The organizations will collaborate to advance Ontario grains in the agri-food innovation space
By Jackie Clark
Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) and Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine signed a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces to promote innovation in agri-food in the province.
“To me, it’s a partnership cemented in collaboration,” Paul Hoekstra, vice president of strategic development for GFO, told Farms.com.
The collaboration “broadens an opportunity to meet with a network of organizations that can promote the grains produced by our farmer members here in Ontario and look for ways to increase the usage of those grains,” Hoekstra explains.
“Working with Bioenterprise helps support new ventures,” he adds. GFO can ”help ensure that start-ups have a good supply of Ontario grains, help those start-ups know the right suppliers and get access to tools, technologies and the know-how of our team here.”
This development will help bring more Ontario grains into the spotlight of the start-up and entrepreneurial community.
Working together “is a really great way for us to promote both organizations and their initiatives and increase our visibility and profile across both of our networks,” Hoekstra said.
GFO and Bioenterprise have many synergistic and overlapping priorities, and will both benefit from knowledge and idea sharing.
“They look to foster new businesses and new ventures,” Hoekstra explained. “It’s a great way for us to be able to showcase for them and their members and network the great quality and supply and sustainable production of Canadian grains.”
That cooperation can help to identify new marketing opportunities and provide “an opportunity to share with them key research priorities for our markets so they can look for ways to solve those issues, and identify ways to help add value to the marketplace,” he added.
Currently, the organizations are working to understand each others’ processes, resources and networks to see how they can best work together.
The partnership “is really in it’s early infancy,” said Hoekstra. “We’ve set the framework for this partnership and now we want to build out from there into tangible action in the short-term to help benefit Ontario farmers.”
Maksym Belchenko\iStock\Getty Images Plus photo