Author Archives: AgInnovation Ontario

Fuelling innovation:

Ethanol producer uses technology to augment business

By Matt McIntosh for AgInnovation Ontario

Aylmer – Producing greener fuels makes good environmental sense, but for Aylmer, Ontario’s IGPC Ethanol Inc., sustainability also means business diversity.

The company – which has been making ethanol from locally-sourced corn since 2008 – has been continuously augmented with technology designed to increase efficiency as well as scope of production.

IGPC Ethanol Inc. is a finalist for the London Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Agribusiness Award, as well as a significant local employer and long-time member of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, a Guelph-based organization that helps Ontario’s agri-food sector capture new markets and access new technologies. Continue reading

Feeding the fresh shrimp market from an Ontario hog barn

By Jane Robinson for AgInnovation Ontario

Campbellford – There’s no manual for farming shrimp in Ontario. No best practices or specialists to consult. But that didn’t deter the Cocchio family from taking the plunge into raising the delicate crustaceans in a former pig barn.

When the market fell out of pig farming about 10 years ago, Paul and Tracy Cocchio found themselves with three relatively new, empty barns on their Campbellford, Ontario farm.

A casual internet search for alternate uses for barns turned up shrimp farming. It peaked their interest enough to travel to the U.S. to visit a few shrimp farmers, and Paul took an Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) workshop on trout farming.

As the Cocchios pondered their options, they factored in the untapped market opportunities for Ontario-grown shrimp.

“Shrimp is the number one imported seafood in North America, and we knew that nearly every restaurant between Toronto and Ottawa has shrimp on the menu,” said Brad Cocchio, who runs the operation with his wife Jordan, and his parents Paul and Tracy. Continue reading

Canada’s changing face presents opportunity for Ontario flower growers

By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Vineland – Immigrants coming to Canada bring with them not only their own culture and food, but also distinct floral preferences. As Canada’s demographic makeup changes, this means new opportunity for flower growers in this country.

Researchers at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) in collaboration with Ontario grocery chain Longo’s have identified a particular opportunity for jasmine – Jasminum sambac specifically – and  are now working with flower grower Westbrook Floral to bring the first Ontario-grown jasmine plants to market this spring.

“There is a very different flower culture in Asia compared to the Western tradition, especially with Hindu and Buddhist religions,” said Dr. Alexandra Grygorczyk, a consumer insights researcher at Vineland. “Flowers have very specific meanings and new Canadians are very specific about what they want.” Continue reading

FarmLead is changing the way farmers and buyers make a match

By Lisa McLean for AgInnovation Ontario

Ottawa ON – Grain marketing and knowing when timing is best to make a sale can be one of the hardest tasks on a farmer’s to do list. But what if farmers with grain to sell had access to hundreds of buyers?

That’s the thinking behind FarmLead, an award-winning online platform that connects grain buyers and sellers, 24 hours a day. The Ottawa-based company boasts over 3,200 farmers and more than 300 different buyers who actively deal on crops ranging from grains, pulses and oilseeds to straw and hay.

“The value proposition of the company is that farmers need something to get them the best exposure possible for their grain. If a farmer has ten thousand bushels of corn to sell, it should be easy for him or her to access more than the one or two local sale options. As a farmer, you know those other options are out there, but it takes time to find them,” says FarmLead co-founder and chief operating officer Alain Goubau. Continue reading

Meeting consumer needs for the perfect Canadian rose

By Lilian Schaer

Vineland – A new, homegrown rose is about to hit the Canadian market and it’s been carefully selected with the consumer in mind.

The Canadian Shield rose is the first variety to be released by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) and, after in-depth research into consumer wants and needs, meets all of their key “must-haves.”  That’s according to Lana Culley, Director of Business Development at Vineland.

“Canadian Shield is cold-hardy, disease resistant and low maintenance,” she says of the variety originally bred by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada plant breeders. “The bush is large, covered in flowers, and a repeat bloomer from July through to October.”

The vibrant red blossom is a full flower with plenty of petals, and the foliage is dark green and glossy. And, the rose’s name: ‘Canadian Shield,’ is already trademarked. Continue reading