AYLMER — A shrimp farm and a Muslim chicken farm were the big winners when money was doled out for this year’s provincial Local Food Fund.
The government announced Nov. 23 that it will give $1.75 million to 21 projects. Eleven Western Ontario agribusinesses will receive money to improve their bottom lines and to hire employees. This was the third year of a three-year initiative. The grants include:
- Up to $237,216 to Planet Shrimp Inc. at Aylmer to build a shrimp production racking system, tanks, and window enclosures for a bio-secure environment using exclusive advanced technology. This will enable the commercialized cultivation of marine shrimp on a large-scale indoor shrimp farm.
- Up to $168,048 to Sheik Halal Farms Inc. at Grand Valley for automation technology to process Halal chicken for Muslim consumers and to help provide a stable supply of local Halal poultry meat and ensure high quality and food safety standards while reducing costs.
- Up to $89,000 to the South Central Ontario Region (SCOR) Economic Development Corporation at Tillsonburg toward the SCOR Food Hub regional project, which gives producers within 28 municipalities greater access to markets. Larger producers act as hubs for smaller producers to help centralize products and sell them through an online ordering system.
- Up to $54,314 to The Railway Brewing Company Ltd. at St. Thomas to buy shrink wrap labelling equipment to allow the company to customize beer can labels in a matter of days and help promote seasonal products that use local ingredients such as maple syrup and honey.
- Up to $25,000 to Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island to establish a working group of eight regional farmers’ markets.
- Up to $25,000 to Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards Ltd. at Essex County to purchase commercial kitchen equipment for its new multi-purpose building.
- Up to $23,625 to Van De Gevel Farms at Southwold, near St. Thomas, to install cold storage to increase apple bin capacity at the farm.
- Up to $9,500 to The Huron Business Development Corporation at the Municipality of Huron-East to create the Huron Food Action Network, which will conduct research and market analysis to develop a brand strategy.
- Up to $6,775 to Crazy Eight Barn at Chatham-Kent, a newly-established agri-tourism destination in southwestern Ontario to create its “From Farm to Freezer” label and signage for its frozen soups and pies.
- Up to $5,450 to Clear Valley Hops at Collingwood to purchase an increased capacity lacerator that will result in reducing the pelletizing time. They dry the artisanal hops at a low heat, pelletize, package, and flash freeze within 24 hours of harvest.
- Up to $3,250 to LAMBlicious at South Bruce Peninsula to increase capacity and reliability of its supply chain to meet consumer demand for local lamb meat and lamb products, such as its maple balsamic dressing.