Category Archives: markets

Seed fund investment helps local gourmet food processor double sales in only one year

This week’s story comes to us from Bioenterprise.

By Lilian Schaer

Guelph, Ontario-based Rootham Gourmet Preserves has a long history of sourcing locally grown fruits and vegetables and partnering with local farms and businesses.

As the local food movement took hold, owner Will Rootham-Roberts started seeing increased interest in locally made and sourced small-batch gourmet condiments. He recognized an opportunity for the family-owned company to expand and offer Ontario farmers the possibility of creating and selling shelf-stable jams, jellies and sauces from their own locally grown produce.

But he needed help turning that vision into reality – help he received from Bioenterprise in the form of a grant from the Bioenterprise Seed Fund.

“Thanks to Bioenterprise, we were able to expand our processing capabilities and undertake a direct marketing campaign to promote our services to potential customers,” said Rootham-Roberts. Continue reading

Incubator uses Growing Forward 2 funding to give local food businesses a start

This week’s story comes to us from the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

By Lilian Schaer

Toronto – A not-for-profit food business incubator in Toronto is helping entrepreneurs get their fledgling food companies off the ground.

Food Starter offers food prep, processing, packaging and storage facilities to industry entrants at a reduced rate, as well as courses to teach entrepreneurs about key aspects of the food industry, like food safety, regulatory compliance, labelling, accounting, marketing, business management and human resources.

The Toronto Food Business Incubator partnered with the City of Toronto to access funding from Growing Forward 2 to develop and launch Food Starter in November 2015.

“A lot of people here are good at recipes but don’t know about all the other things needed to run a food business,” explains Carlos Correia, Food Starter’s Facility Manager. “We cover all aspects of business development to give them information they didn’t know existed but would be road block to keep them from moving forward.” Continue reading

Online marketing opens consumer doors for Ontario beef farmers

Rob and Maryjo Tait of Celtic Ridge Farms

By Jeanine Moyer for AgInnovation Ontario

Dutton – Ontario beef farmers are taking ‘local’ online to reach new customers.

Farm to City, a new marketing model with a web-based ordering system, is opening up direct-to-customer marketing opportunities for beef farmers such as Rob and Maryjo Tait, of Celtic Ridge Farms.

The young farm family recently launched the online ordering system and was thrilled by the response from customers.

“We knew our farm meat products needed an online presence,” said Rob. “Our customers are shopping, researching and sharing their food experiences online. The Farm to City online model is attracting new customers and opening up new opportunities for us.” Continue reading

Dog and cat food gets eat-local, back-to-basics diet option

By Lisa McLean for AgInnovation Ontario

Beamsville – Health-conscious Canadians know a low glycemic index (GI) diet with fewer processed foods is an effective way to manage weight. Now, a Canadian pet food company is applying those same priorities to pets.

Dan Stevenson, president of Ontario-based Boréal Pet Food, says the idea for a new line of cat and dog food came from a desire to go back-to-basics for Canadian pets.

He and his brother Hugh Stevenson, a veterinarian, have built a line of canned and dried food products for cats and dogs that use low-carb Canadian ingredients.

Stevenson spent more than 15 years in the pet food industry before starting his own line. He says he didn’t see enough pet foods taking a low GI approach for the average pet – and it was taking a toll on animal health.

“Too many pets are consuming high-carb diets because they’re eating food with high amounts of corn, wheat, rice and potato, and it contributes to skin allergies, obesity, diabetes and poor pet health,” says Stevenson. “Low GI foods slow digestion, keeping pets fuller for longer.” Continue reading

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