Business & Policy
Corn and soybean auto parts growing reality in Ontario
By London Free Press
On the eve of Canada's Outdoor Farm Show near Woodstock, Ontario, comes another urban-based story, this one about the potential for manufacturing car parts out of corn and soybeans.
September 8, 2008
Chances are, parts of your car are made from Ontario-grown corn and soybeans.
Didn't know that?
Not many people do, but it's a growing reality as auto parts makers look for cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative materials.
And local farmers are getting in on a piece of the action.
"Our goal is to have 300 kilograms from agriculture in every vehicle," Gord Surgeoner, president of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, told the Western Fair Association last week.
"We don't own any car companies in Canada, but we have a lot of auto parts here."
Currently, about five kilograms of every car is made up of agricultural products — from the foam in car seats, made partly from soybeans, to side panels in car doors made from corn.
"Many of these (agriculture-based) products — not all — are fully compostable," Surgeoner said, adding that as oil prices rise, agriculture can move in to fill a need in all sorts of industries.
"We're in that world now that our price points in agriculture are doing what oil used to do , but you have to provide performance. We have to have products that are the same or better than before."