OMAFRA January 2018 Food Bulletin

OMAFRA January 2018 Food Bulletin

on January 24 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

Happy New Year! 2018 promises to be a year of networking for Ontario food and beverage manufacturers… this month’s bulletin highlights more than 10 separate event opportunities, including discounted exhibit space at Restaurants Canada Show 2018! Connect with buyers, industry experts and peers, and support your operation’s growth. Also read on to find out about new funding programs, how energy efficiency can save you money, and co-op student recruitment opportunities

Industry news

  1. Ontario manufacturers wanted for the Restaurant Canada Show 2018
  2. Energy efficiency and your bottom line (video)

What’s New from Ontario

  1. Save the date for PROFIT 2018 and Street Smart in 2018

Funding Opportunities

  1. Strategic Innovation Fund – applications wanted
  2. Food and beverage innovation funding
  3. Canada’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP Canada)
  4. Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ)


  1. January 11, 2018 – EMC Growing Forward 2 Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector Event, London.
  2. January 20, 2018 – FarmSmart Agricultural Conference, University of Guelph
  3. January 31-Feb. 1, 2018 – Ontario Processing Vegetable Industry Conference, London.
  4. February 21-22, 2018 – Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention (OFVC), Niagara Falls. Don’t miss OMAFRA’s Winery Session Feb 21st!
  5. April 29-30, 2018 – Bakery Showcase Trade Show and Conference, Mississauga.
  6. May 27-29, 2018 – CIFST National Conference, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Resources to Access

  1. Recruit Talent, Recruit Guelph!
  2. Follow OMAFRA on Twitter

Industry News

Ontario manufacturers wanted for Restaurant Canada Show 2018

Ontario food and beverage manufacturers are invited to showcase their innovative products in the Ontario Pavilion at the Restaurant Canada Show 2018Feb. 25-27, 2018, at the Enercare Centre in Toronto.

This is the 72nd year for the nation’s largest foodservice event, and the theme of “Innovation Unleashed” promises to give Ontario companies an excellent opportunity to promote their unique products to international buyers, chefs, caterers, restaurateurs and foodservice operators.

A limited number of discounted exhibit opportunities are available for Ontario manufacturers:
• 10’x10’ Ontario Pavilion booth package for $2,299 (valued at more than $10,000)
• 5’x10’ Ontario Pavilion booth package for $1,150
Corner booths are available on first-come, first-served basis

Request a Show application from Leslie Best at
For more information on Restaurant Canada Show 2018, contact Lerna

Energy efficiency and your bottom line (video)

Using less energy is better for the environment and saves you money on your operation’s utility costs. There are a lot of ways that Ontario food and beverage manufacturers can ensure an energy-wise operation – watch our videos on operational efficiency, utility cost planning and measurement, and tackling invisible energy waste.

Contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300 or for more information about smart energy decisions.

What’s New from Ontario

Save the date for Ontario Food Exports’ 2018 events!

  • PROFIT 2018 – New-to-Exporting Seminar:Jun. 12-13, 2018
    Features industry expert speakers and “hands-on” orientation on the basic requirements for food and beverage exporting to the U.S. Topics include export financing, product labelling, tax laws, food brokerage, food distribution, regulations, customs and customs brokerage.
  • Street Smart:Sept. 17-18, 2018
    This table-top event that brings together 100+ export-ready Ontario private label, and health and wellness food and beverage suppliers with more than 35 pre-qualified U.S. and international buyers. Gain an understanding of grocery retailers’ needs, product trends and the best methods to sell individual chains in a variety of regional and international markets.

For more information, contact Cheryl Chlebus, Client Information Coordinator or 519-826-3767.


Strategic Innovation Fund – applications wanted

Ontario food and beverage manufacturers are encouraged to submit an application to the Government of Canada’s new Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), which provides repayable and non-repayable funding to help spur innovation and growth. The five-year funding program has a budget of $1.26 billion, and assists qualifying applicants within the Fund’s four streams:

  • R&D and commercialization
    • operational expansion and growth
    • investment attraction and reinvestment
    • collaborative technology development and demonstration

For more information on eligibility or to apply for the funding, visit the SIF website or connect directly with a program officer at 613-954-5031 or toll-free at 1-800-328-6189.

Food and beverage innovation funding

Ontario food and beverage manufacturers can apply for grant funding through George Brown College’s Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt). Located in downtown Toronto, FIRSt provides access to technical resources, state-of-the-art facilities and networking opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses within the GTA food and beverage industry. From concept to commercialization, FIRSt helps its clients get their products to market and grow their businesses.

To determine if your project qualifies, contact Michelle Kienitz or visit the program website.

Canada’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP Canada)

To help Canadian firms increase their export potential, World Trade Centre Toronto—the trade services arm of the Toronto Region Board of Trade—has launched Canada’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP Canada) to serve as the one-stop shop for a company’s exporting needs.

A six-week hands-on program, TAP Canada helps participating businesses navigate the complexities of the global trade ecosystem and leverage Canada’s deep trade and investment resources. Through a combination of workshops, clinics and one-on-one coaching, program participants will complete a new Market Entry Plan and begin its activation while in the program.

For more information, check out or contact Malak Marzouk, or 416-862-4514.

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ)

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) is an initiative of the Summer Work Experience program. It provides wage subsidies to employers to create employment for secondary and post-secondary students.

CSJ provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. Private sector employers are eligible to receive funding for up to 50% of the provincial minimum hourly wage.

For further information on eligibility or to apply visit or call 1-800-935-5555.


EMC GF2 (Growing Forward 2) Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Sector Event: 
January 11, 2018
The Original Cakerie, London

This special EMC GF2 Food Sector Networking Event invites participants to explore improving their processes and efficiencies. Our host, The Original Cakerie, will share their experiences implementing the concept of Zero Based Analysis. ZBA employs a combination of technology (including surveys, data collection, apps and analysis) to plan improvement projects that may potentially yield significant outcomes. The Original Cakerie’s Rapid Improvement Team will highlight their journey and results to date, followed by a plant tour.

For more information or to register for this event please contact Bren de Leeuw, Director – Food, Beverage, Bio and Ag Program via email

Ontario Processing Vegetable Industry Conference 
January 31-February 1, 2018.
Four Points by Sheraton, London, ON

This annual event brings processors and growers together, along with industry suppliers and government, to address emerging issues in the industry. It also provides an excellent networking opportunity.

To register or for sponsorship information, please visit the website.

Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention (OFVC) 
February 21- 22, 2018
Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls.

Billed as Canada’s premiere horticulture event, the OFVC brings together more than 200 exhibitors and sponsors across three exhibit halls, and 120 educational sessions featuring internationally-acclaimed speakers, and catering to a vast range of interests and sectors. Casual networking opportunities and competitions offers attendees many ways to connect with peers and potential customers.

OMAFRA will chair several sessions including a full-day winery session on Feb. 21st.

For general inquiries, to register, exhibit or sponsor, please contact: Glenna Cairnie,glenna@ofvc.ca905-945-5363.

Bakery Showcase Trade Show and Conference
April 29 & 30, 2018
International Centre, Mississauga

Bakery Showcase is Canada’s national baking industry trade show and conference. The event is held every two years in Toronto. It is the largest and ONLY baking industry B2B trade show and conference.

Exhibitor Profile: Companies that manufacture, market and sell baked products (finished, semi-finished, frozen, etc.), baking ingredients, baking equipment, supplies, packaging, technology and services to the baking industry.

Audience / Attendee Profile: Retail bakeries (independent & franchise), commercial and large scale bakeries, supermarket in-store bakeries, foodservice (restaurants, hotel, caterer, cafes), specialty and artisan bakers, distributors, brokers, manufacturers, suppliers of ingredients, equipment and services, bakery & pastry program schools, consultants, government, associations and local/international buyer missions.

To reserve exhibit space, sponsors, attend or for additional information please email Ahmed Mutaher – – or call 905-405-0288 ext. 22.


Recruit Talent, Recruit Guelph!

Get a head start on hiring a U of G co-op student for the summer! Students are available for 4, 8, or 12 month co-op terms. If you’re not sure you have the budget to hire a co-op student this summer, contact the office to learn about various hiring incentives for employers.

For more information, call (519) 824-4120 x 52323, email or visit their website:

Follow OMAFRA on Twitter

@OMAFRA stay up-to-date on the latest news, events, and more!

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