All posts by ON Regional Economic Development

New funding Intake for Ontario Food and Beverage Processors

Canada and Ontario are investing up to $6 million in projects to help Ontario food and beverage processors improve their operations, increase their competitive edge and adapt to challenges as the pandemic begins to subside.

Applications for this program will be accepted in two phases.

The first phase of this new intake under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support projects that will enhance economic development and food safety in the sector will be accepted. Applications for phase one of the intake will be accepted starting on August 5, 2021 until September 2, 2021.

The second phase of the intake will open in September for targeted projects to improve labour productivity, efficiency and reduce waste.

Program materials including the application form and program guide are available on the OMAFRA website.

A webinar providing an overview of this food and beverage processor intake will be held on Monday August 16, at 9:30am. Sign up using the webinar registration form. This session will be recorded and available for those not able to attend.

For more information about the programming contact OMAFRA by emailing or calling 1-877-424-1300.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity. This commitment includes $2 billion for programs that are cost-shared by the federal and provincial and territorial governments and are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

Grocery Innovations Canada Show 2021: Live Online

Grocery Innovations Canada’s (GIC) annual food service and hospitality trade event will take place virtually this year from October 26-28, 2021.

The GIC show is a leading industry event connecting the food and beverage retail sector. The event is attended by key decision makers – such as Presidents, Vice Presidents, General Managers, Directors and Buying/Purchasing Managers – that are keen on purchasing new products for their retail shelves.

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Webinar: Exporting Food and Beverages to The Philippines

On September 14, 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in cooperation with Canadian Trade Commissioners Services in the Philippines is hosting a webinar for Ontario’s food and beverage suppliers. The webinar will discuss opportunities to export food and beverage products to the Philippines.

Participating Ontario food and beverage suppliers will learn about pertinent information in exporting to importers and retailers in the Philippines and will also have an opportunity to be introduced to consolidators, importers, prominent retailers, and trade commissioners who are engaged in Southeast Asian markets.

Increasing exports and diversifying export markets is fundamental to the competitiveness and growth of Ontario Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as the overall economic health and growth of the province.

Market opportunities for Ontario include:

  • Growing populations and ongoing urbanization in Southeast Asian markets
  • Increased consumption of higher value food & beverage products because of shared interests on trade agreements
  • The growth of the Philippines’ economy and their rising incomes amongst the growing middle class
  • Ontario’s previous success in exporting to the Philippines, including CAD $50.21 million worth of agri-food and beverage products in 2020
  • The Philippines being a net importer of agri-food products in 2018, with Canada being its thirteenth largest supplier

To learn more and capitalize on these opportunities, register on the event homepage.

Growing Agri-Tourism Initiatives in Your Community

Join other professionals on Thursday, August 19, 2021 for the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice discussion on Agri-tourism.

Agri-tourism is a rural based industry in Ontario with growth potential. To help unlock that potential, Simcoe County recognized that prospective operators might need guidance to help navigate through the process of starting an agri-tourism component on the farm.  Simcoe County worked with TCI Management Consultants, and Wilton Consulting Group to develop a toolkit for farmers who would like to start or expand their agritourism operation in Simcoe County. The toolkit contains all the information people need to help decide whether agri-tourism is right for them.

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Knowing your Financial Statements: Balance Sheets

Knowing and analyzing how your farm is performing is one of the most important jobs you, as a farm business owner, should be doing on a regular basis. Most farmers will analyze how well their products have grown/performed on a regular basis, which is a great thing to do. However, how often do you look at your financial performance or year-end financial statements? There is important information contained in your financial statements that is used by your lender, your advisor, and by you, as the owner. In this article, we will look at the balance sheet.

The Purpose of the Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a list all the farm business’ assets, liabilities and owner’s equity/net worth at a certain point in time (i.e., as of December XX, 202X).  The statement must “balance” (thus the name) because it tells the story of what is owned (assets) and how they were purchased (liabilities— debts; and owner’s equity— what the owner contributed).  The formula for a balance sheet is Assets = Liabilities + Net Worth.

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12 Questions to Determine if Entrepreneurship is Right for You

Before diving into entrepreneurship in the food and beverage industry, it is recommended to do some self-reflection to determine whether it is a good fit for your personality, skills, resources, lifestyle, and preparedness. This 12-question self-assessment will help you understand how you may perform in an entrepreneurship scenario and how this change would affect your life. Take a few minutes to learn more about being your own boss and what it takes to succeed.

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Labour Productivity Challenges in Ontario’s Agri-Food Industry

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council has some resources and insights about labour productivity challenges in Ontario’s agri-food industry.

Some of the challenges include:

  • Over 45% of surveyed Ontario agricultural employers said they could not hire all the workers they needed
  • The labour gap in Ontario grew by over 10,000 people from 2007 to 2017
  • The survey of Ontario employers also found that reported over 80% experienced excessive owner stress, over 60% experienced production delays, nearly 60% lost sales, and over 40% delayed the expansion of their business.
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Program to Raise Ontario Food International Trade (PROFIT) Workshop

OMAFRA’s Program to Raise Ontario Food International Trade (PROFIT) workshop provides Ontario agri-food producers and processors with the main exporting touchpoints required for food and beverage products to the United States. 

For more than 30 years, the PROFIT workshop has grown the success of hundreds of Ontario agri-food businesses by enhancing their market knowledge to export to the U.S.

Following the successful shift from an in-person event to a virtual platform in 2020, the PROFIT seminar will be offered online again this year. The PROFIT seminar series is comprised of nine (TBC) twice-weekly sessions during July and August. It is free for participants to attend, and is being offered to anyone in the agri-food industry that is interested in learning more about exporting food and beverage products to the U.S.

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Regional Economic Analysis Community of Practice Webinar

Join other economic development professionals on Thursday, June 17, 2021 for a panel discussion about regional economic analysis and how to use data to support decision making.

This session is designed to help participants:

  • Gain a better understanding of existing regional and local data to support planning and recovery efforts, such as regional economic base, growth opportunities, sector impact, workforce, and its uses in strategy development.
  • Learn how other communities have utilized different Analyst reports and other data to further their economic development objectives
  • Network with others that use a data driven approach to economic development.
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Informative Resources for Potential Entrepreneurs in the Food Industry

The Government of Ontario is offering new educational resources to assist and guide those who are interested in starting a food business. These resources are intended to inform potential entrepreneurs about various components of starting and operating a food business, as well as to help them discover whether the food industry is right for them.

Key Components of a Business Plan

The first resource offers information about the key components of a business plan, including operations, finance, human resources, marketing and more. It presents many considerations for each of these key components, allowing readers to generate an accurate and fully-encompassing plan for their future business.

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