May Food Bulletin

This May, stay updated in the world of agri-food. Read on to note changes to the Strategic Innovation Fund, and apply for potential funding from BLOOM. Register for upcoming events such as Raise the Barcode in Niagara to learn how to get your product on grocery store shelves, and attend the CIFST National Conference to see expert industry speakers and take advantage of networking opportunities.

Industry News

  1. Important changes to the Strategic Innovation Fund
  2. Publication consultation report on Canada's Food Guide
  3. Global adjustment cost in food and beverage facilities
  4. CIFA online services
  5. Now Available: Starting a Craft Brewery in Ontario Guide
  6. Health Canada package labelling consultation
  7. Meat and poultry workforce employer survey
  8. Energy efficiency and your bottom line (video)

Ontario Food Exports

  1. Meet the OFEX Team
  2. PROFIT New-to-Exporting Seminar: June 12-13, 2018
  3. Street Smart: September 17-18, 2018

Funding Opportunities

  1. New federal agricultural business funding programs
  2. BLOOM Clean Technology Demonstration Program
  3. Food and Beverage innovation funding
  4. GreenON Food Manufacturing Program

Events to Attend

  1. May 16, 2018 – Speaking Food AGM and Conference, Toronto
  2. May 22-24, 2018 - Arrell Food Summit, Guelph & Toronto
  3. May 23, 2018 – Raise the Barcode, Niagara-on-the-lake
  4. May 27-29, 2018 – CIFST National Conference, Niagara-on-the-Lake
  5. May 30, 2018 - Food and Beverage Ontario's 4th Annual Conference, Toronto
  6. May 30-31, 2018 – Energy Summit 2018, Vaughan
  7. June 5, 2018 – EMC Food, Beverage and Bio Sector Networking Seminar
  8. June 6-7, 2018 – Food Handler Training Workshop, Cambridge
  9. June 19, 2018 - OMAFRA and Restaurant Canada Lunch and Learn, Toronto
  10. September 12, 2018 – CIFST Annual Golf Tournament, Ajax
  11. September 22, 2018 – CSFA's 62nd Annual Conference, Hockley Valley
  12. October 23-24, 2018 – Grocery Innovations Canada, Toronto
  13. November 6, 2018 – CIFST Suppliers' Night Tabletop Exhibition, Mississauga


  1. Free online agri-food courses
  2. Beverage Institute now online
  3. Recruit Talent, Recruit Guelph!

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Industry News

Important changes to the Strategic Innovation Fund

Companies applying to the highly popular Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) must now have a requested contribution of more than $10M.

This change in project eligibility was announced in the federal budget in late February, 2018. All applications received prior to the Budget 2018 announcement remain valid and will be assessed. A new Statement of Interest (SOI) form is currently available for submitting your application.

The SIF is a five-year, $1.26B fund that provides grants and repayable contributions to support innovative projects across all sectors of the Canadian economy.

For more information, see the Strategic Innovation Fund.

Publication consultation report on Canada's Food Guide

Health Canada is revising Canada's Food Guide to reflect new evidence and meet the needs of various audiences who use its healthy eating recommendations. In the summer of 2017, over 6,700 stakeholders and Canadians provided input on these revisions.

View and share the "What We Heard Report", find out more about Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy and sign up to be part of upcoming health consultations (for the "areas of interest" page, be sure to include "Canada's Food Guide/Nutrition").

Global adjustment costs in food and beverage facilities

Ontario agri-food sector companies who participate in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) pay global adjustment (GA) based on their contribution to Ontario's top five peak demand hours in a year. In April 2017, the Government of Ontario reduced the threshold, to opt-in to the ICI, to 500 kW.

Eligible companies will be informed by their local distribution company before May 31 each year. In order to qualify for the GA benefit, customers must opt in by June 15 of each year to participate in the ICI program for the adjustment period starting on July 1.

For more information, see the Industrial Conservation Initiative Backgrounder.

CFIA Online Services

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) now provides online access to a growing number of services. Sign up My CFIA to:

  • Get convenient and secure access to online services
  • Manage and track service requests
  • Request permissions such as licences, permits, registrations and authorizations
  • Request and manage export certificates

Sign up and get started at the CFIA website.

Now Available: Starting a Craft Brewery in Ontario Guide

The craft beer industry is thriving in Ontario – whether new to the industry and starting a business, or expanding an existing operation, find information to help succeed in the new Starting a Craft Brewery in Ontario guide. It includes expert advice and links to programs, services, industry contacts and resources in Ontario.

Get the Guide online.

Health Canada package labelling consultation

Health Canada is seeking industry comment on the amendment of front-of-packaging labelling regulations for nutrition symbols, other labelling provisions, partially hydrogenated oils and vitamin D. Consultation will support measures to provide clear and consistent information and updated nutrients content claims. Consultation ends Apr. 26, 2018; email input to

For more information, visit Canada Gazette.

Meat and poultry workforce employer survey

The Food Processing Human Resources Council is undertaking a Labour Market Information Study on Meat Processing to accurately measure the supply of available labour at the regional level. Employers are invited to participate and provide data on current labour challenges that will inform the government's policy decisions on immigration, foreign workers, LMIAs, employment insurance, training programs and more.

Access a survey link by completing the required form.

Energy efficiency and your bottom line (video)

Using less energy is better for the environment and saves you money on utility costs. There are a lot of ways that Ontario food and beverage manufacturers can ensure an energy-wise operation – watch our videos on operational efficiency, utility cost planning and measurement, and tackling invisible energy waste.

Contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300 or for more information about smart energy decisions.

Ontario Food Exports

Meet the OFEX Team

Did you know that Ontario Food Exports (OFEX) provides end-to-end export marketing services for Ontario suppliers who are new to exporting or already experienced exporters? As part of OMAFRA, OFEX can help suppliers identify export opportunities for their products and develop strategies that address the unique challenges of exporting food, beverage and agriculture products internationally. Interested in learning more?

Contact OFEX today.

Resources and Opportunities

PROFIT New-to-Exporting Seminar: June 12-13, 2018

Registration is now open! This is your invitation to participate in OFEX's 2-day PROFIT New-to-Exporting Seminar taking place June 12-13 in Niagara Falls, ON and Buffalo, NY. This long-standing and highly-regarded seminar will provide Ontario food and beverage manufacturers with practical, hands-on knowledge about how to export to the U.S. Discussion topics include U.S. tax laws, export financing, product labelling, FSMA FSVP, risk management, market research, U.S. customs brokerage and more! Cost is $350 (+HST) and includes a PROFIT guide book, round-trip motor coach transportation to Buffalo, accommodations in Buffalo and all meals.

Don't miss this once-annual opportunity! Space is limited: register today!

Contact Cheryl Chlebus, OFEX Client Information Coordinator at 519-826-3767 or

Street Smart, September 17-18, 2018

Held in Toronto, Ontario, Street Smart is an excellent opportunity for Ontario agri-food manufacturers and processors to showcase their products and company in a table-top setting in front of up to 35 U.S. and international buyers. Previous Street Smart events have led to millions of dollars in sales for Ontario companies. This year, Ontario suppliers will be featuring a broad range of private label and branded products from the bakery, deli, frozen prepared, beverage, snack food, specialty, confectionery, and grocery sectors.

For more information on these events, contact Cheryl Chlebus, OFEX Client Information Coordinator at or 519-826-3767.

Funding Opportunities

New federal agricultural business funding programs

Ontario producers and processors will be able to apply to six new federally-funded programs under the federal-provincial-territorial Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). These programs will directly benefit producers and processors, and address priorities identified by the agricultural sector:

  • growing trade and expanding existing markets
  • supporting innovation and sustainable growth
  • increasing diversity and the dynamic nature of the sector

Funding will begin Apr. 1, 2018: access the program guides and application forms.

BLOOM Clean Technology Demonstration Program

BLOOM is issuing a call for funding applications to support the completion of low carbon, clean technology demonstration Projects in Ontario. As a requirement, applications must be submitted by 2 co-applicants: a cleantech solution provider and a customer host that is representative of a broader sector. 

BLOOM will be providing grant funding on a 50:50 cost-share basis, up to a maximum of $150,000 per Project.

Applications are due by May 31, 2018. Successful co-applicants will be notified by June 30, 2018. Demonstration projects must be completed by March 15, 2019.

For additional information, see BLOOM Clean Technology Demonstration Program.

Food and beverage innovation funding

Ontario food and beverage companies can apply for grant funding through George Brown College's Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt). Located in downtown Toronto, FIRSt supports product development by providing access to technical resources, state-of-the-art facilities and networking opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses within the GTA.

To determine if your project qualifies contact Michelle Kienitz at or visit the program website.

GreenON Food Manufacturing program

The GreenON Food Manufacturing program helps Ontario food and beverage processors to accelerate their greenhouse gas reductions by expanding the use of innovative technologies and practices to reduce this pollution. Two funding streams are available:

  • Retrofit Stream: Adoption of proven technologies such as retrofits to improve energy, water and resource efficiency.
  • Innovation Stream: Adoption and demonstration of lesser-known technologies

For more information, visit the Ontario Centres of Excellence website.


Speaking Food Conference AGM and Conference

May 16, 2018
Toronto Reference Library, Downtown Toronto

The 9th annual "Speaking Food" AGM and Conference is the Food Processing Human Resources Council's (FPHRC) trade show and seminar, bringing together industry professionals from across Canada. Hosting a speaking series, workshops and networking opportunities, this event will showcase the latest in industry trends and how to gain a competitive edge.

Visit to register.

Arrell Food Summit

May 22 - 24, 2018
University of Guelph and Downtown Toronto

The Arrell Food Summit is an opportunity to celebrate innovation in agriculture and food through dynamic speakers and deserving laureates of the Arrell Global Food Innovation Awards. This event will take place at the University of Guelph on May 22nd and 23rd, and the final day, May 24th, will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.

Register here today.

Raise the Barcode

May 23, 2018
Niagara College Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Niagara-on-the-lake

If you've ever dreamed of getting your food/beverage product on grocery store shelves, this session is for you.

Join Hamilton's Economic Development Office and Niagara College Canadian Food and Wine Institute Innovation Centre breakfast event called "Raise the Barcode - Get Your Product on Grocery Store Shelves", to learn how to craft a competitive market pitch to grocers through the guidance from Whole Foods Market and Jon Luca Enterprise Ltd.

They will cover the steps needed for your business to be prepared to stock a product on grocery store shelves. The event is on May 23rd at Niagara College - Niagara-on-the-lake campus, and is free of charge to food and beverage manufacturers and producers.

Visit to register.

CIFST National Conference

May 27 - 29, 2018
White Oaks Resort and Spa, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Healthy Food Revolution: Join the "revolution" at a four-diamond, five-star resort in the heart of wine country for the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology's (CIFST) National Conference. This must-attend food and beverage sector event features expert industry speakers, table-top exhibits and networking opportunities.

For more information, visit

FBO's 4th Annual Conference

May 30, 2018
Steam Whistle Brewing, Toronto

Is Canada ready to feed the world? Attend FBO's 4th Annual Conference - "The Future of Food" - for lunch and great speakers followed by an opportunity to network. This event features delicious food, Steam Whistle Pilsner and great Ontario VQA wines.

For more information or to register, visit

Energy Summit 2018

May 30 - 31, 2018
Universal Eventspace, Vaughan

Energy management is crucial to maximize profitability and combat climate change: Energy Summit 2018 will bring together Canadian energy efficiency experts to help businesses grow momentum. Presented by the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation, Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium and Natural Resources Canada present this industry-government partnership event will feature inspiring keynote speakers, solutions-based technical sessions, facility tours to showcase leading-edge technologies, professional development workshops and the CIPEC Leadership Awards to recognize energy leaders.

For more information, visit their website.

EMC Food and Beverage & Bio Sector Networking Seminar

June 5, 2018

Next Generation Digitalization and Automation Solutions is the focus of the next EMC Food and Beverage Sector Networking Seminar. Hosted by Siemens Canada, it provides a learning forum and the opportunity to gain insight from companies and technology leaders who have successfully embraced next-gen concepts.

Location information coming soon; for more information, visit the EMC event listing or to register to attend, RSVP to

Ontario Independent Meat Processors Food Handler Training Workshop

June 6 - 7, 2018

The Ontario Independent Meat Processors will host a Food Handler Training workshop, June 6th - 7th, 2018, in Cambridge. Attendees will benefit from an interactive learning experience focusing on five key areas: Food Safety Responsibilities, Food Safety Hazards, Controlling Hazards, Food Safety Management Systems and Management's Responsibilities for Food Safety.

Registration information coming soon – visit the OIMP website for more information.

OMAFRA and Restaurant Canada Lunch and Learn

June 19, 2018

Save the date! OMAFRA - in conjunction with Restaurant Canada - will be holding a lunch and learn session that you will NOT want to miss. This session will include industry speakers, discussions and lunch. More details and registration information will be coming soon, so make sure you SAVE THE DATE: June 19th, 2018.

For more information, please contact Mark Jonker at

CIFST Annual Golf Tournament

September 12, 2018
Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facility, Ajax

Enjoy the outdoors, a round of golf, networking opportunities and dinner at CIFST's golf tournament. Register for the day or attend just the dinner.

For more information, visit

CSFA's 62nd Annual Conference

September 20 - 22, 2018
Hockley Valley, Mono

CSFA's 62nd Annual Conference will take place at Hockley Valley from Thursday, September 20th thru to Saturday, September 22nd, 2018. Hockley Valley is located in the Hills of Headwaters, in the heart of some of Ontario's most picturesque countryside.

The theme of the conference, "Times Are Changing", reflects the current business, economical and natural environment we are facing as a company and as individuals.

The program will give you the most up-to-date tools and information to enhance your personal and organizational performance. They have also incorporated many networking opportunities.

For further information go to or contact Ileana Lima by email at or (289) 997-1379.

Grocery Innovations Canada

October 23 - 24, 2018
Toronto Congress Centre, Toronto

The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) is hosting Grocery Innovations Canada from October 23rd – 24th, a must-attend showcase of groceries and specialty foods. Feature your products by booking an exhibit space, and explore the newest innovations of the grocery trade.

To see highlights from last year, browse the exhibitor list, and book an exhibit space, visit

CIFST 30th Annual Suppliers' Night Tabletop Exhibition

November 6, 2018
The International Centre, Mississauga

Explore new products and services, network with industry professionals; learn about new technologies and network at CIFST's flagship event, the Suppliers' Night Tabletop Exhibition. Attendance is free for attendees who pre-register.

For more information, visit


Free online agri-food courses

The Agriculture and Food Education Online Learning System provides free online courses for producers, processors and agri-food businesses wanting to gain skills and knowledge in the areas of food safety, traceability and farm business practices. More than 10 courses provide foundational information on:

  • reducing business and customer risks
  • improving efficiency
  • industry best practices
  • developing a competitive edge and accessing new markets
  • growing a business

Register at or contact the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus at or 519-674-1500 ext. 63295.

Beverage Institute now online

The International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) has launched an online Beverage Institute that supports training in the fundamentals, best practices, technical standards and current technology in the beverage industry. Lesson content is developed by ISBT experts and delivered in short, 5-minute segments, covering a range of topics: ingredients, sweeteners, processing, sanitation, quality, packaging, distribution and beverage fountain.

Visit the Beverage Institute online.

Recruit Talent, Recruit Guelph!

Get a head start on hiring a U of G co-op student for the summer! Students are available for 4, 8 or 12 months! Not sure you have the budget to hire a co-op student this summer?

Contact the office to learn about various hiring incentives at 519-824-4120 ext. 52323, or visit

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