A handful of agri-food innovators from Northern Ontario is being recognized by the province with Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.
Two of the honorees are from northwestern Ontario.
Based in Dryden, the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op is an online food market that features products from regional producers. Orders are filled for local members, as well as shipped to area food hubs in Sioux Lookout, Ignace, and Upsala, and Kenora.
My Pride Farm of Thunder Bay raises local, ethically raised, hormone-free veal calves.
In northeastern Ontario, five businesses and organizations are being recognized.
Acres of Dreams in Timmins produces beef, sells fresh farm eggs, and, new this year, produces chickens as part of a new artisanal chicken program.
Algoma Highlands Wild Blueberry Farm and Winery grows low-bush, wild blueberries, and produces value-added products, such as jam and wine from their facility in Wawa.
In Kapuskasing, Fromagerie Kapuskoise creates artisanal cheeses based on techniques brought back from France and sells them under names derived from communities in the area.
Meeker's Management Service of Evansville on Manitoulin Island, is being recognized for the development of the StormSafe submersible cage, which can withstand harsh climates and inclement weather, used in fish farming.
Finally, the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA), based in New Liskeard, is a non-profit organization that advocates for and promotes research, innovation, and commercialization in agriculture in Northern Ontario.
The awards are given for their contributions to boosting economic growth in Ontario by creating new products that help to support job creation, add value to existing products and support a sustainable environment.
The year 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, established to recognize and foster agri-food innovation across the province.
Ontario’s agri-food sector supports more than 790,000 jobs and contributes more than $36.4 billion towards the province’s GDP.
Ontario’s food and beverage processing sector remains strong with the presence of more than 3,800 companies, 96,600 jobs across the province.