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Driving Growth for Ontario's Agri-Food Industry

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Driving Growth for Ontario's Agri-Food Industry

Premier Challenges Sector to Double Its Growth Rate, Create Jobs

Office of the Premier

Premier Kathleen Wynne recognized excellence in agri-food innovation today and challenged the sector to double its growth rate and create 120,000 new jobs in Ontario by 2020. 

She issued the challenge as part of a keynote speech at the Premier's Summit on Agri-Food Innovation at Queen's Park, encouraging agri-food industry partners to help Ontario:

  • Become one of the top five places in North America in revenues for food and beverage manufacturing; and
  • Double its agri-food exports.   

The summit also celebrated the contributions of local producers to the overall success of the agri-food sector.

The Premier presented the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence to Monforte Dairy of Stratford, Ontario. Monforte Dairy implemented a Community Shared Agriculture micro-financing model to raise capital to build a new plant.

The Foreign Affair Winery of Vineland, Ontario received the Minister's Award, for re-engineering air flows to their vineyard to apply the Italian "appassimento" method of wine-making to Ontario-grown grapes.

The Premier presented the Leaders in Innovation awards to:

  • Thompson's Maple Products, Hilton Beach, Ontario for developing "Tap Track," a wireless monitoring system that improves quality, efficiency, and reduces costs for maple producers.
  • Y U Ranch, Tillsonburg, Ontario for their hybrid gas/electric freezer delivery mini-van known as the "Farmer's Market Express."

Supporting a strong and innovative agri-food industry is part of the government's three-part economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and help businesses grow and create jobs.

Quick Facts

  • The agri-food sector has grown more than 10 per cent since 2002.
  • Ontario’s agri-food sector contributes approximately $34 billion to the province’s economy and supports more than 740,000 jobs across Ontario.
  • Food exports hit a record high of $10.8 billion last year.
  • A total of 50 regional agri-food innovations will be recognized under the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program.

Additional Resources


“I want to congratulate all of our award recipients today. They have shown us that the agri-food sector has excellent potential for growth. I have extended this challenge today, so we can build on our strengths to create more good jobs for the people of this province.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario and Minister of Agriculture and Food



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