Grants Made

The Greenbelt Fund’s investments are connecting more farmers to new markets and putting more Ontario food in hospitals, schools, daycares, universities and restaurants.

Grants Made

Creating Systemic Change in Ontario’s Local Food System

The Greenbelt Fund delivers support to farmers and local food leaders to ensure more of the good things that grow in Ontario are being served and distributed through our public institutions, retail and foodservice markets. Helping to overcome challenges and support economic growth, the Fund’s goal is to create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food consumed in the province through grants, education, policy and networking initiatives.

2018 | Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation

It's in our ROOTs - Increasing Local Food Literacy Through Culinary Classes, Woodstock $40,000

Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation will develop a curriculum for four different culinary class offerings across Oxford County. Capitalizing on the expertise and enthusiasm of celebrity chef Murray Zehr, the classes will increase the local food literacy and skills (canning, preserving) of both youth and adults; foster relationships between consumers and producers; and result in increased local food purchases for consumption during the winter months.

2018 | Greenbelt Farmers' Market Network

Rebuilding Consumer Trust in Farmers’ Markets, Toronto $65,000

The Greenbelt Farmers' Market Network (GBFMN) will undertake a comprehensive survey of consumer attitudes towards farmers’ markets and utilize the findings to develop new marketing strategies and materials. Additionally, GBFMN will provide IT support to help Market Managers take advantage of online advertising opportunities, provide workshop-based instruction on small business enterprise tools in relation to the collected market data and engage in stakeholder work to promote a systemic shift towards vendor transparency.

2018 | Haanview Farms Inc.

Canadian A2 Milk, Loretto $78,000

Haanview Farms, will produce, sell and market A2 milk - a niche milk product that will be the first of its kind in Canada. A2 milk differs from regularly consumed and conventionally produced A1 milk due to its easier digestible protein properties that reduce gastrointestinal discomfort.

Haanview Farms will invest in milking system which identifies their A2 cows, and storage equipment to separate their A2 and A1 milk. Partner Sheldon Creek Dairy will process the milk into a variety of products.

2018 | University of Guelph

Exploring Agronomic Practices for a Local Tigernut Industry, Guelph $22,000

The University of Guelph will conduct five small plot research trials to evaluate agronomic best practices for growing tiger nuts. The work will involve Chufa Company, an Ontario based food and beverage company, interested in supporting the development of locally grown tiger nuts to replace imports used in their food and beverage products.

2018 | Organic Council of Ontario

Premium Organic Meats Aggregation and Marketing Hub Feasibility Study, Guelph $37,500

The Organic Council of Ontario will assess the feasibility and marketability of a premium organic meat aggregation, processing and marketing hub in Bruce/Huron. Several farmers in this region currently exceed organic standards but are selling their meat as conventional with its associated lower prices. A hub would enable the aggregation and provision of their high-end products to markets currently taken up by imports.

2018 | Ontario Beekeepers Association

Supporting Local Beekeepers by Promoting 100% Ontario Honey and Mead, Milton $41,650

The Ontario Beekeepers Association (OBA) will develop marketing materials to launch the Ontario Mead Makers Association as an off-shoot of the OBA and increase their marketing efforts with trade and consumer promotions. Their goals include generating the demand for quality artisanal mead and developing mead quality standards similar to VQA, while also reinforcing the high value of local honey by refreshing recipe and educational content on their consumer website.

2018 | Beef Farmers of Ontario

Strengthening the Ontario Beef Value Chain from Birth to Plate, Guelph $11,000

Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) will create an educational training video for farmers and processors on how to produce the high quality beef carcasses desired by Ontario consumers, providing beef carcass literacy training on how on-farm management practices and genetic selection impact quality and value. The video will be shared widely to BFO’s industry networks and partners, and through online channels and at meetings and events.

2018 | AgSights

Tools of the Trade - Enhancing Agri-Technology for Local Producers, Elora $15,000

AgSights will help local food producers and processors expand their market access through increased uptake of enhanced online traceability tools. They will launch a redesigned Go360 bioTrack system with farmers (beef, sheep, goat, veal, poultry and dairy) and an enhanced bioLinks system with processors, enabling better documentation and tracking of production protocols.

2018 | Wilfrid Laurier University

Veritas Cafe Local Food Expansion, Waterloo $15,000

Veritas Café, owned and operated by the Graduate Students Association at Wilfrid Laurier University, focuses on local and healthy foods. Veritas Café will increase their storage and customer seating capacity, expand their menu using seasonal local food, launch an online local food marketplace and offer seminars to help students and customers increase their local food literacy.


2018 | The Corporation of the City of Vaughan

Targeted Local Food Education and Vaughan’s Connections to the Agricultural Sector, Vaughan $15,000

The City of Vaughan will leverage city assets (Parks, Community Gardens, Libraries and Community Centres) to undertake local food programming and outreach activities. Communications content will emphasize access to local food in relation to Vaughan’s food sector businesses, Vaughan’s community garden program, and complementing information such as the York Region Farm Fresh Map.


2018 | Sheldon Creek Dairy

Single-Serve Grab-n-Go Whole Milk Program for the Broader Public Sector, Loretto $25,000

Sheldon Creek Dairy will purchase equipment to scale up their pilot project to provide accessible grab-and-go single serve size 250 ml and 350 ml non-homogenized whole milk products to elementary and post-secondary schools, retirement residences, and daycares. Production of their single-serve products has reached capacity, yet demand is out pacing supply.

2018 | Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre

Sap Tap - Maple Products in the North, Sault Ste. Marie $8,200

Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre will design and build an interactive exhibit at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre that targets youth and the general public, educating them on the local maple syrup industry. An iOS based video game application for iPad will be developed and incorporated within the exhibit, and items showcasing the significance of this tradition to First Nations and Metis people. The project will connect people with local culinary experiences and farms, engaging over 205,000 visitors in the next five to seven years.

2018 | Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

Growing Under Glass: Educational Info Sessions in the Produce Aisle, Leamington $66,750

Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) will educate consumers on greenhouse vegetable growing practices and increase consumer confidence in Ontario greenhouse grown vegetables. OGVG plans to host 112 consumer engagement educational demos in 56 locations, including retail stores, farmers markets, culinary school campuses, and recreational facilities; create educational materials and incorporate a local food literacy game into their existing app to reach a wider audience.

2018 | Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association

Building Reciprocity through Social Media, Aurora $16,500

Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association (OFFMA) will work with their approximately 300 farmer members to increase their social media presence across multiple platforms, raising consumer awareness of local food products and purchases of local food at farm-gate. OFFMA will increase the local food literacy of influential food bloggers (minimum of 10,000 followers each), coordinating visits and experiences with on-farm markets and farm fresh food, while working with their members to undertake a comprehensive social media strategy.  

2018 | Roots to Harvest

Celebrating Local and Indigenous Foods in Northwestern Ontario (Forest Meets Farm), Thunder Bay $25,000

Working with community partners and indigenous knowledge keepers, Roots to Harvest will deliver a series of four experiential learning modules to four high schools in Northern Ontario. The modules will build knowledge of local food and skills to prepare locally-sourced traditional indigenous foods. The project will include a culminating public event and a recipe book featuring local farmers and producers in Northern Ontario.

2018 | Mountain Path

Ottawa Food Hub Expansion, Ottawa $25,000

Mountain Path and Just Food will expand the capacity of the Ottawa food hub by investing in refrigeration equipment upgrades and by implementing a customized online portal to their existing website in order to better connect the hub’s producers and customers.

2018 | Halton Healthcare

Good For You Locally Grown-Phase 3, Oakville $38,500

Halton Healthcare will develop meals made with Ontario ingredients to increase local food purchases by 10% annually. Building on the success of their last two projects, phase III is to expand in-house scratch cooking primarily for i) sandwiches ii) desserts and iii) entrees. They will purchase a packaging machine for prepared sandwiches and host a Local Food Expo connecting local farmers, buyers, distributors, and hospital staff, in order to increase the amount of Ontario food in their institutions.

2018 | Procyk Farms (1994) Ltd

Investing in Packhouse/Food Hub Equipment, Wilsonville $105,000

Procyk Farms will invest in an automated packaging process for local bell peppers, zucchinis, and tomatoes. Procyk expects to work with seven new farmers and increase local food sales by more than $1 million through sales at major retailers, Loblaw's, Sobey's, and Metro.

2018 | Ontario Tender Fruit Growers

Increasing Market Access for Ontario Tree Fruit and Fresh Grape Farmers, St. Catharines $250,000

The Tender Fruit Growers, Ontario Fresh Grape Growers and Ontario Apple Growers will work in partnership to help transition their farmers to plant new varieties that are of higher value, have higher disease tolerance and that can be planted closer together. This project will establish best practices and increase profitability for local fruit farmers; making growers more competitive.

2018 | Geissberger Farmhouse Cider Inc.

Value Added Cider Products, Hampton $10,000

Geissberger Farmhouse Cider will work towards monetizing the pulp waste from Ontario cider by creating two new value added products, apple cider vinegar gummies for consumption, and pelletized pulp for use in feed and other purposes.

2018 | Foodshare

Growing the Good Food Machine, York $25,000

FoodShare Toronto has partnered with Loyalty One to scale-up The Good Food Machine - a local food literacy program that teaches children how to grow and cook healthy food using an indoor hydroponic tower garden and classroom kitchen/cooking kits. They will develop an online learning platform for teachers, as well as offer educator training and user on-boarding across the province and reaching 450+ organizations.

2018 | Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario

New Market Opportunities for Ecological Farmers in Ontario, Guelph $14,000

Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario will increase small to mid-scale ecological farmers in Ontario’s access to new market channels through increased knowledge of supply chain requirements, value added opportunities, and best practices for producing new in-demand products. They will provide over 60 hours of training through 12 workshops and 8 farm tours, to over 360 farmers and local food system stakeholders.


2018 | City of Toronto

Increasing Local Food Procurement in the City of Toronto's Long-Term Care Homes and Services, Toronto $37,500

The City of Toronto's Long-Term Care Homes and Services division will undertake a comprehensive review of its use of local food in its 10 long-term care homes, with a plan to increase the amount of local food purchased by $350,000-$420,000 annually or from 19% to 25% of their total food spend -  through a combination of menu substitutions, new recipes, and equipment and staff training for in-house scratch cooking.

2018 | 1847 Stone Milling

Good Grains Grow in Ontario, Fergus $28,000

The purchase of a delivery truck and other equipment will allow 1847 Stone Milling to pilot providing their flour in bulk to the University of Guelph Foodservices, who has agreed to purchase and showcase the product. To capitalize on the increased exposure and to prepare for possible sales to other institutions, 1847 Stone Milling will produce a short documentary video on their flour’s unique production process.

2018 | Local Food and Farm Co-ops

Cross-Regional Co-operative Value Chain Coordination Project, Warren $40,000

Local Food and Farm Co-ops (LFFC) will strengthen ties between northern producers and food hubs to better access markets in northern and southern Ontario. LFFC will facilitate connections amongst 3 distribution partners, 2-3 processing partners, 10 market partners, and 5 food hubs/coops; promote training materials and engage northwestern Ontario partners in a regional beef branding initiative.

2018 | EZ Grow Farms Ltd.

Scaling Up Year-Round Greenhouse Grown Ontario Strawberries: Automating Packaging, Langton $57,000

EZ Grow Farms will purchase packaging equipment to reduce a production bottleneck and meet the growing demand for strawberries year round. EZ grow projects a local food sales increase of $7 million based on the retail value of greenhouse grown year-round Ontario strawberries.

2018 | Community Living North Halton

Fresh and Frozen Local Meals for the Social Service Sector, Milton $36,600

Community Living North Halton will extend their commercial kitchen capacity to provide fresh and frozen packaged meals utilizing local ingredients to the social service sector.

2018 | A.J. Lepp Orchards Ltd

Distilling Culled Tender Fruit Into Fruit-Based Spirits, Niagara-on-the-Lake $103,000

A.J. Lepp Orchards will turn the problem of waste fruit in the Niagara Region into a value-added opportunity by distilling 150 tonnes of culled tender fruit from five local Niagara tender fruit operations into fruit-based spirits. The investment in distillation equipment is projected to result in $1.3 million in annual local food salesA.J. Lepp Orchards will turn the problem of waste fruit in the Niagara Region into a value-added opportunity by distilling 150 tonnes of culled tender fruit from five local Niagara tender fruit operations into fruit-based spirits. The investment in distillation equipment is projected to result in $1.3 million in annual local food sales

2018 | Sunshine Pickles

Sliced Organic Pickles, Thamesville $30,000

Sunshine Pickles will purchase processing equipment that enables them to expand their value-added product offerings and access new markets in the foodservice sector, particularly for high demand spear cut and sliced Ontario-grown pickles.  With the new equipment they expect to increase sales by $200,000 immediately, with further increases expected in the longer term.

2018 | University of Toronto Scarborough

UTSC Campus Farm, Scarborough $10,000

University of Toronto Scarborough Campus will operationalize a campus farm and outdoor permaculture space to increase student knowledge of urban agriculture and local food production. The farm will be a permanent permaculture space and central feature of the campus agriculture strategy. 


2018 | Mohawk College

Developing a Local Food Procurement Training Program for Industry Professionals, Hamilton $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.

2018 | Roots to Harvest

Get Fresh Café Expansion, Thunder Bay $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.

2018 | Everdale

Micro Farms at Schools, Hillsburgh $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.

2018 | Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre

Taste Northern Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie $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.

2018 | Casa Bonita Foods

Casa Bonita Market Access, North York $51,000

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.

2018 | Rootham's Gourmet Preserves Ltd

Increasing the Demand for Ontario Produce Ingredients in Prepared Jams, Sauces and Condiments, Guelph $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.

2018 | EZ Grow Farms

Before Bloom! Producing Ontario Strawberries Year-Round, Langton $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.

2018 | Youth Action Network (Black Farmers & Food Growers Collective)

Increasing Access and Awareness of World Crops, Toronto $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.

2018 | Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance and TRCA

Serving Up Local Food Training at Long-Term Care Facilities, Vaughan $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.

2018 | Artisan Farms Direct

Increase Market Access through Development of a Meat Distribution Terminal, Markdale $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.

2018 | 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.

2018 | West End Food Co-Op

West End Food Co-op Local Food Access Expansion Project, Toronto $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.

2018 | Parkdale Active Recreation Centre

FoodReach Goes to School, Toronto $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.

2018 | Open Food Network Canada

Customizing an Open Source E-commerce/Logistics Platform for Ontario Food Hubs $30,000

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.

2018 | Abate Rabbit Packers

Increase Market Access for Ontario Rabbit Farmers through Productivity Improvements, Arthur $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 the availability of a more sustainable meat source and enabling Abate to hire more skilled butchers and offer different cuts of meat.

2017 | Parkhill Meats Limited

Increasing Processing of Ontario Raised Halal Beef, Veal, Lamb and Goat Product Through Improved Production and Cooling Efficiencies, Denfield $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. The investment in new refrigeration and packaging facilities will increase local food sales by 20% to $1.2 million annually.

2017 | 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. Student, teacher and project partner surveys will be conducted to assess the efficacy and value of the pilot. The project will generate $6,000 in local food purchases and create one part-time job.

2017 | FoodShare

South to North Good Food Distribution: Northern Food Justice in Motion, Toronto $60,000

FoodShare will reboot its northern food distribution program, which delivers affordable, fresh produce to remote northern communities experiencing food insecurity including Moose Factory, Fort Albany, Moosonee, and Attawapiskat. The project will strengthen consumer relationships between northeastern Ontario communities with southern Ontario growers, and is forecast to increase local food sales by $120,000 in the first year.

2017 | Greenbelt Farmers Market Network

Partners in Production 2017, Toronto $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. The investments will improve quality, extend the season, or develop value-added products for market.

2017 | Riz Global Foods

Feasibility Study for a Local Halal Distribution Hub, Scarborough $25,320

Riz Global Foods will conduct a feasibility study and develop a business plan for a halal food hub in the GTA. The hub would provide retailers, food service providers, and food processors with access to halal-certified meats, sourced in Ontario.

2017 | Norfolk Cherry Company

Increasing Storage Capacity and Extending Marketing Season for Ontario Apples, Simcoe $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.

2017 | Fairhaven Farm

Ontario Grown Black Seed (Nigella Sativa): An Innovative Project to Develop This World Crop Locally, Hillsburgh $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. This honey is currently imported primarily from Asia and the Middle East, and is of religious and cultural significance to the Muslim community, as well as popular in the holistic nutritional market. The investment is expected to increase production from 800kg to 3,000kg per acre per month.

2017 | Northumberland County

Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre, Cobourg $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 to meet growing demand from clients and food entrepreneurs to create natural fruit drinks, edible oils and other bottled products.

2017 | Zast Foods

NudeSoup - Developing Locally Sourced Soups, Etobicoke $46,000

Zast Foods will launch a new frozen soup line, NudeSoup, featuring 6 frozen soups made with Ontario ingredients, in partnership with Longo’s. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $200,000 annually.

2017 | Country Heritage Park

Building an Ontario Social Innovation Food Hub, Milton $15,000


Country Heritage Park will launch a new local 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. The project is projected to generate $25,000 in local food purchases within the first six months, and $150,000 when the facility is fully operational.

2017 | Bell's Edge Farm

Specialty Butter and Ghee, Harriston $20,000

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. Bell’s Edge Farm is currently the only purveyor of ghee and flavoured butter sourced from Canadian ingredients. Bell’s Edge Farm forecasts an increase of $152,625 in local food sales during the project’s duration and will create two full-time and three part-time jobs.

2017 | Exceldor Foods

Implementation of Packaging Line for Fresh Ground Turkey Products, Hanover $52,750

Exceldor Foods will invest in a new packaging line to replace traditional styrofoam packaging for its Butterball brand ground turkey. The new packaging will be more convenient for consumers as the resealable packaging makes it easier to portion and to freeze. In addition, by reducing packaging materials the new line will be more environmentally sustainable. Working with Metro grocery stores, Exceldor will promote Butterball ground turkey as a healthy, Ontario-raised protein. The project is expected to increase Ontario turkey sales by $203,000 in 2018 and $1.59 million over five years.

2017 | Ripple Farms

Local Lime and Capacity Building, Toronto $30,000

Ripple Farms 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. Ripple Farms will also train four staff to become certified food handlers to process the lime basil into syrup. Additionally, Ripple Farms will investigate sustainable packaging and labeling of its new syrup. The project is expected to generate $120,000 of local food sales during the project duration and create two full-time and two part-time jobs.

2017 | The Whole Grain Hearth

Heritage Grains, London $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. Tasting events will be held to promote the new products, while Whole Grain Earth staff will attend networking events to showcase products and transfer knowledge. The project is expected to generate $12,000 of local food sales during the project’s duration and create one full-time and one part-time job.

2017 | John Millar Farm

Egg Room Storage, Keene $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 new market channels including local farmers’ market and high-end restaurants. The project will generate $36,000 of local food sales during the project’s duration.

2017 | On the Move Organics

Local Food, Ready to Eat, London $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. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $320,000 and expand market opportunities for 40 small-sized family farms.

2017 | Grape Growers of Ontario

We Grow the Wines You Love, St. Catharines $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. The promotion will distinguish VQA wines as 100% Ontario grape wines, profile local grape growers and directly engage with shoppers.

2017 | Aramark Canada

Go Local Every Day, Etobicoke $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. The project is expected to benefit five local farmers, generate sales of $60,000 and create two new part-time jobs.

2017 | Local Food and Farm Co-ops

Co-operative Local Food Marketing Program, Warren $35,910

Local Food and Farm Co-ops will develop and provide marketing guidance, support and new materials to their 23 member Co-operatives to better market the benefits of local food directly at point of purchase. Leveraging existing practices from market leaders, the education materials will communicate the stories of Ontario farmers and the value of their products. 

2017 | Munye Kitchens

Increasing Local Food Literacy – Multi-Ethnic African Communities & Beyond, Toronto $46,495

Munye Kitchens will create a local food guide for multi-ethnic African communities to increase awareness of locally-grown foods relevant to the African communities and identify where Ontario-grown produce can be purchased. The project will also educate consumers on how to use African crops like okra and callaloo, grown in Ontario and the Greenbelt.

2017 | Bayfield Berry Farm

Increasing Processing of Ontario Fruit Juices, Cider, Preserves & Fruit Liqueurs, Bayfield $37,250

Bayfield Berry Farm will expand their on-farm processing facility to meet growing demand for fruit juices, ciders, preserves and fruit liqueurs. The expansion will allow Bayfield Berry Farm to develop packaging and labelling, including requisite nutritional information, to sell their products to wholesale and retail markets, in addition to their on-farm shop. The project is expected to increase sales by up to 50% in their first year.

2017 | Deep Roots Food Hub

Grow West Carleton – Food Hub, Ottawa $48,500

Deep Roots Food Hub will increase access to local produce by investing in a new co-packing approach for its root cellar, providing storage, distribution and marketing opportunities to area farmers. In addition, the project will expand the Good Food Box program and include an “Eat West Carleton” promotional campaign.

2017 | Neyaashiing Smoked Fish

Increasing Access for Local Neyaashiing Smoked Fish Products, Neyaashiinigmiing $13,250

Neyaashiing Smoked Fish will invest in upgrades to its smoking facility to improve food preparation, food safety and production output. This will allow Neyaashiing Smoked Fish to increase access to new markets for smoked fish sourced and processed in First Nations communities, both through retail and wholesale market channels.

2017 | Greenhouses Canada

Northern Ontario Mobile Growing Facility, Lively $52,283

Greenhouses Canada will purchase a mobile “grow truck” to serve as an indoor demonstration and training site, and allow for transportation of fresh produce to remote northern communities (including on seasonal ice roads). The project is expected to increase local food sales by $117,000.

2017 | Select Food Products

Implementation of New Cooking Line to Increase Production Capabilities and Access the Ontario Market, North York $75,000

Select Food Products has made a significant investment in a new cooking and production line in order to deliver a made-in-Ontario with Ontario ingredients French’s Ketchup. The project will nearly triple production capacity for Select and help French’s to execute on its commitment to make and source ketchup in Canada.

2017 | Wendy’s Country Market

Season-Extension, Value-Adding Processing and Services, Lyndhurst $71,538

Wendy’s Country Market will retrofit a cow barn into a local food processing and storage facility to offer season-extending and value-added processing to local farmers. The facility will create new processed products including jams, jellies, preserves, dried fruit, and frozen entrees.

2017 | Cauldron Kitchen Inc.

Local Food Entrepreneurship Program, Ottawa $5,000

Cauldron Kitchen will launch a Local Food Entrepreneurship Program for 4-8 participants to build the skills to create a viable local food business. Participants will have access to business development classes, mentoring and commercial kitchen use.

2017 | Victorian Order of Nurses – Windsor Essex

Promoting Local Food Literacy & Increasing Local Food Consumption in Southwestern Ontario Schools, Windsor $18,988

The Victorian Order of Nurses along with local Ontario Student Nutrition Program partners delivers school breakfast and snack programs that feed over 100,000 students every year. This project will develop local food literacy awareness materials for students and parents, to accompany increased local food served through these programs.


2017 | Len & Patti’s Butcher Block

Improved Production Efficiency to Increase Ontario Raised Pork, Beef, Lamb, Elk & Goat, Lindsay $46,438

To meet growing demand for Ontario raised meats, Len & Patti’s Butcher Block will invest in modernized machinery to increase production capacity. The project will include a new smoke house, tumbler, sausage stuffer, and patty machine. The increase in production capacity is expected to increase the sale of local meat by $2.5 million by the end of 2017.

2017 | Poechman Family Farms

Microgreens for Pastured Eggs, Walkerton $38,100

To supply the growing consumer demand for humane eggs, Poechman Family Farms will invest in significant changes to enhance the quality of life for their hens. The project will involve the introduction of open coops and added egg-laying privacy, installation of a stable cleaner to reduce ammonia levels, freshly grown greenhouse microgreens to augment the hens’ diet, and a “play” area for the hens to take dust baths, scratch the soil for worms and gravel, and fly to perches for observing all the activity. These improvements may also contribute to more flavourful eggs. And it will provide experience for the Poechmans to share innovations with other egg farmers in the Ont. Organic Farmers’ Co-Operative and the Yorkshire Valley Farms distribution group.

2017 | National Farmers Union - Ontario

Building a Network of Local Food Advocates, Guelph $41,675

The National Farmers Union – Ontario will enhance local food literacy across the province by building a network of local food advocates across a number of sectors, including educators, healthcare providers, faith communities, artists, academics, outdoors professionals, and youth. The NFU will create tailored local food information material for the different advocates and create a directory of local food advocates.

2017 | Local Line Inc.

Local Line Food Hub Project, Kitchener $28,316

Local Line will build custom local food hub software for Ontario food hubs, based on a market assessment of the needs of Ontario’s existing food hubs. The platform will leverage existing Local Line marketplace and reporting software to create easy-to-use software for new and established local food hubs.

2017 | Farms at Work – Tides Canada Initiatives

Expanding Impact and Sustainability of Local Food Month in Peterborough, Peterborough $15,000

Farms at Work will expand the impact and improve the sustainability of Peterborough Local Food Month, by working in partnership with Transition Town Peterborough to facilitate local food-related workshops, events and tours throughout September and culminating in the Purple Onion Festival.

2017 | Farmersville Community Abattoir

Farmersville Community Abattoir – Processing Equipment, North Augusta $30,141

Farmersville Community Abattoir is a new, not-for-profit initiative to establish a community-owned abattoir to meet the needs of the farming communities in Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac, Lanark and Ottawa-Carleton. By establishing a community-owned facility, Farmersville Community Abattoir will help ensure the long-term viability of the agricultural system in Eastern Ontario for 1,300 farmers in the region and increase local food sales by $240,000.

2017 | Reiche Meat Products Ltd.

Growing Opportunities for Local Poultry, Pembroke $14,550

Reiche Meat Products will meet a significant gap in the agricultural system in Renfrew County by establishing poultry processing facilities, which are currently not available in the county. The availability of an abattoir in the county will allow existing small-scale poultry farms to scale up and meet growing demand for local poultry at farmers’ markets and in stores. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $100,000 and bring 20 new farmers to market.

2017 | Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario

Supporting Local Food Market Access for Ecological Growers Across Ontario, Guelph $14,475

The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario will increase market access for small to mid-scale ecological producers by providing specialized training through workshops and farm tours, including selling to new markets (eg. Food hubs, retail, wholesale, farmers markets), on-farm value-added opportunities, and new and emerging markets (eg. World crops, heritage grains, ecological fruit).

2017 | Muskoka Foundry

Market Assessment for the Development of a Local Food Hub, Bracebridge $30,000

Muskoka Foundry will establish a new aggregated local food hub in Northern Ontario in Bracebridge’s historic Foundry building. The space will include 10 permanent retail spots for agri-food processors, and provide mentorship opportunities for new processors and producers through an additional 10-15 temporary vendor stalls. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1.5m per year.

2017 | Cohn Farms

Processing and Distribution Hub, Bradford $72,500

Cohn Farms will be scaling up capacity at its processing and distribution hub to meet growing demand for local food, which is outpacing supply. The project is expected to double the number of farms supplying Cohn Farms to 25-30, create over 15 full-time equivalent jobs, and increase sales of local food by over $4m per year.

2017 | West Niagara Agricultural Society

Niagara 4-H Local Food Booth, Niagara $14,463

West Niagara Agricultural Society will partner with Niagara 4-H to purchase a road-worthy trailer for the volunteers of the 4-H club to bring to food and agricultural events throughout the region. The trailer will allow the 4-H to introduce their local food products to urban and near-urban students who might not otherwise be exposed to local food offerings.

2017 | Wickens Lake Sunshine

Greenhouse Retrofit Extension – Northwestern Ontario, Dryden $9,942

Wickens Lake Sunshine will invest in a retrofit and extension of its existing hydroponics greenhouse to extend the farms’ growing season and increase capacity. Once the upgrades are complete, Wickens Lake Sunshine will partner with Open Roads Public School and the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Op to supply produce for the school’s salad bar program, bringing more local, nutritious food to students.

2017 | Earth Fresh Farms

Increasing Access for Ontario’s New Innovative White Potato, Burlington $42,900

Earth Fresh Farms will work with 9 Ontario growers to grow premium Polar White potatoes and extend the season for Ontario white potatoes. The project is expected to increase the market for Polar White, Ontario potatoes significantly, with increased sales of well over $1m a year.

2017 | Flanagan Foodservice

Homegrown – Local Food Project, Kitchener $42,840

Flanagan Foodservice is Canada’s largest family-owned foodservice distributor and will increase sales of Ontario foods by increasing its local food offerings, improving traceability, and investing in a promotional campaign to improve awareness of Ontario food available to its customers. The project is expected to increase local food sales by $1 million in 2017.

2017 | Halton Healthcare

Good For You, Locally Grown – Phase 2, Oakville $51,500

Halton Healthcare will build on the progress made to increase local food served in its hospitals by working with farmers, manufacturers and other industry colleagues to develop recipes using Ontario food that meet the nutritional needs of patients. The project will also establish branding to identify local food choices to patients, as well as a marketing campaign to promote the local food offerings at Halton Healthcare facilities.

2016 | Ontario Apple Growers

Strength in our Core Value - Ontario Apple Awareness $49,000

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.

2016 | Roots to Harvest

Get Fresh Cafe - Local Food Procurement Pilot, Thunder Bay $45,000

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.

2016 | Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance

Fall Feast On Marketing Campaign, Toronto $15,000

Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) will partner with Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation to increase awareness of OCTA’s Feast On program, a criteria-based certification program that recognizes businesses committed to showcasing local ingredients and Ontario’s unique “tastes of place”. Funding will go towards videos and photos highlighting Feast On members on location and to local food influencers both online and within traditional media.

2016 | Greenhouse Juice Company

Implementation of New Juice Press to Increase Production and Access to Ontario Market $75,000

Greenhouse Juice Company will purchase a new juice press system that will enable them to increase production of juices using local Ontario produce tenfold.

2016 | Eat Local Grey Bruce

Eat Local Grey Bruce - Infrastructure, Owen Sound $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 first wholesale market. The project will establish the necessary infrastructure, including equipment and staffing, to grow the local food presence in Grey and Bruce County particularly as part of a tourism experience.


2016 | Two Rivers Food Hub

Integrating Distribution Food Hub Models, Smiths Falls $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.

2016 | Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Operative

Leveraging Local Food Purchases in Northwestern ON: Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Kenora, Rainy River & Beyond, Dryden $65,000

Cloverbelt will expand its transportation network for local food and establish two new major local food distribution points in Emo and Thunder Bay, as well as additional smaller distribution points in smaller communities. The project aims to increase the amount of Ontario food purchased by Northwestern Ontario’s wholesale distribution, foodservice and retail markets and enhance the capacity of small and medium sized farms and processors to access mainstream distribution markets.

2016 | Greenbelt Greenhouse Ltd.

Bringing Microgreens to Broader Public Sector Institutions $50,000

Greenbelt Greenhouse Ltd. will invest in automation equipment for packaging and labelling their 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.

2016 | NMK Foods

Increasing Local Chicken and Turkey Production - Automated Packaging, Mississauga $43,000

NMK Foods will invest in an automated packaging process to increase output of its ready-to-cook halal kebabs, meatballs, specialty cuts and other product lines. This project will allow NMK to meet growing demand for locally raised, halal meats in the Greater Toronto Area.


2016 | Just Food

Ottawa, A Good Food City: Celebrating 150 Years of Food in the Nation's Capital, Ottawa $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.

2016 | Sheik Halal Farms

Improving Access to Halal Chicken in Ontario, Etobicoke $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.


2016 | Guelph Community Health Centre

Investigating the Feasibility of Local Food Brokerage Program, Guelph $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.

2016 | Against the Grain Farms

Resetting the Table, Winchester $15,000

Against the Grain Farms is a small farm specializing in novel grain products, and 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.

2016 | FoodShare Toronto

Food Literacy at the Royal and Expanding the Local Food Distribution Hub, Toronto $80,000

FoodShare will scale up its successful Ontario High Schools Cooking Competition, engage with over 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.

2016 | Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Food Literacy Attitude and Awareness Research, Smithville $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 local food literacy campaign activities to improve the success of future local food literacy projects across Ontario.

2016 | Meal Exchange

Promoting Local Food Procurement Across Ontario's Universities and Colleges, Toronto $125,000

Meal Exchange will pilot a Real Food Challenge and Campus Food Report Card at 8 Ontario Universities to rank and promote local food procurement on campus, and engage students to influence university decision-makers to increase local food procurement.

2016 | Cookstown Greens

Expanding Cookstown Select Organic Brand and Increasing Market Access for Organic Growers, Simcoe $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 health, local certified organic produce with direct lines of traceability.


2016 | Ontario Pork

Ontario Pork Consumer Outreach, Guelph $41,500

Ontario Pork will educate consumers about the use of lesser-known cuts of pork to promote full-carcass utilization and cut down on waste. The campaign will include grocery promotions for consumers, farm tours for bloggers, and recipe development for under-utilized cuts of pork.

2016 | Beverly Creek

Improving Access of Lamb Products in Ontario, Millgrove $43,000

Beverly Creek will invest in new automation equipment and marketing tools to expand its product line. This project will also begin the process of building upon the humanely slaughtered line of lamb products to move towards introducing kosher lamb products.

2016 | Entomo Farms

Embracing Entomophagy, Richmond Hill $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 and introduce Ontarians to this emerging niche product.

2016 | 100km Foods

Capacity Building and Investment Project, Toronto $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% year over year, increasing sales of Ontario produce by $3.5M.

2016 | Gordon Food Service Ontario

Ontario Ingredients for Success, Milton $60,000

GFS 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, promotional materials highlighting Ontario products for restaurants, and connecting local producers, processors, and grower associations with distributors and foodservice operators.

2016 | York Region Food Network

Local York, Aurora $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.

2016 | Organic Council of Ontario

Organic Sector Check Off Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan, Guelph $15,000

Organic Council of Ontario 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.

2016 | Veal Farmers of Ontario

Ontario's Best Veal Parmigiana Sandwich, Guelph $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, encouraging Ontarians to test out the recipes at home, and involve a competition event at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo.

2016 | Ontario Water Centre

Developing a Business Plan for a Local Food Hub in Georgina, Brock and East Gwillimbury, Aurora $35,000

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 status with food hub deliveries in real-time.

2016 | D&D Poultry

Marketing Poultry to Ontarians, Scarborough $30,000

D&D Poultry will expand their reach to new market channels and the health care market, by improving labelling efficiency, improving food safety, and increasing their presence in the healthcare, wholesale, retail and corporate foodservice community. The project will address a gap in Ontario processed chicken products to increase Ontario food sales.

2016 | Live Kitchen

North Bay Value Added Chain, North Bay $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.

2016 | The Mount Community Centre

Food Business Innovation Centre, Peterborough $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.

2016 | Mohawk College School of Applied Arts and Technology

Increasing Local Food Procurement at Ontario Colleges, Hamilton $107,500

Mohawk College will spearhead a two-year program to develop a local food procurement model for Ontario colleges, in a first for Ontario. Along with increasing local food literacy at Mohawk College, the pilot is expected to increase local food purchases at the three participating colleges by $1.5 million over two years.

2016 | Cross Wind Farm

Expanding Market Channels, Peterborough $40,000

Cross Wind Farm is investing in new equipment to increase production capacity in order to meet growing demand for its artisan goat cheeses. Along with launching two new products and increasing sales, this project will bring new farmers to market by aggregating goat dairy from select Ontario farms in its pasteurization and packaging facility. 

2016 | Country Heritage Park

Future of Food and Farming, Milton $5,000

Country Heritage Park will organize an event for stakeholders in the local food economy to examine issues set to impact the future of food and farming in Ontario. Topics will include: technology platforms and innovations, demographic shifts, consumer preferences and concerns, trade rules, and regulatory frameworks.


2016 | Northern Harvest

Temiskaming Local Food Hub, Temiskaming $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.

2016 | 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.

2016 | Real Food for Real Kids

HACCP Compliance and Training, Toronto $69,000

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.

2016 | Rhizome Institute for the Future of Food

Connecting Farmers & Purchasers: Trade Fare, Toronto $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.

2016 | VG Meats

Developing a Standard for Selling Local Meats: a process and products, Simcoe $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.

2016 | Farm & Food Care

Culinary and Farm Tours, Guelph $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.

2016 | Bondi Produce Co. Ltd.

Local Fresh Cut Implementation, Toronto $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. Bamford will increase market access for 8 small and medium sized growers, create 10-15 jobs and increase sales of Ontario produce by $48,000.

2016 | Yorkshire Valley Farms

Building a Strong Organic Egg Program in Ontario, Peterborough $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.

2016 | FoodShare Toronto

2016 Production Opportunities Program, Toronto $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.

2016 | Planet Shrimp

Marketing and Selling Fresh, Naturally Grown (Never Frozen) Shrimp in Ontario, Aylmer $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.

2016 | Sprague Foods Limited

Packaging Equipment Adoption to Increase Market Access of Prince Edward County Foods, Belleville $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. 

2016 | Ontario Student Nutrition Services

Delivering Local Food to Ontario Student Nutrition Programs, Kitchener-Waterloo $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.

2016 | Burnac Produce (Provincial Fruit Co. Ltd.)

Stop at Subway for Ontario Grown, Province-Wide $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.

2016 | 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.

2016 | Stemmler Meats & Cheese Inc

Packaging Line Implementation Project for Expansion of Public Sector Protein Supply, St. Clements $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.

2016 | 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. 

2016 | 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.  

2016 | Sustain Ontario

Say Yes! To Local Food Literacy in Schools, Toronto $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.

2016 | The New Farm Inc.

The New Farm Kitchen & Education Centre, Creemore $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. 

2016 | Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance and the TRCA

Increasing Municipal Local food Procurement in 3 Golden Horseshoe Municipalities, Vaughan $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.

2016 | Fresh City Farms, Inc

Local Food Processing and Packaging Facility, Toronto $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. 

2016 | Sustain Ontario

Bring Food Home, Toronto $5,000

Sustain Ontario will organize a cross ­sectoral event to address local food production, distribution and marketing, local food economies, and other pertinent topics related to strengthening the local food movement in Ontario. The event will include local farm tours, panel discussions, farmer training, action­ planning and networking.

2014 | Burnac Produce Ltd.

Sourcing the World in Ontario, Toronto $28,255

Burnac Produce Ltd. will look into how foodservice providers can substitute the imported produce they use with fresh Ontario-grown products. They will work with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers to try to identify and test an Ontario tomato variety that can replace or offset dependence on the “gas-green” tomato currently being imported from the United States. The project partners will also work with Ontario farmers to increase the production of okra, Chinese long bean, eggplant, bittermelon, karella, specialty tomatoes, and opa squash for Fortino’s and other retailers for the 2015 growing season.

For more information about Burnac Produce Ltd., visit their website and their profile

2014 | Halton Fresh Food Box

Feeding Halton, Burlington $25,000

Halton Fresh Food Box aims to increase access to fresh local food with a number of social service organizations and agricultural partners collaborating under the name Feeding Halton. They will assess the opportunities available within the Region of Halton for creating a local food hub to increase market access for local farmers, while providing their constituents with equitable access to healthy local food. They will also consider the capacity of local food companies and community kitchens to assist in the further processing of local products.

2014 | Eat Local Sudbury

Eat Local Sudbury Food Hub Business Plan, Sudbury $17,200

Eat Local Sudbury will create a business plan for an expansion of their local food hub, which currently only serves the Sudbury area, to include LaCloche-Manitoulin, North Bay, Temiskaming, Muskoka, and parts of Algoma. Support for this project will help Eat Local Sudbury coordinate their research and planning as they seek to understand how much food is produced within these regions, and determine the demand for local food.

2014 | Sustain Ontario

From the Ground Up - Supporting Municipalities to Buy Local, Toronto $50,000

Sustain Ontario will implement the recommendations resulting from the planning grant awarded in 2013. They will work with Durham Region, Chatham-Kent, and Bruce County to refine and implement local food procurement plans in a variety of institutions including long-term care homes, daycares, municipal offices, and a convention center.

2014 | Ontario Goat Breeders Association

Ontario Goat Milk: Assessing Market Opportunities in the BPS, Guelph $25,000

Ontario Goat Breeders Association is working to quantify the market opportunities for goat milk in the Broader Public Sector. This includes benchmarking current goat milk sales, and identifying areas for future growth. They will also determine what the current consumption levels are of goat milk/goat milk products such as yogurt and ice cream, and the barriers to increased consumption within the BPS.

2014 | Food and Beverage Ontario

Developing the Ontario BPS-Food and Beverage Processing Sector Value Chain, Guelph $25,000

Food and Beverage Ontario will build awareness of the local food market opportunities in the Broader Public Sector to their members. This will result in a discussion paper outlining the main product needs and opportunities in the BPS followed by a business development workshop.

2013 | University Health Network

Choices for Ontario Food at University Health Network, Toronto $124,000

The University Health Network (UHN) will investigate the day-to-day barriers that prevent them from providing local food to their patients, staff, and visitors throughout their seven sites at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, and the four sites of Toronto Rehab. They will then create a strategy to increase their procurement of local food by 5 per cent by 2015, and 25 per cent by 2018.

2013 | Auvergne Farms Limited

Promoting Ontario Maple Sugar, Beachville $195,000

Auvergne Farms Limited will produce granulated maple sugar in bulk quantities for processed products in Ontario, to replace imported maple sugar and to provide an alternative sweetener for cane/beet refined sugar. This project will increase market opportunities for Ontario maple syrup producers and Auvergne Farms estimates an increase in sales of Ontario maple sugar of $2 million by 2016.

2013 | Southwest Economic Alliance

Sustainable Food Cluster – Elgin County, St. Thomas $10,000

The Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) formed a value chain team to begin the development of a business plan for a local food aggregation and distribution cluster in Elgin County. A food cluster works on the premise that each region has its own agricultural product and processing specialty that when linked together can create local food systems. During their project they established a diverse project team with representatives from the entire value chain including farmers, processors, and distributors from the County of Elgin and Elgin-St. Thomas Public Health to guide in development of a distribution cluster.

2013 | Toronto Distillery Company Limited

Creating Ontario Beet Spirits, Toronto $14,100

The Toronto Distillery Company Limited will distill and bottle an Ontario organic beet whiskey and market the offerings for retail—the first project of its kind. This project will heighten awareness of distilling new spirit types from local feedstock in Ontario, which will provide new opportunities for local farmers who are currently shut out of Ontario’s spirits marketplace.

2013 | Zast Foods Corporation

Local Frozen Food For All Seasons, Toronto $145,000

Zast Foods Corporation will create and market a line of individually quick frozen Ontario fruit and vegetables to ensure a year-round supply. Zast Foods will find new farm suppliers to secure the products they need to create a new line. The new frozen mixes will include products such as salsas, peach slices, and asparagus. The estimated impact of these new frozen foods is an increase in local food sales of $1 million by 2015.

2013 | Local Food Plus

Brokering Connections from Producer to Market, Toronto $15,000

Local Food Plus undertook a market analysis for locally sustainable food brokerage–a service used in the food industry as an alternative to hiring a sales force in order to access hard-to-reach markets. During this process, they examined existing business models and conducted extensive consultations with market partners on both the supply and demand side.  Their research confirmed that there is a significant market opportunity for this kind of brokerage system.

2013 | Newmarket Meat Packers Limited

Come Grow With Us! Ontario Lamb Company & Ontario Veal Premium – Ontario Farmers Producing for You, Newmarket $207,500

Newmarket Meat Packers Limited will bring local lamb and veal into major grocery retail chains. They will install equipment that will allow them to meet retail food safety standards, and create an Ontario brand of halal veal and lamb. This project provides a unique opportunity for small and medium-sized producers to get their animals to market.

2013 | The Toby Brand Corporation

From Field to Freezer, Ontario Grows, Toronto $105,000

The Toby Brand Corporation will develop and market a range of individually quick frozen Ontario vegetables including kale. The new frozen products are projected to result in over $300,000 of sales per year. The project will begin with a research and development analysis to ensure a strategic and sustainable farm to freezer product plan is in place. Once the new products are formulated, they will seek sustainable partnerships with growers and market the products through a comprehensive marketing plan

2013 | 100 Mile Food Services Ltd.

Breaking Barriers in the Food Value Chain, Fergus $90,000

100 Mile Food Services Ltd. will develop a new sales model that expands its distribution area and focuses on creating a working relationship between farmers and their customers. In redesigning their sales strategy, 100 Mile Food Services Ltd. expects to increase market opportunities for 50 farmers by 2015

2013 | The Hammer Active Alternative Transportation Co-operative Inc.

Hub and Spoke Local Food Distribution, Hamilton $5,000

THAAT Co-op has partnered with Common Ground Farm to develop an efficient, sustainable, and specialized model for connecting small and medium sized farmers in the Hamilton area with small and medium sized distributors and users of produce by creating a local food aggregation hub at the farm. In doing so, THAAT Co-op provides emissions-free delivery of local food with the use of cargo tricycles, cargo bicycles, and trailers. THAAT Co-op is conducting a market analysis and developing a business plan for expanding their delivery model to increase their local food distribution.

2013 | Bighead Hops

Growing Ontario Hops Forward: Expanding Existing Models of Production, Meaford $42,500

Bighead Hops will expand the market opportunities for Ontario hops growers by providing Ontario craft brewers the hops processing and packing they need. With new equipment, they will gain the ability to pelletize hops, which will optimize the quality of the product.

2013 | Bamford Produce

Strengthening the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Value Chain, Mississauga $120,000

Bamford Produce will provide large foodservice companies and retailers with local fruit and vegetables. The grant will allow them to market local food, and to implement software that measures local food purchases. Bamford will increase market access for 10 to 20 small and medium sized growers, and increase sales of Ontario produce by $1.5 million.

2013 | Grey County Chefs’ Forum

Establishing a Grey County Chefs’ Forum Food Hub, Flesherton $22,000

The Grey County Chefs’ Forum will improve Grey County farmer’s access to new markets. A food hub will be created to aggregate regional foods and extend distribution to restaurants and retail buyers beyond Grey County. Once the hub is established, they will begin expanding their marketing in order to grow the number of farmers and buyers that rely on the hub.

2013 | Gordon Food Service

Local Foodservice Hub Initiative, Milton $250,000

Gordon Food Service will conduct market research to develop a strategic plan for three new foodservice hubs in Niagara, GTA/Central Ontario, and Eastern Ontario. The market research will involve identifying demand and market share of local products by individual product category.

2013 | Belluz Farms

Superior Seasons Packaging and Storage Facility, Slate River $85,000

Belluz Farms will fill the processing need to create market opportunities for small and medium-sized farms in the Thunder Bay area. The creation of a packing and storage facility will expand its capacity and increase processing opportunities. Belluz Farms will work with suppliers and customers to increase the supply and purchasing of local foods in Northern Ontario. In addition, a point-of-origin traceability system will be installed to allow food to be traced back to specific producers.

2013 | Ryerson University

Taking Action: Increasing the Purchase and Sale of Local Food on University Campuses, Toronto $75,000

Ryerson University’s Food Services Department, in partnership with Compass Canada, will create a market for local foods on campus by engaging the Ryerson community in their new food strategy. Student, faculty, and staff engagement activities include: menu/recipe development; community programs such as field trips, meals, and guest speakers; and social media campaigns and educational outreach. The project will also increase Ryerson’s ability to track and report on local food sales and evaluation and analysis of the project will yield lessons learned that will be shared with other postsecondary institutions.

2013 | My Sustainable Canada

Local Food Procurement Mentorship Program, Kitchener $105,000

My Sustainable Canada will partner with MEALsource to mentor four institutions to showcase the benefits of local food purchasing, and help them to implement buy-local programs. They will assist the four institutions to draw from, build upon, and share best practices and lessons learned, which will enable the broader public sector to better leverage its buying power.

2013 | South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation

SCOR Regional Food Hubs, Tillsonburg $125,000

South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation will develop food “hub” or aggregator sites throughout the region, which includes the County of Brant, Elgin County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, and Oxford County. This project will provide small to mid-sized growers a place to aggregate their products in order to serve the foodservice and retail market.

2013 | Marsan Foods Limited

Creating “WOW”: Ontario Local Food for Patients, Toronto $6,450

Marsan Foods Limited investigated the feasibility of creating local, ready-made entrees for healthcare. This included scoping out the cost and supply of local foods, and creating test recipes for products. Healthcare stakeholders were brought together to help Marsan Foods determine which value-added local foods are needed in healthcare.

2013 | 100km Foods Inc.

Giving Rural Communities Access to Urban Markets and Urban Markets Access to Rural Communities, Toronto $225,00

100km Foods Inc. will significantly expand their operations and local food distribution with a daily pick-up and delivery system. The expansion includes sourcing food from farms in Grey and Wellington Counties and extending their delivery into new areas they currently cannot serve.

2013 | Natural Gourmet Fine Food Kitchen Inc.

Ottawa Food Hub: Setting Up for Success, Ottawa $186,500

Natural Gourmet Fine Food Kitchen Inc. will partner with Just Food to bring regional and Ontario food to both retail and foodservice markets by launching the Ottawa Food Hub. This will be accomplished through the aggregation, processing, packaging, and distribution of foods from the Ottawa region, backed by Ontario product when local is unavailable.

2013 | Sustain Ontario

Leveraging Best Practices in Municipal Procurement, Toronto $10,000

Sysco Ontario created more opportunities for the sale of locally produced products to public sector institutions by improving their internal ordering systems to better identify and track local products. They also developed partnerships with suppliers that can offer them more Ontario products. They will develop marketing materials to promote Ontario products and provide education sessions for staff and customers on the local foods available through Sysco Ontario.

2013 | Sol Cuisine Inc.

SOLocal Protein, Mississauga $59,000

Sol Cuisine Inc. will increase the sale of Ontario tofu by building relationships with foodservice providers and implementing a marketing and education campaign, which includes creating tofu-friendly recipes for institutions such as universities and colleges.

2013 | Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Increasing Local Food in Student Nutrition Programs, Peterborough $20,000

The Peterborough County-City Health Unit will work with Food For Kids Peterborough and County as well as Farms at Work and the YWCA of Peterborough Haliburton to link local food and farming to 47 Student Nutrition Programs through both education and purchasing. The project will create new market opportunities for at least five farmers and will connect local food to the curriculum.

2013 | Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

Ontario Greenhouse Vegetables in the BPS: Growing Procurement and Maximizing Impact Through Application of Win-Win Strategies, Leamington $125,000

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers will build relationships between commodity groups and the broader public sector, focusing on marketing, education, and facilitating partnerships with major foodservice companies. This project will increase sales of Ontario greenhouse vegetables in the BPS by 10 percent per year.

2013 | The Hospital for Sick Children

Making it Work: Creating Effective Strategies for Incorporating Local, Sustainable Food into Public Institutions, Toronto $30,000

The Hospital for Sick Children will position itself as a local food leader by removing barriers to local food procurement. They will develop a local produce procurement policy for retail foodservice, and research the different types of food safety regulations processors follow. They will then consult with internal hospital and municipal stakeholders to identify which standards adequately satisfy their food safety concerns.

2013 | Halton Healthcare Services

Good for You, Locally Grown, Oakville $107,000

Halton Healthcare Services will create one of Canada’s first local food procurement policies in healthcare. They will partner with Gordon Food Service and Signature Culinary Solutions to procure local entrees and develop a line of sandwiches using local eggs and meats.

2013 | George Brown College

Cultivating Change: Local Food Within the Healthcare Sector, Toronto $120,000

George Brown College is partnering with St. Michael’s Hospital to develop a certification course to train St. Michael’s foodservice staff on how to prepare fresh, local foods in healthcare kitchens. St. Michael’s staff will experiment with “from scratch” local food recipes to reveal skill gaps, while George Brown students will test recipes to understand how the healthcare kitchen operates. St. Michael’s will offer internship placements where George Brown students work alongside hospital staff to assist with ongoing menu creation featuring local food. George Brown will then replicate the training program at one additional healthcare facility.

2013 | Ecosource

Cafeteria Connects: Bringing Ontario Foods to Secondary School Cafeterias, Mississauga $109,000

Ecosource will partner with Compass Group Canada and Durham District School Board to increase student and cafeteria staff engagement in buy-local programs and drive local food sales in public high schools. This project includes training cafeteria staff on how to purchase, track, and prepare local food. Ecosource will also host local food events and integrate local food education into several curricula including business studies, hospitality, and family studies.

2013 | City of Thunder Bay

Strengthening Connections, Thunder Bay $80,000

The City of Thunder Bay and partnering institutions look to increase local food procurement in both municipal and regional facilities such as long-term care homes, child care centres, and post-secondary institutions. In order to facilitate an increase in local food purchasing, the City will streamline its procurement models and work with their suppliers. They will also host a series of educational events.

2013 | Aramark Canada Ltd.

The Business Case for More Local Sustainable Food and Supply Chains $100,000

Aramark Canada Ltd. will establish the business case for supporting local food purchased by university campuses, ultimately changing how large foodservice companies think about local food. Pilot projects at Trent University, University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, and York University/Glendon College will assess how to increase local food purchases in both residence and cafeteria/food court settings. The pilots will be supported by a mobile app that allows for local food tracking from field to plate.

2013 | LA Quality Foods

Local Beef Aggregation and Traceability System, Thunder Bay $45,000

LA Quality Foods is developing public sector market opportunities for beef farmers in Northern Ontario. In partnership with Rainy River Regional Abattoir and the Thunder Bay Cattlemen’s Association, they will work with local farmers to implement a traceability system to enable them to track individual cuts of meat to their originating farm.

2013 | New Farm

Developing the Middle: Creating Economies of Scale for Small Farms in Ontario, Creemore $59,000

New Farm, a well-established organic farm in Creemore, is making operational changes to meet the needs of public sector institutions. From packaging and marketing materials to developing cost-effective irrigation systems, New Farm will find the right tools and technology in order to increase the amount, variety, and seasonal availability of local produce being offered to institutions such as hospitals and colleges. New Farm will expand their capacity and improve their farm safety protocols, and increase their sales by $235,000, almost doubling their current levels. By developing best practices, this project paves the way for other small and medium scale organic farms to make the necessary changes to increase their business.

2013 | Meal Exchange

Ontario Campus Food Systems Project, Toronto $80,000

Meal Exchange will engage students from Carleton University, Ryerson University, and the University of Waterloo in order to increase on-campus demand for local food. Regional student campus representatives will lead student engagement activities to increase the interest in and demand for local food. An industry advisory panel of food service providers and distributors will assist in developing these activities and provide their expertise to student-based research projects that will identify how to best increase the amount of local food in universities. Best practices will be shared through

2012 | Western University

Increasing the Procurement of Local Foods, London $25,325

The University of Western University established a baseline of their annual Ontario food purchases and has set targets for an annual growth rate of Ontario food purchases of 3 percent each year for the next five years. The University developed a strategy to increase their local purchases that included identifying supplier partners that can provide them with locally grown food, working with existing suppliers to identify new opportunities to expand their local purchases, and purchasing an integrated computer software program that would enable them to track local purchases moving forward. They also developed and ran educational and awareness campaigns to increase interest in local food among students and staff such as Chef’s Table events that feature local products, and themed menus.

2012 | Toronto East General Hospital

Serving Local Ontario Food in East Toronto, Toronto $20,000

Toronto East General Hospital developed and tested new recipes using local ingredients for patients as well as customers of their retail café. The chef worked with their primary distributor to source more local food. The project involved the creation and promotion of cafeteria feature meals/menu items and patient menu items that showcased Ontario foods. They also developed a local procurement policy, provided on-site staff training, and developed marketing materials to promote Ontario food to patients, hospital staff, volunteers, and visitors.

2012 | Sysco Ontario

Grown in Ontario, Mississauga $35,000

Sysco Ontario created more opportunities for the sale of locally produced products to public sector institutions by improving their internal ordering systems to identify and track local products. They also developed partnerships with suppliers that can offer them more Ontario products. They will develop marketing materials to promote Ontario products and provide educational sessions for staff and customers on the local foods available through Sysco Ontario.

2012 | Summit Food Service

Identify, Source and Promote the Sale of Ontario Food Products, London $150,000

Summit Food Service implemented a new IT system that highlights local food in product guides, invoices, and sales reports. Both customers and sales representatives have been given the ability to run their own reports to quantify and analyze all Ontario food purchases. Summit also designed and ran an advertising program, Embrace Ontario, to promote sales of Ontario food to customers. Components of this included a monthly Ontario produce availability page, Ontario food listings, a monthly Ontario food feature article, and monthly-featured recipes.

2012 | St. Joseph's Health System GPO – MEALSource

Creating Local Food Entrée Options for Healthcare, Brantford $65,000

St. Joseph’s Health System, Group Purchasing Organization (SJHS-GPO) conducted a project that helped hospitals increase their local food purchasing in three new ways: (i) demonstrating that menu items made from scratch using local ingredients can work with reheating food ovens (re-therm); (ii) working with the local food value chain to create new ready-made local food entrées for re-therm; and, (iii) creating a new product category for fresh, minimally processed products in their contracting process. St. Joseph’s has been successful in creating and testing 50 new local food entrée options, including the nutritional information with their new recipes. To promote local food, the GPO developed outreach materials and a coaching program to support re-therm clients in using the new local food options.

2012 | Signature Foods

Ottawa Local Food Hub Project, Ottawa $24,998

A food processing company, Signature Foods has taken advantage of their existing infrastructure in order to foster the creation of a local food hub in Ottawa. Partnered with Just Food, they were able to build on the interest and commitment of public institutions generated in Just Food’s previous BPS project. Signature Foods contracted the Business Development Bank of Canada to conduct a full analysis of its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems to identify gaps and opportunities to create efficiencies for the food hub. They also developed a communication strategy and promotional materials, and met with larger distributors to investigate partnership opportunities. Just Food created training resources for producers to help them scale up production to supply the wholesale market.

2012 | Rainy River District Regional Abattoir Inc.

Developing a Value Chain for Local Food with the Broader Public Sector in Northwestern Ontario, Emo $20,000

Rainy River District Regional Abattoir Inc. (RRDRAI) lead a partnership of five parties (RRDRAI, Rainy River Meats, Sunrise Meats and Sausage, Clover Valley Farmers’ Market, and Riverside Health Care Facilities) with the goal of increasing sales of quality local meat and vegetables produced in the Rainy River district to the broader public sector. The Abattoir and partners organized and developed a specific meat product line for sale to BPS institutions. Due to the short time period involved in the project, and the numerous roadblocks and challenges faced by the partnership, there is still work to be done in the future. The value of this project has been in beginning to resolve many of these barriers.

2012 | My Sustainable Canada

Growing Ontario Apple Products in Public Institutions, Kitchener $35,000

Working in close collaboration with the Ontario Apple Growers, My Sustainable Canada identified market opportunities within the broader public sector for Ontario’s apple growers. They also produced marketing materials for Ontario apples, their products, and their use in BPS institutions. My Sustainable Canada also explored new partnerships (i) between apple packers and schools to promote Martin’s apple chips, (ii) between apple processors and healthcare institutions to reintroduce apple purees to their product line for hospitals, and (iii) between the apple industry and foodservice distributors and operators to promote the sale of Ontario apple products over products.

2012 | Morton Wholesale Ltd.

Ontario Grass Roots Program Systems Upgrade, Oldcastle $96,104

Morton Wholesale worked to increase the amount and diversity of Ontario products they offer through a combination of changes to their operating systems and staff responsibilities. Morton trained a specialized buyer that focused on the purchasing of Ontario food, which led to the addition of 25 new products on Morton’s product list. They launched the third stage of their Ontario Grass Roots Program, which now includes more than 1,800 Ontario products.

2012 | Marek Hospitality

frescoServe Ontario on the Menu, Oakville $119,300

Marek Hospitality Inc. provided hospitals with freshly prepared and locally sourced meals through their existing retail operations. Marek worked with their distributor Stewart Foodservice to track sales and purchases and trace the point of origin of the food on their menus. Marek identified that 30 percent of the 28 new recipes in the frescoServe handbook use Ontario-sourced product. With this knowledge, Marek substituted non-Ontario ingredients with a locally sourced product.

2012 | The Hospital for Sick Children

SickKids Buy Local Initiative, Toronto $50,000

The Hospital for Sick Children built a network of local suppliers focused on local and sustainable farming to source ingredients for new, seasonably based recipes and menus. Foodservice staff were trained on the new recipes as well as on the benefits of eating locally sourced food. Promotional materials to advertise local food to the broader SickKids community were also developed with the aim of generating excitement and interest among cafeteria customers.

2012 | Harmony Organics

University Growth, Listowel $50,000

Harmony Organic developed a number of tools to educate university students and the general public on the benefits of organic milk products. Videographers were sent to producers’ farms to produce educational videos for upload onto YouTube, Facebook, and the Harmony Organic’s website. Demonstrations of Harmony’s products were conducted at George Brown and Seneca Colleges, and at the Hospital for Sick Children.

2012 | Gordon Food Service

GFS Tipping Point, Milton $257,524

Gordon Food Service (GFS) created a regional distribution system with Fresh Start Foods (FSF) to double their local food sales by 2016. FSF has three depots in London, Milton, and Ottawa that act as regional hubs. GFS Ontario developed new supply logistics procedures to enable all GFS Ontario and FSF customers to have access to regional foods through these hubs and through GFS Ontario food listings. GFS launched a comprehensive new IT and social media platform, making it easier for both GFS and Fresh Start Foods customers and sales reps to readily find Ontario items.

2012 | FoodShare Toronto

The Ontario Farm to School Challenge, Toronto $54,000

FoodShare Toronto and their partners engaged schools and school boards in a challenge to increase their local food purchases. The participating boards and schools were provided with online tools, guides, and webinars to assist them, and they hosted local food events across the province to bring together local farmers and buyers. FoodShare launched their Farm to School Challenge on, and undertook promotion to more than 500 schools, administrators, and school board officials across Ontario. After successfully completing the first round, the project partners decided to follow up with two more rounds in the spring and fall of 2013.

2012 | Compass Group Canada

Eat Local, Cook Global $75,000

Compass Group Canada built on their previous success by developing a marketing strategy to educate and motivate the consumer to increase their purchase of local menu items. Compass produced and distributed entrance communication stands to more than 40 locations across Ontario in order to raise awareness and to promote sustainability and wellness. Compass also developed and executed an Eat Local 4 Seasons campaign that used seasonally relevant recipes and menu items. Finally, Compass created a marketing kit to promote local food awareness, and developed internationally-based cuisine using local ingredients.

2012 | City of Thunder Bay

Promote Ontario Foods , Thunder Bay $99,233

This project took the first step in bridging the gap between public sector purchasers, the agricultural community, and others in the food value chain in the Thunder Bay area. After a series of interviews with public institutions and producers, the City identified specific barriers to local food procurement in the broader public sector. One of these was the challenge of identifying and tracking local food purchases. A tool was developed to identify the amount of local food currently being purchased, providing a baseline that will allow them to track the amount of purchases over the course of the next year.

2012 | Aramark Canada Ltd.

Building a Better Menu, Toronto $74,987

Aramark Canada Ltd. provides foodservices to approximately 300 broader public sector institutions across the province. Through this project Aramark developed and disseminated a booklet of 24 new locally-based recipes for healthcare and higher education facilities, with additional recipes in development when the project ended. They also launched a Who’s Your Farmer promotional campaign profiling specific farms in Ontario. Working with new supplier partners, Aramark Canada also developed a new signature local beef burger and a local paneer recipe.

2011 | University of Guelph

Year Round Local Food, Guelph $44,820

The University of Guelph’s Hospitality Services (UGHS) team created year-round access to local produce on campus by building a self-sustaining food processing facility. The necessary equipment was installed and staff training in safe food handling was completed. Next steps include testing carrots, potatoes, and onions with the new equipment, confirming pricing with produce suppliers, and putting the new production schedule in place. For more on this project check out this story that appeared inEdible Toronto.

2011 | SKOR Food Service Ltd.

Identify, Source and Promote Ontario Food, Vaughn $49,429

Food distributor SKOR Foodservice made changes to their inventory database to identify Ontario products and quickly switched 20 of the 100 products they identified as non-local to local. SKOR sales representatives were trained in selling Ontario products and a protein category manager increased sales by adding eight pork product SKUs. A marketing program implemented by SKOR included revising their website to focus on Ontario food and growers, developing and promoting Ontario recipes, making Ontario produce the theme for SKOR’s annual Food Show, and advertising in Ontario Restaurant News.

2011 | Ross Memorial Hospital

Increasing Access to Ontario Food, Lindsay $35,000

Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) worked towards increasing patient satisfaction and meal consumption with a menu full of fresh and local products. An evaluation of their seven-day patient menu identified five non-local menu items that represented an opportunity to switch to local. RMH worked with distributors Sysco and Gordon Food Service to source new ingredients, noting that Ontario meat and vegetables were less expensive, cost neutral, or only slightly more expensive than the non-local ingredients they were replacing.

2011 | Real Food for Real Kids

Real Food for Hospitals, Toronto $52,985

Real Food for Real Kids (RFRK) took their experience in providing local, healthy meals for daycares and adapting wholesale capabilities to broaden their offerings to include hospitals and long-term care facilities. RFRK consulted with several relevant broader public sector institutions and identified the necessary equipment to fulfil special dietary menus. The purchase of a blender/mixer allowed for on-site preparation of purees, condiments, and baked goods featuring local ingredients. A pouch sealer will ensure food stays fresh and can be safely divided into individual proportions with the contents and usage date clearly labeled thanks to a new printer. The new wholesale model of cooking, packaging, storing, and distributing individual and bulk portions will enable RFRK to customize their offerings and reach new BPS institutions.  

2011 | Queensway Carleton Hospital

Outstanding Ontario Hospital Food, Ottawa $35,900

Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) partnered with food manufacturer Healthcare Foodservices (HFS) to raise patient satisfaction by increasing the amount of local food in their restaurant-style foodservice model. QCH performed its own Ontario food purchases audit and have started to change menu offerings by introducing two new soups, one sauce, and an all-Ontario fruit smoothie.

2011 | Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

Greenhouse Vegetables for the Public Sector, Leamington $50,170

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) are helping the public sector foodservice industry understand that obtaining local produce is feasible beyond the harvest season. This specific project focused on educating key stakeholders on local produce and the strengths of local growers, such as year-round availability and food safety. New relationships with public institutions, including hospitals and universities, have been established with the hopes of future partnerships. The OGVG are currently working on securing volume commitments from corporate foodservice operators.

2011 | Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

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.

2011 | Just Food Ottawa

Creating a Regional Distribution Hub, Ottawa $54,847

Just Food Ottawa initiated a long-term plan to develop a food hub by building by-ins of key stakeholders in the BPS foodservice value chain. The results of a survey administered by Just Food to more than 1,200 farmers and buyers, as well as face-to-face meetings and background research will aid in developing the logistics of the centralized local food hub.

2011 | Grey Bruce Health Unit

More Ontario Food for Grey Bruce Public Institutions, Owen Sound $36,150

Grey Bruce Public Health and Foodlink Grey Bruce assessed the foodservice departments in their partner institutions, including local school boards and long-term care facilities. The assessment identified many misconceptions, including the belief that local food is costly, more work, not readily available, and requires burdensome inspections. Identifying these barriers assisted Grey Bruce Public Health and Foodlink Grey Bruce in dispelling some of the myths about local food as well as linking the increasing interest in healthy eating to fresh, local food. A tool was also developed to aid partner institutions in tracking local food purchases.

2011 | Aramark Canada Ltd.

Going Local, Toronto $65,000

Aramark developed and provided Ontario employees with a Purchasing Guide to Buying Locally and Sustainably, which explained how to track local food, convert non-local to local, revamp menus to focus on local ingredients, and promote local sources. Farm tours and the creation of 30 farm profiles helped strengthen the relationship between Aramark’s chefs and producers. Aramark increased the visibility of local food and educated the public on the benefits of buying local by holding a series of promotional campaigns and local food day events at universities, colleges, and other public institutions. Other activities included a “building a better lasagna” campaign, recipe development, staff training, creating RFPs with local food emphasis, and the flagging of local products in their purchasing system for easy identification.

2011 | Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Diversity in Local Food Options for Public Institutions, Vineland Station $14,946

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre have been working hard to bring ethnocultural vegetables to consumers via retail stores and expected to see that expanded to broader public sector institutions. Following the completion of interviews with BPS institutions, Vineland found similar criterion for buyers purchasing ethnocultural vegetables and non-ethnocultural vegetables, with quality, consistency, availability, and food safety all listed as important factors. The research also concluded that BPS institutions want to stay relevant to customers and must continue adapting their offerings as immigration patterns change. The evolving demographic bodes well for future demand on ethnocultural vegetables. Vineland’s ongoing plans include using their research to assess potential market size for ethnocultural vegetables, identifying market barriers, and raising the visibility of ethnocultural vegetables.

2011 | St. Michael’s Hospital

More Ontario Food for Patients, Toronto $55,000

St. Michael’s Hospital’s revamp of their local food offerings to patients, staff, and visitors demonstrates that buying fresh local products is both financially and logistically realistic for large institutions. Twelve locally infused recipes were added to patient menus and many produce items were switched to fresh Ontario fruits and vegetables. The kitchen at St. Michael’s, though outsourced, was on board with the changes and introduced 56 seasonally focused recipes, a salad bar with Ontario produce, and daily baking featuring local ingredients. St. Michael’s implemented a tracking system to easily identify local food, noting that 50 percent of the newly introduced Ontario products were less expensive than the previously purchased imported items. At the time of this project, Ontario purchases represented 16 percent of St. Michael’s total spend and a procurement program was implemented to increase this number.

2011 | University of Waterloo

Local Food for Students, Waterloo $40,000

During this project, the University of Waterloo Foodservices took effective measures towards increasing the use of local food on campus. A buy local policy for the UW Foodservice Strategic Plan was implemented and RFPs for identified key Ontario foods were issued to new and existing suppliers. Campus chefs and other internal staff were outfitted with a local food “toolkit” highlighting relevant websites such as UWFS initiated a marketing campaign to raise local food awareness including promoting revised campus menus. Preserving seasonal produce and other ways to heighten local food visibility on campus past the project end date were being explored at the time of the project.

2011 | Simcoe County Farm Fresh Marketing Association

 A New Model for Local Food Distribution, Barrie $30,262

Simcoe County Farm Fresh Marketing Association (SCFFMA) is eliminating barriers to bringing local food to broader public sector institutions in the county. Identifying the need for a better understanding of local food distribution, SCFFMA surveyed 64 stakeholders across the value chain and presented the results and their recommendations to BPS institutions, food producers, processors, and distributors. SCFFMA noted that a centralized food hub, a shift in perception away from local food as costly and not available year-round, and a vocalized demand for local food from BPS institutions in Simcoe County would be beneficial to bringing Ontario products to the area. At the time of this project, SCFFMA began addressing these areas of interest and are implementing their new strategy to increase BPS purchases of Ontario food.

2011 | Scarborough Hospital

Creating a New Food Culture, Scarborough $191,000

Understanding fresh local food as a key component in a patient’s health and recovery, Scarborough Hospital worked diligently to bring high-quality local products to their facility. An overhaul of weekly patient menus, new training for staff, upgraded kitchen equipment, updated procurement processes calling for additional local food purchasing, and forging of new relationships with local food producers and distributors are examples of how Scarborough took great strides towards achieving their vision of fresh local food throughout the hospital. Brand awareness was increased through an extensive communications roll out using social and traditional media, resulting in several high profile media stories.

2011 | Ontario Independent Meat Processors

Growing the Value of Ontario Protein in Public Institutions, Guelph $80,180

The Ontario Independent Meat Processors worked collaboratively to increase purchases of locally produced meats by major volume buyers. Qualitative research conducted by George Morris Centre and fsStrategy was pivotal in outlining the necessary steps to increase Ontario protein sales within the broader public sector, as well as the products that held the greatest potential for increased sales. A resounding need for an umbrella program geared towards marketing Ontario proteins across species as well as the outlining of the added value of Ontario proteins was echoed throughout the project by foodservice operators and distributors.

2011 | Ontario North East (ONE) Meats and Golden Beef

Northern Coalition, Cochrane and Haileybury $150,000

Food processors Ontario North East (ONE) Meats and Golden Beef are committed to bringing Ontario meat to First Nations and northern communities. ONE Meats and Golden Beef began using freezer storage for their inventory after establishing a partnership with Golden Beef Co-operative and Belle Valle Meats and Abattoir. Golden Beef worked with local colleges to launch value-added recipes and food festivals to spread awareness of Ontario meat. ONE Meats expanded their offerings to broader public sector institutions, through the purchase of a dual-sectioned trailer.

2011 | The Corporation of Norfolk County

Cultivating Relationship from Local Producers to the Consumer, Simcoe $150,000

During this project, Norfolk County successfully procured local products for three different health care facilities in the area. A combi-oven purchased by partner VG Meats allowed for customized batches of their product for all three facilities. Cedarwood Village Hospital and Norfolk General purchased a Blixer, which enabled staff to puree local food on-site. Long-term care facility Norview Lodge purchased a mixer to use with Ontario produce. Norfolk and Norview introduced one new menu item with Ontario grown ingredients and replaced 11 menu items with Ontario products. By contracting a wholesaler specializing in buying local produce and by encouraging their Group Purchasing Organization to work with Ontario vendors, all three facilities were confident they could increase local buying by five percent.

2011 | Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Serving Ontario Food to Diverse Audiences, Toronto $102,989

During this project, Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) created an Ontario Food and Beverage Charter, and educate their staff, suppliers, and clients in buying local. As part of implementing an Ontario food procurement strategy, they connected MTCC staff with local farmers, committed to updating their menu more than once per year to reflect seasonal availability of local food, replaced imported products with local, and expanded their supplier base.

2011 | Holland Marsh Growers’ Association

Connecting the Farmer to the Foodservice Business, Newmarket $54,847

The Holland Marsh Growers’ Association (HMGA) created a two-part plan to increase sales. They reached out to seven businesses/individuals to act as a broker for the Marsh growers to sell to the broader public sector but were unable to find one with the requisite capacity. The second half of their plan involved providing training and certification in on-farm food safety (CanadaGAP) for their member farmers. HMGA have successfully partnered with fellow Regional Food Grant partners, for example, helping procure a deal between the University of Guelph and a number of Marsh growers.

2011 | Guelph Wellington Local Food

Growing a Regional Local Food Economy, Guelph $115,000

Guelph Wellington Local Food implemented a six-step plan including: (i) product substitution and vendor referrals for individual institutions; (ii) hosting events to dispel myths about buying local, and to connect institutional purchasers with suppliers; (iii) providing small grants to enable institutions to purchase equipment or promotional materials; (iv) recognizing local food champions with an awards program; (v) creating a Tool Kit and related series of six videos; and (vi) hosting a series of forums with farmers. This new plan empowered 13 BPS institutions to take preliminary steps towards increasing the amount of local food found on their menus.

2011 | George Brown College

Teaching the Importance of Ontario Food, Toronto $200,000

George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (CHCA) focused their efforts on boosting the amount of Ontario grown food purchased by the college. Beginning with an audit to determine the amount of locally grown food the College was currently purchasing, the CHCA implemented preference for Ontario-grown product in RFPs. They then completed a pilot to process and preserve fruit and vegetables on-site. For example, St. Michael’s Hospital is now using a newly created pizza sauce. A revised first-year curriculum at CHCA features Ontario produce, proteins, and dairy. At the time of the project, CHCA projected local food buy increases of five to ten percent in the first year to a minimum annual spend of $300,000 within five years.

2011 | Dana Hospitality LP

Ontario Food All Year Round, Oakville $219,563

Dedicated to making a positive impact on the local food landscape, foodservice contract caterer Dana Hospitality LP committed to updating their menus to feature 80 percent Canadian and 65 percent Ontario food. A large company with $12 million in annual food purchases, Dana Hospitality LP created an internal team to promote its new strategy, including increased communication with broader public sector customers. The team also generated recipes and menus featuring local products that targeted the needs of their school and healthcare customers. Additionally, the team added local procurement specifications to their own RFPs and requested that their purchasing group, Food Service Exclusive Alliance Inc., require suppliers to identify Ontario food on their order guides.

2011 | Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Bringing Nutrition to Ontario Schools, Mississauga $100,000

Committed to bringing healthy, fresh, and local options to youth, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) purchased 40 Dairy Nutrition Centres, or milk vending machines, to provide milk, yogurt, and cheese to Ontario middle schools. Although met with challenges surrounding space and limited business opportunities in some locations, 12 DNCs were installed in Ontario middle schools during the project timeframe. DFO projected annual sales of $1.7 million once all units were in place.

2011 | 100km Foods Inc.

Providing Fresh Ontario Food to Public Institutions, Toronto $133,460

Purchasing two refrigerated trucks during this project allowed 100km Foods Inc. to double their delivery schedule to four days a week and decrease their lead time from 72 to 24 hours—a requirement of BPS institutions. The trucks also allowed 100km Foods Inc. to increase orders from their North Farm Run where “BPS-ready” farms are concentrated—that is those farms that have the scale and food safety programs in place to serve the BPS. An automated ordering system to aid in the tracking of local purchases by BPS clients was also implemented. Overall sales of local product by 100km Foods Inc. grew 50 percent in 2011.

2010 | Sysco Toronto

Building Supply and Demand for Ontario Cheese, Mississauga $230,000

Sysco set out with the ambitious goal to increase the demand for Ontario cheese and in turn assist Ontario cheesemakers’ efforts to deliver supply to a new customer base. On the demand side of the equation, Sysco worked with two institutional broader public sector partners to reimagine their menus and feature Ontario cheese. Just as cheesemakers had to change to meet health and safety, nutrition and packaging requirements, Sysco also adopted its procurement procedures to accommodate small-scale production and specialty products. The success of working with both the supplier and the customer far surpassed Sysco’s anticipated increase in Ontario cheese sales, with a 26.8 percent surge in sales representing more than a $4.5 million increase. Sysco has dispelled perceived cost barriers to local cheese resulting in previously Ontario cheese-free BPS institutions now purchasing local product.

2010 | St. Joseph’s Health System, Group Purchasing Organization

Understanding the System to Create Change, Guelph $100,000

St. Joseph’s Health System, Group Purchasing Organization (SJHS-GPO) has made great strides in leveling the playing field for Ontario producers bidding on contracts that make up SJHS-GPO’s $12 million food business. During their project, SJHS-GPO introduced a baseline level for local food requirements for 14 of their contracts and accepted bids from new local suppliers. Going a step further, SJHS-GPO also implemented “local” as evaluation criteria for future contracts, a move that exemplifies their commitment to supporting local producers. SJHS-GPO’s efforts resulted in a 15 percent increase in local food procurement with more than $670,000 spent on local food.

2010 | Rowe Farm Meats Ltd.

Building Resources for Education, Guelph $25,000

Adaptability and resilience are two leadership traits that Rowe Farm Meats have exhibited in their journey to facilitate change within their company and the Canadian meat industry. Rowe Farm Meats set out to market and distribute their product to the broader public sector through a resource centre, which included a demo kitchen. After realizing this was not the route best suited towards their goal, Rowe Farm Meats went back to the drawing board and reimagined their plan. This time they identified market demand for specialty meat products such as gluten-free. With a newly formulated proposal, Rowe Farm Meats opened a central warehouse that could supply both retail and foodservice operations.

2010 | Land Food People Foundation (Local Food Plus)

Raising the Food Standards in the Public Sector, Toronto $200,000

Local Food Plus (LFP) initiated relationships with a dozen broader public sector institutions including municipalities, long term care facilities, colleges, and universities to implement a policy mandating required levels of local sustainable food. This led to working relationships with both the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University. LFP also increased the number of farmers that were certified local and sustainable.

2010 | Gordon Food Service

Ontario – A Category of its Own, Milton $360,000

Leading by example, foodservice distributor Gordon Food Service (GFS) is ushered in a new era of industry giants supporting local food production. During this project, GFS created an internal team focused on increasing their local food purchases. Working with vendors, GFS took steps to ensure local food was labeled as such and easy to identify in their system. GFS continued their push towards local food by implementing a marketing initiative that included the new Ontario’s Own logo, grower profiles, advertising in external publications, and adding a Local Ontario page to the GFS national website. GFS’s efforts proved a shining success with an increase in local food purchases of $1.7 million year over year.

2010 | FoodShare Toronto

Alternative Distribution Creates Model for Local Food Success, Toronto $84,798

Using the results of a survey administered to key players, including farmers, students, educators, and foodservice providers, FoodShare identified 20 actions necessary to increase the use of local food in Toronto schools. FoodShare’s commitment to helping Ontario youth eat local food was exemplified in their business plan to create a local food hub for schools. FoodShare’s efforts proved effective, with their local food purchases up 45 percent in the first year of their project. FoodShare also facilitated the inaugural gathering of the Ontario Farm to School Network.

2010 | Ecosource

A First for Local Food in Schools, Mississauga $99, 968 

Education begins in the classroom, which is exactly where Ecosource and Peel District School Board (PDSB) along with Peel Public Health and Compass Group Canada focused their efforts to educate youth about Ontario food. The group engaged more than 11,700 students in local food events, encouraging active participation in food choices, education on preparing locally grown foods, and taking part in the Cooking Up Action Culinary Challenge. Cafeteria staff received training on ordering and preparing local foods, which was paramount to the success of the initiative. The successful addition of five Ontario ingredients and eight products featuring Ontario ingredients onto cafeteria menus resulted in the implementation of priority purchasing of Ontario food in high school cafeterias.

2010 | Compass Group Canada

If We can Track it We can Change it, Mississauga $100,000

Foodservice operator Compass Group Canada is committed to helping promote Ontario food products. During this project, Compass teamed up with their suppliers to geo-tag over 85 percent of the local products they buy. A managed order guide was developed to assist in giving unit level managers much needed current information on product origin. The Closer To Home campaign provided materials to identify and promote Ontario product to more than 300 broader public sector locations. The campaign also provided exposure for Compass’ growers through farm tours and information distribution at farmers’ markets. In 2011, six new Ontario products were test marketed in different BPS locations. After only four months these products resulted in sales of more than $160,000.

2010 | Cohn Farms

Creating Farm Clusters to Supply the Broader Public Sector, Bradford $350,000

As an innovative leader, Cohn Farms worked on a collaborative approach to supplying the broader public sector with fresh Ontario produce. By working with other producers to create a co-packing line, Cohn Farms has helped nearly a dozen Ontario farmers gain access to innovation that assists them in meeting the unique needs of the broader public sector. They have also been able to expand the diversity of the Ontario food products they supply. Through this process, Cohn Farms has been able to increase the availability of fresh produce that meets sector requirements for health and safety, product volumes, processing and packaging as well as reaping important environmental benefits found by using fewer trucks to transport a higher volume of product and reducing water consumption. During the duration of their project, Cohn Farms saw an increase in sales of Ontario vegetables of almost $1.2 million. This increase continues today.

2010 | City of Toronto

Half of Local Food Purchases Targeted to Go Local, Toronto $113,890

The City of Toronto developed an action plan to achieve its 50 percent local food target for its long-term care facilities, child care centres, shelters and hostels, and other facilities. This included looking at the real and perceived barriers to buying more local. The City trained staff and developed recipes that used at least 50 percent local ingredients while still meeting the dietary and nutritional needs of their clientele. They also identified the equipment needed to help child care centres improve their use of local food.

2010 | Eat Local Sudbury

Bringing Rural to Public Institutions, Sudbury $76,000 

Eat Local Sudbury (ELS) hit the road running with their efforts to shorten the distance between northern farms and local tables. During this project, ELS purchased a cooler van to safely and efficiently deliver produce and meat grown and raised within a 150-mile radius of the city to broader public sector institutions. The van purchase allowed ELS to maintain adequate stock levels and meet customer demand, resulting in increased sales. Institutional sales increased 45 percent in a five-month period, which encouraged ELS to develop and implement steps to track orders and measure their cost effectiveness. The increase in sales also led to ELS taking on additional suppliers.