs to experiment with new products and develop recipes. This production space will give small-scale food businesses the capacity to produce small batches for retail and foodservice markets.
Two Rivers Food Hub Integrating Distribution Food Hub Models ($73,500)
Two Rivers Food Hub will partner with EcoPerth/Lanark Local Flavour and a group of stakeholders in the local foods community in eastern Ontario to share resources and increase the reach of local food operations. Plans include a pilot project to introduce local food and snacks for the Upper Canada School Board’s student nutrition program.
Veal Farmers of Ontario Ontario’s Best Veal Parmigiana Sandwich ($35,000)
Veal Farmers of Ontario will raise the profile of Ontario veal by organizing a contest for retailers, foodservice providers, and consumers in search of the best Veal Parmigiana sandwich. The campaign will share recipes, encourage Ontarians to test the recipes at home and involve a competition at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo.
WP Warehousing Inc. Niagara Food & Beverage Processing Project ($60,000)
WP Warehousing will invest in transforming its food production and storage space into a commercial food production space with an industrial kitchen, dehydration capacity and upgraded cold storage and freezer space including blast freezing.
York Region Food Network Local York ($10,000)
York Region Food Network will develop a regional local food guide with information about where to buy local food, how to prepare local ingredients and stories from the producers themselves.
Almost $1.5 million has been invested in innovative local food projects through the second round of the Local Food Investment Fund. Applications for the third round of investments are currently under review.
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306