$7.2 million to expand London agri-food accelerator, boost food and beverage companies and support 650 jobs
London, Ontario - With its resilient and innovative agri-tech and agri-food ecosystem, London contributes to Ontario’s food security and economic stability. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the growth of this key sector by providing businesses the resources they need to accelerate their ability to bring new agri-food innovations to market, while creating good jobs and helping the region recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
Strengthening the food and beverage sector in London
Today, Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario) and Member of Parliament for London West, along with Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $7.2 million for the Western Fair Association (WFA), in partnership with London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and RH Accelerator, to accelerate the growth of agri-food companies in the region.
This project was made possible by the shared vision of a number of key regional collaborators, working alongside the project partners mentioned above. These include Fanshawe College, Western University, the London Small Business Centre and the London Training Centre. This committed local cooperation has enabled a project that aligns with the City of London’s broader economic diversification objectives, and will ensure that the next generation of London’s food companies are positioned for success.
The project will expand the range of supports available to food entrepreneurs and high potential agri-food companies at The Grove, London’s agri-food accelerator, providing local agri-food businesses at different stages of growth with access to new equipment, seed funding and mentorship. This will build on the strength of the region’s concentration of agri-tech and food and beverage companies, testing capabilities and the unique expertise of the region’s post-secondary institutions.
The WFA will work with partners across London and its surrounding communities to promote access to the specialized capabilities and expertise located at The Grove, as well as advisory and training services for SMEs to accelerate the growth of innovative food and beverage companies. These efforts aim to attract foreign investment and increase the profile of London area agri-food companies.
Through this project, the WFA and partners expect to create 550 jobs and maintain 100 more, commercialize 20 new products or services, and support the development and growth of up to 40 SMEs.Source : Canada.ca