FedDev Ontario Invests $12.7 Million Across Five Agri-Food Businesses

Ontario has the third largest food processing sector in North America, with annual sales exceeding $34 billion. The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is a regional Canadian agency which supports economic growth in southern Ontario by helping eligible businesses with innovation, productivity, and competitiveness within their industry. Since 2015 FedDev Ontario has invested over 900 million dollars has been invested by FedDev Ontario into more than 1,280 projects, creating over 30,000 jobs and maintaining more than 45,000 jobs in region. 

FedDev Ontario is investing $12.7 million in five agri-food businesses to support projects that will create new opportunities for growth and over 180 jobs. 

Recently, FedDev Ontario announced funding for five southern Ontario agri-food businesses to enhanceme production capabilities, strengthen women-owned businesses, increase revenues, and create over 180 skilled jobs in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). 

Agri-Food Projects Receiving FedDev Ontario Support 

FedDev Ontario is investing in the following projects from five agri-food businesses located in southern Ontario: 

Casa Bonita Foods Inc.  

With a $720,000 investment from the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF), Casa Bonita Foods will obtain new equipment to expand their automation and commercialize their production and packaging lines. Their project will support additional product developments such as protein-added super-foods. As a result, Casa Bonita Foods hopes to expand sales across Canada and into new global markets, as well as accelerate revenue growth and create seven skilled jobs in the GTA. 

Ferrero Canada Ltd. 

Provided through the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF), this $5 million investment will help Ferrero Canada increase capacity by automating two main production lines to meet rising consumer demand. As a result, Ferrero will be able to move to 24/7 automation and adopt industry 4.0 technologies to enhance their made in Canada production by 30%. This project aims to create more than 100 skilled jobs in Brantford, Ontario. 

“This investment is a tremendous show of confidence and enables us to meet growing consumer demand with made in Canada products, while supporting the country’s economic growth.” 
– Fabrizio Secco, Senior Vice President, Industrial Division of Ferrero Canada Ltd. 

Sheen Legend Packaging Corp. 

This $2.5 million investment from the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF),assists Sheen Legend Packaging Corp. to expand production of environmentally-friendly and plant-based manufacturing materials at its new Cobourg, Ontario facility. As a result, the company will leverage greener manufacturing equipment to increase production of sustainable packaging by 50%, while also creating 37 skilled jobs in Cobourg, Ontario. 

“FedDev Ontario’s investment helps us accelerate our growth needs and introduce more environmentally-friendly packaging options for our customers. While we create more jobs in local Ontario communities, the contribution will also help us become more efficient and greener.” 
– Yajun (Carol) Jiang, CEO and President of Sheen Legend Packaging Corp. 

Summer Fresh Salads Inc.  

Via funding from the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) the $1 million investment helps Summer Fresh Salads Inc. adopt new technologies and expand its Woodbridge facility by 80,000 sq. ft. to establish new production lines. As a result, they will  increase hummus making capacity, add new plant-based products, and create 10 new skilled jobs in Woodbridge, Ontario. 

“This investment will solidify our presence in Woodbridge, allow us to increase jobs and further help us compete in the North American market.” 
– Susan Niczowski, President of Summer Fresh Salads Inc. 

Tempo Flexible Packaging Inc.  

With funding from FedDev Ontario’s Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Program, this $3.5 million investment supports Tempo Flexible Packaging Inc.’s food processing facility 10,000 sq. ft. expansion and adoption of new manufacturing technology to increase production of recyclable food packaging. This project will contribute to creating a cleaner environment with more sustainable packaging products, and Tempo will also create 30 skilled jobs in Innisfil, Ontario. 

“We are here to inspire change for the future. This [FedDev Ontario] investment will assist us to pivot our manufacturing towards a circular economy for the flexible plastics. Our vision, to be a leader with sustainable packaging solutions, will allow us to be a valued partner in our industry and in the community.” 
– Lee-Anne Giglio, Chief Operations Officer of Tempo Flexible Packaging Inc. 

Government Funding for Food and Beverage Businesses 

There are over 3,000 businesses producing food and beverage products in Ontario. According to Ontario’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, nearly 25% of the province’s food manufacturing businesses are based in rural Ontario. While advantages include lower land costs, lower worker turnover, and closer access to agricultural inputs, these businesses may require funding support to stay innovative and progressive.  

Check out our free Canadian government funding program directory list Farming, Food, and Beverage businesses to see available grants, loans, and tax credits for food producers, beverage manufacturers, and Canadian farmers as they hire new employees, train them, purchase new equipment, and more. 

Are you interested in learning how to manage, grow, and finance an Ontario agri-food business? Download our free Canadian Agri-Business Growth Guide for information, resources, links, tools, and support services related to agriculture and food processing businesses in Ontario.  

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