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GFO now accepting Grains Innovation Funds applications


October 8, 2021
By Grain Farmers of Ontario

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Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) 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, GFO vice-president of strategic development. “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 with up to 60 per cent of the cost of a project, to a maximum of $50,000.

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“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, GFO manager of market development. “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.”

Eligibility

Companies and organizations must demonstrate their project meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Opens new markets for Ontario grains;
  • Expands the use and demand for Ontario grains;
  • Promotes Ontario grains as the best choice for consumers and/or the food value chain domestically or abroad; or
  • Increases the value for Ontario grains through the development of new, value-added uses.

How to apply

  • Please visit: gfo.ca/market-development/;
  • Select Program Overview for a detailed description of the Grains Innovation Fund program;
  • Select Application to fill out your submission;
  • Completed applications must be sent, via email, to Dickerson at ddickerson@gfo.ca.

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 alternative to traditional bedding options for livestock.
  • 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 per cent 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.

Applications for the 2022 Grains Innovation Fund must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5.

For more information, please visit www.gfo.ca/market-development.