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Investing to grow agriculture and food exports

TORONTO, Canada – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing over $7 million in approved projects through the Grow Ontario Market Initiative which is helping Ontario agriculture and food businesses to increase their sales in domestic and foreign markets.

This five-year, $12 million initiative, launched last year through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) is still open and accepting applications.

The Grow Ontario Market Initiative supports primary producers, food processors and industry organizations with cost-share funding to help them undertake market analysis and planning, new product development and marketing.

“Our hardworking farmers and food processors produce the best products in the world,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food. “With this funding through the Grow Ontario Market Initiative, we’re helping them promote their top-quality products and establish new markets here in Canada and around the world.”

Some examples of projects approved for funding in the initiative’s first year include:

  • Superior Bakes Inc., of Thunder Bay which will use the funding to conduct a shelf-life study and market their line of products to domestic markets.
  • The Ontario Sheep Farmers will develop marketing research services to promote meat products to Ontario consumers.
  • Advantage Health Matters Inc. of Toronto is marketing their existing products and increasing their exports to a new market in the United Kingdom.

“Our government is steadfast in our commitment to the goals set out in our Grow Ontario Strategy – including growing the province’s agriculture and food exports by eight per cent annually,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. “In its first year, the Grow Ontario Market Initiative is already making a difference for Ontario agriculture and food businesses by helping them to reach new market opportunities.”

Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment cost-shared 60 percent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.

Quick facts

  • The Grow Ontario Market Initiative is delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Application information can be obtained by calling 1-877-424-1300 or visiting our website.
  • Applicants can receive up to 50 per cent cost share for eligible costs, to a maximum of $60,000 per business for producers and food and beverage processors, and up to $125,000 for sector organizations.
  • Ontario’s agriculture and food industry contributes $48.8 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the provincial economy (6.4 percent of total Ontario GDP).
  • Sustainable CAP will help enable the goals outlined in Ontario’s Grow Ontario Strategy, which include increasing the production of food by 30 percent over the next ten years and growing agriculture and food exports by eight per cent annually.
  • For more information about OMAFRA programs and services, contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) by phone at 1-877-424-1300 or by e-mail at


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