Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence


This page was published under a previous government and is available for archival and research purposes.


 

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2016 Regional Award Winner

 

Asparagus Farmers of Ontario

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MPP Deb Matthews and Bernie Solymar

MPP Deb Matthews and Bernie Solymar

Asparagus Farmers of Ontario (AFO) is the first grower organization to develop its own seed business. In 1996, the organization - representing 90 growers across the province - negotiated exclusive rights to any new asparagus varieties developed through the University of Guelph's breeding program. One of those varieties, Guelph Millennium, became the seed of choice for growers in Ontario and Michigan. Worldwide sales hit $1.2 million and continue to grow, generating profits that are funnelled back into breeding research and marketing programs. This innovative business structure will be a role model for other grower organizations looking to transform.


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