Composite image representing agriculture in Huron County, Ontario

TORONTO — The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing over $7 million in more than 175 projects approved through the Grow Ontario Market Initiative, designed to help agriculture and food businesses increase their sales in both domestic and foreign markets. This five-year, $12 million initiative, launched last year through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP), is still accepting applications.

The Grow Ontario Market Initiative supports primary producers, food processors, and industry organizations with cost-share funding to help them undertake market analysis and planning, new product development, and marketing. This initiative plays a crucial role in enhancing the competitiveness of Ontario’s agricultural sector, particularly benefiting Huron County, which is the most agriculturally productive county in Ontario.

Economic Impact on Huron County

Given Huron County’s status as a leader in agricultural production, the Grow Ontario Market Initiative holds significant promise for local farmers and food processors. The funding aims to open new market opportunities, driving economic growth and ensuring the continued prosperity of the region. By supporting projects that enhance market reach and product development, the initiative will likely bolster Huron County’s contributions to Ontario’s agriculture and food sector.

Government Support

“Our hardworking farmers and food processors produce the best products in the world,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “With this funding through the Grow Ontario Market Initiative, we’re helping them promote their top-quality products and establish new markets here in Canada and around the world.”

Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and local MPP for Huron-Bruce, emphasized the provincial commitment to the Grow Ontario Strategy goals. “In its first year, the Grow Ontario Market Initiative is already making a difference for Ontario agriculture and food businesses by helping them to reach new market opportunities.”

Approved Projects

Examples of funded projects include:

  • Superior Bakes Inc. of Thunder Bay, which will use the funding to conduct a shelf-life study and market their products domestically.
  • Ontario Sheep Farmers, who will develop marketing research services to promote meat products to Ontario consumers.
  • Advantage Health Matters Inc. of Toronto, which is marketing their products and increasing exports to the United Kingdom.

About Sustainable CAP

Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial, and territorial governments to strengthen the competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.

Quick Facts

  • The Grow Ontario Market Initiative is delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Application information can be obtained by calling 1-877-424-1300 or visiting the OMAFRA website.
  • Applicants can receive up to 50 per cent cost share for eligible costs, with a maximum of $60,000 per business for producers and food and beverage processors, and up to $125,000 for sector organizations.
  • Ontario’s agriculture and food industry contributes $48.8 billion in GDP to the provincial economy, representing 6.4 per cent of total Ontario GDP.
  • Sustainable CAP supports the Grow Ontario Strategy’s goals of increasing food production by 30 per cent over the next 10 years and growing agriculture and food exports by eight per cent annually.

For more information about OMAFRA programs and services, contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) by phone at 1-877-424-1300 or by email at ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

By highlighting the economic impact of these investments, particularly on Huron County, the Huron Chamber of Commerce aims to inform and support our local agricultural community in leveraging these opportunities for growth and development.