Ontario Applauds Agri-Food Industry Champions of 2023
Agri-leaders shine at Ontario's excellence in agriculture awards
By Namrata Koul, Originally Published in Small Farm Canada
Ontario’s agricultural landscape recently flourished with accolades as 25 remarkable entities received honours at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The event acknowledges the sterling contributions of farmers, food processors, educators, and various agri-food organizations.
Leading the honours was the Conestoga Food Research and Innovation Lab (CFRIL), grabbing the Minister's Award for its research aid to food enterprises. Nicole Detlor, stewarding CFRIL, expressed delight for the center’s recognition and reiterated its commitment to fortifying food businesses with innovation and support.
Fourteen winners across Ontario's expansive fields were lauded for their excellence. Among them, The County Bounty Artisanal Soda Co. received kudos for its strides in food processing, while the dedication of Loft 32's trio of women in Guelph demonstrated the formidable influence of female leadership in the sector.
Youthful vigour was celebrated too, with Arthur Lin of Lavender Polo Farm earning plaudits for his achievements. Vineland Research and Innovation Centre's Dr. Rose Buitenhuis and Progressive Dairy became beacons of agri-food education excellence.
In the realm of community and family-operated businesses, Moose Cree First Nation and Snyder’s Family Farm Ltd. shone brightly, underscoring the essence of indigenous and family-run agricultural operations.
Promotional efforts by RAIN and Eat Local Huron echoed the vital role of advocacy in agri-food, whereas Chicken Farmers of Ontario and Food Processing Skills Canada were acknowledged for supply chain and workforce development excellence respectively.
Small Farm Canada is part of the Farms.com group, one of our very own was also honoured. Kathryn Doan, Business Director at AgCareers.com, received provincial recognition for spearheading talent recruitment within the agri-food sector. This accolade reflects the pioneering strategies and persistent efforts to bolster the workforce in this vital industry.
These awards not only champion individual brilliance but also embody the collective spirit of advancement in the Ontario agri-food sector. They align with the broader objectives of the Grow Ontario Strategy, aiming to bolster the province’s agri-food supply chain, enrich the talent pool, and enhance the accessibility of local, high-quality food.
In celebrating such success stories, the province reiterates its support for the industry, ensuring that the agricultural and food sector remains robust, dynamic, and forward-moving.