OMAFRA April 2018 Food Bulletin

OMAFRA April 2018 Food Bulletin

on May 8 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

This month, improve your business practices, drive growth and access new training opportunities. Read on to find out about new CAP funding, applications for the 2018 Premier’s Award, Canadian Food Inspection Agency services now available online, how to start a craft brewery, upcoming events like Energy Summit 2018 and those for CIFST and OIMP, and more.


  1. NOW OPEN: Canadian Agriculture Partnership funding for processors
  2. Publication consultation report on Canada’s Food Guide
  3. Global adjustment cost in food and beverage facilities
  4. APPLY: 2018 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence
  5. CIFA online services
  6. NOW AVAILABLE: Starting a Craft Brewery in Ontario Guide
  7. Health Canada package labelling consultation
  8. Meat and poultry workforce employer survey
  9. Energy efficiency and your bottom line (video)
  10. Monthly Ministry of Labour updates


  1. Meet the OFEX Team
  2. PROFIT New-to-Exporting Seminar: June 12-13, 2018
  3. Street Smart: September 17-18, 2018


  1. New federal agricultural business funding programs
  2. Food and Beverage innovation funding
  3. GreenON Food Manufacturing Program


  1. April 17-18, 2018 – Food Safety Summit, Toronto
  2. April 19, 2018 – Ontario Independent Meat Processors Industry Day/AGM, Mississauga
  3. April 26, 2018 – CIFST Ontario Spring Technical Session, Mississauga
  4. April 29-30, 2018 – Bakery Showcase Trade Show and Conference, Mississauga
  5. April 30-May 2, 2018 – Effective Cleaning and Sanitation, Kitchener
  6. May 16, 2018 – Speaking Food AGM and Conference, Toronto
  7. May 27-29, 2018 – CIFST National Conference, Niagara-on-the-Lake
  8. May 30-31, 2018 – Energy Summit 2018, Vaughan
  9. June 5, 2018 – EMC Food, Beverage and Bio Sector Networking Seminar
  10. June 6-7, 2018 – Food Handler Training Workshop, Cambridge
  11. September 12, 2018 – CIFST Annual Golf Tournament, Ajax
  12. October 23-24, 2018 – Grocery Innovations Canada, Toronto
  13. November 6, 2018 – CIFST Suppliers’ Night Tabletop Exhibition, Mississauga


  1. Free online agri-food courses
  2. Beverage Institute now online
  3. Free labour market intelligence for all manufacturers
  4. Recruit Talent, Recruit Guelph!


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


NOW OPEN: Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding for processors
OMAFRA will deliver Canadian Agricultural Partnership programming to processors and other agri-businesses on behalf of Ontario and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, helping to grow Ontario’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, and increase its competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability.

Under the 5-year initiative, businesses can apply for funding to support economic development in the agri-food and agri-based products sectors, and protection and assurance in food safety and plant and animal health.

Processors and other agri-businesses can apply for funding to undertake various activities to improve their business and to innovate and modernize their practices, equipment and operations. Additionally, many workshops, resources and online learning opportunities are available at no cost.

The first application intake window for processor and other agri-business cost-share funding assistance is April 3-May 8, 2018. Program details, including how to apply, program guides and application forms can be found at:

Publication consultation report on Canada’s Food Guide
Health Canada is revising Canada’s Food Guide to reflect new evidence and meet the needs of various audiences who use its healthy eating recommendations. In the summer of 2017, over 6,700 stakeholders and Canadians provided input on these revisions.

View and share the “What We Heard Report”, find out more about Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy and sign up to be part of upcoming health consultations (for the “areas of interest” page, be sure to include ‘‘Canada’s Food Guide/Nutrition”).

Global adjustment costs in food and beverage facilities
Ontario agri-food sector companies who participate in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) pay global adjustment (GA) based on their contribution to Ontario’s top five peak demand hours in a year. In April 2017, the Government of Ontario reduced the threshold, to opt-in to the ICI, to 500 kW.

Eligible companies will be informed by their local distribution company before May 31 each year. In order to qualify for the GA benefit, customers must opt in by June 15 of each year to participate in the ICI program for the adjustment period starting on July 1.

For more information, see the Industrial Conservation Initiative Backgrounder.

APPLY: 2018 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence
Apply now for the 2018 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence annual program, which supports and recognizes the dedication, hard work and innovation of local producers/farmers, processors and agri-food organizations who are adding value to existing products, helping create jobs and contributing to economic growth.

Eligible recipients could receive one of the following awards:
• One Premier’s Award – valued at $75,000
• One Minister’s Award – valued at $50,000
• Three Leaders in Innovation Award – valued at $25,000 each
• 45 Provincial Awards – valued at $5,000 each

Applications will be accepted until May 25, 2018 – visit the website for detailed eligibility guidelines and an application form.

CFIA Online Services
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) now provides online access to a growing number of services. Sign up My CFIA to:
• Get convenient and secure access to online services
• Manage and track service requests
• Request permissions such as licences, permits, registrations and authorizations
• Request and manage export certificates

Sign up and get started at the CFIA website.

NOW AVAILABLE: Starting a Craft Brewery in Ontario Guide
The craft beer industry is thriving in Ontario – whether new to the industry and starting a business, or expanding an existing operation, find information to help succeed in the new Starting a Craft Brewery in Ontario guide. It includes expert advice and links to programs, services, industry contacts and resources in Ontario.

Get the Guide online.

Health Canada package labelling consultation
Health Canada is seeking industry comment on the amendment of front-of-packaging labelling regulations for nutrition symbols, other labelling provisions, partially hydrogenated oils and vitamin D. Consultation will support measures to provide clear and consistent information and updated nutrients content claims. Consultation ends Apr. 26, 2018; email input to For more information, visit Canada Gazette.

Meat and poultry workforce employer survey
The Food Processing Human Resources Council is undertaking a Labour Market Information Study on Meat Processing to accurately measure the supply of available labour at the regional level. Employers are invited to participate and provide data on current labour challenges that will inform the government’s policy decisions on immigration, foreign workers, LMIAs, employment insurance, training programs and more.

Access a survey link by completing the required form.

Energy efficiency and your bottom line (video)
Using less energy is better for the environment and saves you money on 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.

Monthly Ministry of Labour updates
The Ministry of Labour (MoL) is recommending that those wanting to better understand changes under the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act:
• read the plain language “Guide to the Employment Standards Act”;
• subscribe to monthly “What’s New” emails from the MoL; or
• call the Employment Standards Information Centre:
o GTA: 416-326-7160
o Canada-wide: 1-800-531-5551
o TTY: 1-866-567-8893


Meet the OFEX Team

Did you know that Ontario Food Exports (OFEX) provides end-to-end export marketing services for Ontario suppliers who are new to exporting or already experienced exporters. As part of OMAFRA, OFEX can help suppliers identify export opportunities for their products and develop strategies that address the unique challenges of exporting food, beverage and agriculture products internationally. Interested in learning more? Contact OFEX today.

Resources and Opportunities

  • PROFIT New-to-Exporting Seminar:June 12-13, 2018REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! This is your invitation to participate in OFEX’s 2-day PROFIT New-to-Exporting Seminar taking place June 12-13 in Niagara Falls, ON and Buffalo, NY. This long-standing and highly-regarded seminar will provide Ontario food and beverage manufacturers with practical, hands-on knowledge about how to export to the U.S.. Discussion topics include U.S. tax laws, export financing, product labelling, FSMA FSVP, risk management, market research, U.S. customs brokerage and more! Cost is $350 (+HST) and includes a PROFIT guide book, round-trip motor coach transportation to Buffalo, accommodations in Buffalo and all meals.

Don’t miss this once-annual opportunity! Space is limited: register today! 
Contact Cheryl Chlebus, OFEX Client Information Coordinator at 519-826-3767

  • Street Smart,September 17-18, 2018: Held in Toronto, Ontario, Street Smart is an excellent opportunity for Ontario agri-food manufacturers and processors to showcase their products and company in a table-top setting in front of up to 35 U.S. and international buyers. Previous Street Smart events have led to millions of dollars in sales for Ontario companies. This year, Ontario suppliers will be featuring a broad range of private label and branded products from the bakery, deli, frozen prepared, beverage, snack food, specialty, confectionery and grocery sectors.

For more information on these events, contact Cheryl Chlebus, OFEX Client Information Coordinator at or 519-826-3767.


New federal agricultural business funding programs
Ontario producers and processors will be able to apply to six new federally-funded programs under the federal-provincial-territorial Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). These programs will directly benefit producers and processors, and address priorities identified by the agricultural sector:

  • growing trade and expanding existing markets
    • supporting innovation and sustainable growth
    • increasing diversity and the dynamic nature of the sector

    Funding will begin Apr. 1, 2018:access the program guides and application forms.

Food and beverage innovation funding
Ontario food and beverage companies can apply for grant funding through George Brown College’s Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt). Located in downtown Toronto, FIRSt supports product development by providing access to technical resources, state-of-the-art facilities and networking opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses within the GTA.

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

GreenON Food Manufacturing program
The GreenON Food Manufacturing program helps Ontario food and beverage processors to accelerate their greenhouse gas reductions by expanding the use of innovative technologies and practices to reduce this pollution. Two funding streams are available:
• Retrofit Stream: Adoption of proven technologies such as retrofits to improve energy, water and resource efficiency.
• Innovation Stream: Adoption and demonstration of lesser-known technologies

For more information, visit the Ontario Centres of Excellence website.


Food Safety Summit 
April 17-18, 2018
Toronto Airport Marriott, Toronto

Food safety practitioners will gather at the 14th annual North American summit on food safety to help transform their food safety processes and prepare for the world of digital compliance. Senior executives from the CFIA and FDA will be in attendance to address regulatory change questions, as will industry leaders, manufacturers, processors, retailers, distributors, consultants and more. Attendees will leave with increased insights into preventing food-borne illnesses, improving staff training, reducing risk and more.

For more information or to register to attend, visit the event website.

Ontario Independent Meat Processors Industry Day and AGM
April 19, 2018
Double Tree by Hilton, Mississauga

The Ontario Independent Meat Processors industry comes together at its Industry Day 2018 and AGM to share ideas and find solutions to labour force challenges facing the meat industry. Topics will include Impacts of ESA Changes to Your Business – Miller Thomson LLP, Who’s Training Your Future Butcher? – Fanshawe College, What We Heard – Food Processing HR Council, Funding Your Labour Needs – Mentor Works, and the ever-popular industry panel where members speak on how their companies are addressing new ESA requirements, and strategies on attracting and retaining employees.

Visit the website for more information and to register to attend.

CIFST Spring Technical Session
April 26, 2018
Maple Leaf thinkFOOD! Centre, Mississauga

Maple Leaf’s state-of-the-art thinkFOOD culinary innovation facility will host CIFST’s Spring Technical Session exploring trends impacting the food and beverage industry. This event will feature expert speakers, networking opportunities and supplier organizations who will showcase their capabilities in the current landscape.

Visit for more information.

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

Bakery Showcase is Canada’s national baking industry trade show and conference. Held every two years, it is the largest and ONLY baking industry B2B trade show and conference.

For more information, visit the event website.

Effective Cleaning and Sanitation
April 30 – May 2, 2018
Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT), Kitchener

Supervisors and lead-hands are invited to brush up on their cleaning and sanitation practices at this 3-day applied course at IFPT. Participants will have opportunity to use cleaning and sanitation equipment in IFPT’s food processing pilot plant and develop in-depth knowledge of effective cleaning and sanitation practices for the food processing industry. Methods of detection and correction will be explored and participants will learn to create a Master Cleaning Schedule and SSOP.

For more information, contact or visit

Speaking Food Conference AGM and Conference
May 16, 2018
Toronto Reference Library, Downtown Toronto

The 9th annual “Speaking Food” AGM and Conference is the Food Processing Human Resources Council’s (FPHRC) trade show and seminar, bringing together industry professionals from across Canada. Hosting a speaking series, workshops and networking opportunities, this event will showcase the latest in industry trends and how to gain a competitive edge.

Visit to register.

CIFST National Conference
May 27-29, 2018
White Oaks Resort and Spa, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Healthy Food Revolution: Join the “revolution” at a four-diamond, five-star resort in the heart of wine country for the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology’s (CIFST) National Conference. This must-attend food and beverage sector event features expert industry speakers, table-top exhibits and networking opportunities.

For more information, visit

Energy Summit 2018
May 30-31, 2018
Universal Eventspace, Vaughan

Energy management is crucial to maximize profitability and combat climate change: Energy Summit 2018 will bring together Canadian energy efficiency experts to help businesses grow momentum. Presented by the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation, Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium and Natural Resources Canada present this industry-government partnership event will feature inspiring keynote speakers, solutions-based technical sessions, facility tours to showcase leading-edge technologies, professional development workshops and the CIPEC Leadership Awards to recognize energy leaders.

For more information, visit their website.

EMC Food and Beverage & Bio Sector Networking Seminar
June 5, 2018

Next Generation Digitalization and Automation Solutions is the focus of the next EMC Food and Beverage Sector Networking Seminar. Hosted by Siemens Canada, it provides a learning forum and the opportunity to gain insight from companies and technology leaders who have successfully embraced next-gen concepts.

Location information coming soon; for more information, visit the EMC event listingor to register to attend, RSVP to

Ontario Independent Meat Processors Food Handler Training Workshop
June 6-7, 2018

The Ontario Independent Meat Processors will host a Food Handler Training workshop, June 6-7, 2018, in Cambridge. Attendees will benefit from an interactive learning experience focusing on five key areas: Food Safety Responsibilities, Food Safety Hazards, Controlling Hazards, Food Safety Management Systems and Management’s Responsibilities for Food Safety.

Registration information coming soon – visit the OIMP website for more information.

CIFST Annual Golf Tournament
September 12, 2018
Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facility, Ajax

Enjoy the outdoors, a round of golf, networking opportunities and dinner at CIFST’s golf tournament. Register for the day or attend just the dinner.

For more information, visit

CIFST 30th Annual Suppliers’ Night Tabletop Exhibition
November 6, 2018
The International Centre, Mississauga

Explore new products and services, network with industry professionals, learn about new technologies and network at CIFST’s flagship event, the Suppliers’ Night Tabletop Exhibition. Attendance if free for attendees who pre-register.

For more information, visit


Free online agri-food courses
The Agriculture and Food Education Online Learning System provides free online courses for producers, processors and agri-food businesses wanting to gain skills and knowledge in the areas of food safety, traceability and farm business practices. More than 10 courses provide foundational information on:

  • reducing business and customer risks
    • improving efficiency
    • industry best practices
    • developing a competitive edge and accessing new markets
    • growing a business

Register at or contact the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus at or 519-674-1500 ext. 63295.

Beverage Institute now online
The International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) has launched an online Beverage Institute that supports training in the fundamentals, best practices, technical standards and current technology in the beverage industry. Lesson content is developed by ISBT experts and delivered in short, 5-minute segments, covering a range of topics: ingredients, sweeteners, processing, sanitation, quality, packaging, distribution and beverage fountain.

Visit the Beverage Institute online.

Free labour market intelligence for all manufacturers
EMC (Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium) has launched its ManufacturingGPS initiative, which provides extensive, up-to-date Canadian labour market intelligence for manufacturers at no cost. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, the fully-searchable system provides benchmarking, skills and capability resources, reports and an outreach portal. Through focused collection, analysis and dissemination of data, this tool will support Canadian manufacturers in their global positioning. Visit the website.

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 months! Not sure you have the budget to hire a co-op student this summer?Contact the office to learn about various hiring incentives at 519-824-4120 ext. 52323, or visit

Follow OMAFRA on Twitter

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

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