Full List of Grants Announced on June 7, 2016 through the Local Food Investment Fund.
With financial support from the Government of Ontario, the Local Food Investment Fund is a Greenbelt Fund grant program for farmers, businesses and not-for-profits working to increase the amount of Ontario food purchased and enjoyed across the province. The LocalFood Investment Fund's grant streams focus on Market Access, the Broader Public Sector and Local Food Literacy.
Greater Golden Horseshoe
Bondi Produce Co. Ltd. Local Fresh Cut Implementation ($70,000)
Bondi Produce will invest in modernizing their fresh cut division to expand their value-added, ready-to-eat fresh cut processing. This will allow Bondi Produce to increase the volume of local food sold to clients, such as Fat Bastard Burrito, and completely replace imported carrots, green and red cabbage, broccoli, and beets with Ontario produce.
Burnac Produce Stop at Subway for Ontario Grown ($90,000)
Burnac Produce will bring Ontario tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions to Subway restaurants during the local harvest season. Burnac will work with Subway to promote local produce, creating increased awareness of local food. The project will increase local produce in Subways during harvest season by at least 30-50% permanently.
Dana Hospitality Creating a Provincial Plate ($130,000)
Dana Hospitality will work with its suppliers to create a daily Provincial Plate – a full meal consisting of only Ontario products for its Broader Public Sector clients. Dana will increase market access for 30 Ontario farmers and processors, and will increase purchase of Ontario food by $1.8m during the grant period.
Durham Farm Connections, Durham Region Federation of Agriculture Mobile Education Exhibit to Enhance Local Food Literacy in Durham Region and Beyond ($31,500)
The Durham Region Federation of Agriculture and Durham Farm Connections will purchase a new mobile educational trailer for an on-going public education campaign about local food and farming literacy in Durham Region. With interactive educational material and promotional resources, the project will connect with over 100,000 Ontarians about local food and the value of agriculture.
FoodShare Toronto 2016 Production Opportunities Program ($45,000)
FoodShare Toronto will help up to 25 farmers to enhance their ability to meet demand at farmers’ markets by providing microgrants. The grants will allow farmers to introduce new products, scale up, extend the growing season, and improve quality and value. The project is expected to increase sales at farmers’ markets by $200,000 over two years.
Fresh City Farms, Inc. Local Food Processing and Packaging Facility ($100,000)
Fresh City Farms will invest in increasing its capacity to process and package local vegetables, fruit, grains and other food to create value-added products. The project is expected to increase sales by 500% from $2.5 million to $14.5 million annually by 2020 and create 45 new urban agricultural jobs.
Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance and the TRCA Increasing Municipal Local Food Procurement in 3 Golden Horseshoe Municipalities ($100,000)
The TRCA and Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance will work with municipal partners to increase local food procurement in long-term care facilities. With the Public Health division in Hamilton spearheading the project, it is expected that local food procurement will increase by 5% in 3-4 participating municipalities over two years, for a permanent increase of $270,000 annually in local food purchases.
Real Food for Real Kids HACCP Compliance and Training ($50,000)
Real Food for Real Kids will overcome a significant barrier to serving local food in Toronto hospitals by obtaining HACCP certification for its facility. Once certified, Real Food for Real Kids will be able to prepare delicious, nutritious local food for hospitals like St. Michael’s Hospital and Scarborough General.
Rhizome Institute for the Future of Food Connecting Farmers & Purchasers: Trade Fare ($13,750)
The Rhizome Institute will facilitate three events and tours of Ontario farms to better connect GTA food entrepreneurs to farmers before the start of the next growing season - an opportunity to increase orders between buyers and suppliers; and assess the demand for niche products like organic barley for a brewery or heritage corn for tortillas. The project is anticipated to create 40 FTE jobs.
Sustain Ontario Say Yes! To Local Food Literacy in Schools ($100,000)
Sustain Ontario will work with local partners in Toronto, Peel Region, and Thunder Bay to animate 30 school communities so teachers can educate students about of local food, its availability, and to learn local food skills. The project will reach 25,000 students.
Farm & Food Care Culinary and Farm Tours ($15,000)
Farm & Food Care will host four farm tours over the next two years, featuring Ontario products, speakers and resources to learn about local foods. The two hundred participants will include culinary students, local officials, business owners, and members of the public, and the tours will offer farm visits, a lunch of Ontario foods, and guest speakers from the local food sector.
The New Farm Inc. The New Farm Kitchen & Education Centre ($75,000)
The New Farm will partner with Creemore Springs to build an on-farm kitchen and education centre on its small scale organic farm to offer hands-on educational opportunities and serve as a centre for industry, farmers and consumers to meet and learn.
Ontario Student Nutrition Services Delivering Local Food to Ontario Student Nutrition Programs ($18,500)
Ontario Student Nutrition Services will build a sustainable distribution system to meet the needs of student nutrition programs with Ontario products accounting for at least 25% of purchases. By January 2017, OSNS will have over 360 student nutrition programs registered in its local food program across the province. The project is expected to increase the sales of Ontario products to student nutrition programs by $500,000.
Ontario Tender Fruit Growers Increasing Food Literacy for Ontario Tender Fruit ($120,000)
Ontario Tender Fruit Growers will work with major retailers to increase awareness of Ontario tender fruit with colourful in-store display bins, merchandising kits, in-store sampling, and tender fruit recipes. While consumers think mainly of peaches when thinking of Ontario tender fruit, the awareness campaign will promote other locally-grown fruits available like tart cherries, nectarines, yellow and blue plums, coronation table grapes, pears, and apricots.
Planet Shrimp Marketing and Selling Fresh, Naturally Grown (Never Frozen) Shrimp in Ontario ($45,000)
Planet Shrimp is an indoor closed containment shrimp farm using proprietary technology to grow fresh shrimp in a sustainable, ethically responsible facility. This investment will enable Planet Shrimp to undertake a comprehensive market assessment and establish a distribution system for this innovative product.
Stemmler Meats and Cheese Inc. Packaging Line Implementation Project for Expansion of Public Sector Protein Supply ($115,000)
Stemmler Meats and Cheese will invest in automated packaging and new technologies to support growth and increase protein sales to school boards, long-term care facilities and hospitals. The project is expected to increase sales to the broader public sector by 103% to $1.8 million in 2017.
VG Meats Developing a Standard for Selling Local Meats: a process and products ($36,000)
VG Meats will work with the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance and restauranteurs to determine the best mix of cuts to utilize a full carcass in the packaging of beef, am and pork. Through workshops and outreach to restaurant owners, VG Meats will develop best practices in packaging meats for full carcass utilization and offer their learnings to other farmers to increase sales.
Pollo Gardens Market Assessment of “Label Rouge” Chickens in Ontario ($15,000)
Pollo Gardens is participating in the Chicken Farmers of Ontario’s new Artisinal Chicken Program, for farmers growing small numbers of chickens for select target markets. Pollo Gardens will raise “slow growth” chickens raised in low density housing and pastured from dusk to dawn. This pilot will allow Pollo Gardens to raise 150 chickens and distribute them free of charge to potential customers to assess demand.
Sprague Foods Limited Packaging Equipment Adoption to Increase Market Access of Prince Edward County Foods ($79,000)
Sprague Foods will invest in a new automated packaging machine to increase the sale of locally produced soups and beans. Sprague will be able to double production and its facility, develop seven new products for sale in grocery stores, and provide farmers with new opportunities to bring their products to market.
Yorkshire Valley Farms Building a Strong Organic Egg Program in Ontario ($45,000)
Yorkshire Valley Farms will partner with the 15 family-farms currently operating as Organic Meadow Co-Op to market and sell eggs under the Yorkshire Valley Farms brand, creating scale and providing access to more markets than either partner can achieve independently. Yorkshire Valley Farms will also create new value-added products, such as organic liquid egg, to make use of less popular egg sizes.
Northern Harvest Temiskaming Local Food Hub ($25,000)
Northern Harvest is the local food champion for Temiskaming Shores, and will partner with Muskoka North Food Co-op and Eat Local Sudbury to increase the reach of local food in the north. With a $25,000 investment from the Greenbelt Fund through the Local Food Investment Fund, Northern Harvest will expand services to remote communities including Larder Lake and launch a local food hub.