Terry provides the SSMIC/RAIN with a $2.2 million boost to help Northern Ontario’s Agri-food businesses innovate

Terry Sheehan with owner of Thomson Farms, Brad Morley.

Enhancing the competitiveness of Northern Ontario’s Agri-food businesses through innovation

Government of Canada invests to support value-added processing and technology adoption to boost productivity


Communities, businesses and residents in Sault Ste. Marie and across Northern Ontario will benefit from growth opportunities as a result of a Government of Canada investment of more than $2.2 million. This FedNor funding will assist the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) in delivering two priority projects in Algoma District and across Northern Ontario.

The funding was announced today by Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, the Honourable Mélanie Joly.

“Our government is committed to supporting strong and inclusive regional ecosystems that promote business growth and innovation. Today’s announcement will enable the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre to assist agri-food companies and communities across the region to be more competitive in the global market by embracing technology and capitalizing on opportunities to expand their operations. Equally important, it will help foster a culture of innovation and support job creation in this priority sector. – Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, the Honourable Mélanie Joly.

Of the total, the SSMIC will receive $1,625,404 to support the Sustainable New Agri-food Products and Productivity (SNAPP) program for an additional three years targeting the unique opportunities and barriers to growth for the small production and processing businesses that make up much of Northern Ontario’s agri-food sector. This iteration of the project will increase access to capital, help address challenges such as a shorter growing season and distance to market, and promote value-added processing and innovative production practices.

“We understand that the path to economic prosperity varies from region to region. Strong regional economies are essential for Canada’s success and sustainability. That’s why our regional development agencies are there to help businesses and innovators grow, succeed and create good jobs for Canadians. Together, we will overcome the challenges of today and ensure all regions of Canada realize their full economic potential. We have your back.” – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

The remaining $592,097 will help the SSMIC enhance the Algoma District’s agri-food innovation ecosystem. This initiative will include promoting technology adoption, scaling up the regional maple syrup cluster for processing and export, and supporting farm and food processing business attraction and expansion over a three-year period.

“We would like to thank the Government of Canada for its continued support of our efforts to help businesses scale up and grow. We take pride in helping the agri-food sector of Algoma District and Northern Ontario develop a culture of innovation, and in turn, create job opportunities for area residents.” – David Thompson, Project Coordinator, Rural Agri-Innovation Network, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre

The investments announced today were provided through FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, which supports the growth of Canadian businesses, their expansion into new markets and their adoption of new technologies and processes.


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