GUELPH — Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province’s largest commodity organization representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers, is now accepting applications for the 2022 Grains Innovation Fund. The Grains Innovation Fund supports Ontario grain utilization projects that develop novel value-added uses or support market expansion for Ontario grains. It encourages innovation from Ontario companies and organizations that offer agri-food or other grains-based products.
“The evolution of grain farming in Ontario has built an incredible and resourceful community that the world has come to rely upon,” said Paul Hoekstra, Vice-President of Strategic Development for Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We have seen the work of farmers and organizations come together with the shared motivation to create and provide the best products globally and we want to continue to help nurture these important collaborations.”
The Grains Innovation Fund provides eligible companies and organizations up to 60 per cent of the cost of a project to a maximum of $50,000.
“We are continuously amazed by the innovation and creativity Ontario companies and organizations display in the project concepts they bring to the Grains Innovation Fund,” said Dana Dickerson, Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Manager of Market Development. “The Fund highlights the ingenuity of our grains industry leaders and how their contributions have a magnanimous impact on how we connect Ontario grains to every part of better living. The fund helps our supply chain to enrich the farm to retail story and highlights unique selling points around the provenance, sustainability, and versatility of Ontario grain-based products – value propositions that are highly appealing to the modern consumer.”
Companies and organizations must demonstrate their project meets at least one of the following criteria:
• Open new markets for Ontario grains.
• Expand the use and demand for Ontario grains.
• Promote Ontario grains as the best choice for consumers and/or the food value chain domestically or abroad.
• Increase the value for Ontario grains through the development of new, value-added uses.
To apply, visit gfo.ca/market-development and select Program Overview for a detailed description of the Grains Innovation Fund program and fill out the applicable submission.
Completed applications must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.
Examples of Successful Past Projects
• The Ontario Cattle Feeders’ Association (OCFA) used the fund to promote their Ontario Corn Fed Beef program in international export markets. The promotion campaign highlighted the positive contribution Ontario corn provides to product quality, including its rich, full flavour and robust marbling.
• The Straw Boss, a premium straw processor company, was supported by the fund to advance their use of Ontario straw in their pelletized straw production providing an alterative to traditional bedding options for livestock.
• Ontario wheat millers, 1847 Stone Mill, used the fund to harness the unused portion of wheat from the milling process to create an absorbent, clumping, dust free, smell-free pet litter called reLit that is 100% compostable.
• Canada’s largest manufacturer of tofu, Sunrise Soya, and partners at the Provision Coalition worked together on a project to explore new uses for soy by-products created in production of tofu. The result was an upcycled ramen noodle which formed part of a food kit featured in Canada’s first upcycled food festival and launched in Sobeys stores across Ontario.