2014-2015 Southwest and Central Local Food Fund Recipients
The Local Food Fund supports innovative local food projects that increase demand and sales of Ontario food, stimulate private sector investment and strengthen the province's agri-food sector.
The 21 following projects are the 2014-15 southwest and central Local Food Fund recipients:
County of Lanark
Back Forty Artisan Cheese Inc. will receive up to $51,110 towards the installation of climate control technology and new cheese-making equipment, which will help them expand their product lines. The project will create nine and retain two jobs.
City of Hamilton
Common Ground, a teaching farm, will receive up to $14,000 to launch its Urban Homesteading curriculum to encourage small-scale production within urban and near-urban landscapes. The project includes piloting a series of canning and gardening workshops, agrotourism events and constructing a clay-cob pizza oven. The farm will also collaborate with other organizations such as Tastebuds, a student nutrition program in Hamilton, to offer elementary and high school presentations and workshops related to food literacy. The project will create one part-time and one full-time job.
City of St. Thomas
Railway City Brewing Company Ltd. will receive up to $53,314 to purchase shrink wrap labelling equipment that will allow the company to customize new beer can labels in a matter of days. This technology provides greater flexibility in promoting many of the specialty one-off and seasonal products that feature unique local ingredients, including maple syrup, honey, fruits and hops. The company will create 20 and retain three jobs.
City of Toronto
Hans Dairy Inc. will receive up to $123,412 to help market and introduce new products that conform to the dietary, religious, and cultural needs of Ontarians. Promotional activities will include sample tastings, tradeshow participation, advertising, product placement and social media advertising. Hans Dairy will also participate in the Ontario Student Nutrition Program Network, which provides healthy snack and meal plans to schools across Ontario.
City of Vaughan
Riverside Natural Foods Ltd. will receive up to $100,000 to purchase a bar cooling tunnel and bar forming line to expand production. Riverside uses local sprouted chia, quinoa and golden flax as well as organic, gluten free oats. The increased output will meet current and future consumer demand of their MADEGOOD sprouted bars that will result in additional demand for local producers. The project intends to create 10 full time jobs.
City of Vaughan
The Organic Food Delivery Corp. will receive up to $98,853 to create a virtual regional hub for sustainable, local food by creating an on-line farmers market, introducing a line of meal kits for easy home cooking that focus on Ontario-produced foods, and expanding the company's delivery area for more buyers in southwestern Ontario. The project intends to create nine and retain 14 jobs.
City of Windsor
Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island will receive up to $25,000 to establish a working group of eight regional farmers' markets, helping leverage marketing budgets and coordinate marketing efforts, programming and events aimed to increase local food sales. This coordinated approach will help increase customer loyalty and repeat visits, as well as cross-promotion for other related points of interest in the region.
County of Essex
Cooper's Hawk Vineyards Ltd. will receive up to $25,000 to purchase commercial kitchen equipment for its new multi-purpose building. The facility, committed to serving 100 per cent local food, will provide increased capacity for hosted events, provide a venue for chefs to showcase local food and support area tourism. The project will create 14 and retain 14 jobs.
County of Prince Edward
Hardie Wines Limited will receive up to $50,000 towards the purchase of specialized wine barrels and stackable tanks. The equipment will improve capacity and productivity while maintaining the premium quality of the product. The project will create one full-time job.
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Crazy Eight Barn, a newly-established agri-tourism destination in southwestern Ontario, will receive up to $6,775 to create its "From Farm to Freezer" label and signage for their frozen soups and pies. The project will allow on-location processing of locally-sourced produce such as blueberries, sweet potatoes and mushrooms. Product labels will include the name of the farm from where the produce was sourced to encourage buyers to visit the farm and purchase more local products. The project will create one job.
Municipality of Huron East
The Huron Business Development Corporation will receive $9,500 to create the Huron Food Action Network (HFAN), which will conduct research and market analysis to help develop a brand strategy. The research will help support the emergence of a strong and unified local food system in Huron County. Through HFAN, farmers, producers and consumers have identified shared goals and strategies. The project will create one temporary job.
Town of Aylmer
Planet Shrimp Inc. will receive up to $237,216 to build a shrimp production racking system, tanks, and window enclosures for a bio-secure environment using exclusive advanced technology. This will enable the commercialized cultivation of marine shrimp on a large-scale indoor shrimp farm. This project will bring live, organic shrimp production to Ontario, creating a new market and fulfilling a market demand domestically. The project will create 15 and retain four jobs.
Town of Caledon
Southern Cliff Brands Inc. will receive up to $144,010 to purchase a canning line and filtration system, as well as carry out marketing activities for the production and launch of their new Pommies Farmhouse Cider. The project will improve efficiency and increase production to help meet rising consumer demand for Ontario craft cider, which is derived from 100 per cent Ontario grown apples. The company will sell Pommies branded items through an e-store where they will also promote their apple tree giveaway campaign. The project will create one part-time and two full-time jobs.
Town of Collingwood
Clear Valley Hops will receive up to $5,450 to purchase an increased capacity lacerator that will result in reducing the pelletizing time. They dry them at a low heat, pelletize, package, and flash freeze the artisanal hops within 24 hours of harvest. The project will create one temporary job.
Town of Grand Valley
Sheik Halal Farms Inc. will receive up to $168,048 to implement automation technology in the processing of Halal chicken. This project will help the company in providing a stable supply of local Halal poultry meat, ensuring high quality and food safety standards are in place while reducing costs. This project will create 10 new part-time jobs.
Town of Lincoln
The Vineland Growers' Co-operative Limited will receive up to $299,390 to convert existing cooler storage rooms to cold atmosphere storage for various fruits grown in the area. This temperature and humidity controlled environment will allow Ontario produce to be stored for longer periods of time for the local market. The project will create six and retain eight jobs.
Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake
The Exchange Brewery Inc. will receive up to $185,581 to purchase equipment for increasing production capacity of specialty beers made from local ingredients. Project activities also include equipment and video technology for the tasting room, as well as promotional and educational materials to build product awareness with consumers. The project will create 14 and retain 10 jobs.
Town of South Bruce Peninsula
LAMBlicious will receive up to $3,250 to increase the capacity and reliability of its supply chain to meet existing and growing consumer demand for local lamb meat and lamb products. Project activities include increasing freezer capacity, maximizing efficiency and offering a professional-looking local product.
Town of Tillsonburg
The South Central Ontario Region (SCOR) Economic Development Corporation will receive up to $89,000 towards their SCOR FoodHub regional project, which gives producers within 28 municipalities greater access to markets across the region. Larger producers will act as hubs for smaller producers to help centralize products and sell them through an online ordering system. The project will help increase awareness of local food and its availability as well as provide local, cost effective options to purchasers. It will also help to increase sales and provide a means for efficient marketing and logistics planning throughout the region. 15 jobs will be created and nine retained as a result of this project.
Township of Emo
The Rainy River District Regional Abattoir Inc. will receive up to $39,037 to implement a regional food hub in northwestern Ontario. The project will focus on procuring, marketing and distributing local foods produced in the Rainy River District to communities in Thunder Bay, Rainy River, Kenora, Dryden, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake to meet increasing demand for local food in northwestern Ontario. One temporary job will be created.
Township of Southwold
Van De Gevel Farms will receive up to $23,625 to install cold storage which will increase apple bin capacity at the farm. This project aims to preserve small batches in the bins, which extends the availability of produce to local consumers and retailers beyond the growing season. The project will create eight jobs and retain two part-time jobs.