The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ (OMAFRA) Business Retention and Expansion program (BR+E) is a structured approach to economic development that helps communities to cultivate an environment for local businesses to grow and thrive. Since the program’s launch in 1998, over 10,000 businesses have participated in more than 300 BR+E projects across Ontario. Over the past two years, a broad range of communities such as the Town of Hanover, Dufferin County, Huron County and Whitewater Region have worked with OMAFRA staff to undertake BR+E projects to identify strategies for post-pandemic business growth.
Attend a free, three-part online BR+E training series in June if you are:
An economic development professional who will be undertaking a BR+E project,
An elected official or municipal staff who would like to learn more about the BR+E program,
An individual who is interested in managing or coordinating a community BR+E project.
All four stages of BR+E will be covered during the OMAFRA BR+E training sessions listed below:
Join the Agriculture and Economic Development Community of Practice on May 11 from 10 am – 11:30 am to hear about Ontario’s growing agriculture and food innovation ecosystem including presentations about several provincial and regional innovation initiatives including:
Economic development officers, planners and those involved in community economic development should join in and share how the agriculture and food innovation ecosystems can help your agriculture and food industry.
Ontario’s agriculture and food industries strive to meet an ever-increasing global demand for agricultural products. Ontario agriculture and food innovation projects are evolving and expanding to help people make new business ideas become reality.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) have coordinated the Agriculture and Economic Development Community of Practice – a free, online network to bring together economic development and planning professionals across Ontario interested in agricultural issues. The quarterly meeting topics will be based on relevant municipal policies, procedures and programming impacting the agricultural sector.
The Teeny Tiny Summit “Renewed, Refreshed and the New Rural” took place on March 2nd. The keynote was presented by ROMA’s Chair Robin Jones and researcher Kathryn Wood who spoke on the Opportunities for Rural Ontario in a Post Covid World.
A BR+E project can be an effective way to help local businesses overcome unforeseen circumstances. Recognizing this opportunity, Huron County’s BR+E team set out to complete a BR+E project in early 2021 with the aim of recruiting volunteer teams to visit local businesses to gather data before identifying and implementing goals and actions. Shifts in public health restrictions led to several shifts in Huron County’s approach, and the project team has since been able to successfully navigate through Stages 1 to 3 of the BR+E process. Here’s how they did it.
SIAL Canada is the North American branch of an international network of trade events showcasing food exporters from around the world at the food innovation trade show in North America.
SIAL Canada 2022 will once again be a live and in-person trade event taking place from April 20-22nd, 2022 at the Palais Des Congrès, Montreal.
OMAFRA is planning an Ontario Pavilion to include 10 exhibit booths that will showcase 10 Ontario food and beverage companies. These companies will have the opportunity to exhibit under a combined banner and take advantage of attracting international buyers to their booth.
The benefits of exhibiting with the Ontario Pavilion at SIAL Canada include:
Turn-key booth (hard walls, countertop, carpet, lighting) for a total cost of $2500.00
Excellent visibility on the show floor
Complimentary exhibitor badges
Promotion of exhibiting companies in advance of and during the show in an Ontario show guide for buyers which includes company information, contact and booth location at the show
In person time with Canadian, US and international buyers
Thinking about starting or expanding a food or beverage business in Ontario? The Business Development team is here to help you find the best opportunities that Ontario can offer. Our business consultants support food processing, and bioproducts businesses.
Staff Profile: Athar Shah, OMAFRA Business Consultant
Athar is one of the ministry’s business development consultants who always goes the extra mile to service the client. He manages the Ontario bakery, milling, cereal, ingredients and edible oils and fats sector. With over 20 years of experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in sales and production, Athar enjoys sharing his first hand knowledge, experience and expertise to advise sector clients – particularly in areas of costing, product development, market research, product life cycle, launch architect and exports.
If your community is looking for ways to support your local agriculture sector; consider attending the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) online Agriculture Economic Development Training.
The course is split into two sessions and registration is free.
Analyst is an online tool that pools data from a range of sources to provide information on regional economies and workforces. It helps you better understand your region so you can make informed decisions.
Using Analyst to generate reports like these for your Region will help to inform and support your workforce attraction plan.
Webinar: Learn More About the U.S. Private Label Industry & PLMA Global Event – February 15th at 10 am
OMAFRA will be hosting an informational webinar on Feb 15, 2022 at 10 am on US private label trends and opportunities and considerations when exporting to the U.S. The session will also provide information about PLMA Global 2022 – the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) Global virtual event, and how to exhibit as part of the virtual Ontario Pavilion.