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
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
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
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
By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario
Vineland – The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland), driven by demand from nurseries and grape growers, is leading the charge to find new table grape varieties for the Ontario market.
To date, Ontario’s main homegrown fresh table grape is Sovereign Coronation, a semi-seedless blue grape that’s ready for market over a six to eight week period in late summer and early fall.
“It’s challenging to have such a short season with only one variety. That’s what led growers and nurseries to ask if there is anything else out there that could extend their season and provide retailers with different grapes,” explains Michael Kauzlaric, Technology Scout and Grower Outreach at Vineland.
That demand by Ontario grape growers prompted Vineland to begin scouting for varieties that could grow well in Ontario’s climate as well as meet taste, quality and appearance needs. Continue reading