Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Ontario's highest honour for innovative solutions supporting the province's powerhouse agri-food industry today at the 11th annual Premier's Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.
Stouffville-based Greenbelt Microgreens received the top honour of the Premier's Award for developing an eco-friendly process to grow organic microgreens year-round. The company's state-of-the-art facility grows nutrient-dense sunflower sprouts, pea shoots, wheat grass and other microgreens that can be produced on an average 10-day growth cycle, with a shelf life of 13 days.
The Minister's Award was presented by Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to Mississauga-based SunPillar Inc./Two Bridges Vineyards for developing Hive Health, a product designed to fit inside a standard commercial beehive that helps producers monitor bee health without having to disturb their bees.
Three Leaders in Innovation Awards were also presented to:
Moyers Apple Products, based in Beamsville, for developing a chemical-free, waterless sanitizer for produce that reduces health risks and increases shelf life
Freshwater Cuisine, based in Kenora, for creating popular food products that minimize food waste by incorporating all parts of freshwater fish
Fresh Air Media (Andrew Campbell), based in Strathroy, for raising awareness of the journey from farm to table through social media and helping to bring rural and urban communities together.
The Premier's Awards are presented at the annual Summit on Agri-Food, which brings together industry leaders from across the province. This year, attendees explored how Ontario is growing its agri-food sector at home and abroad, with discussions on trade and collaboration, as well as what's next in agri-food innovation.
Supporting innovation in agriculture is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.