Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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2016 Regional Award Winner


Blueberry Hill

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James Murray, MPP Deb Matthews and Teresa Murray

James Murray, MPP Deb Matthews and Teresa Murray

Ontarians are driving up the demand for quinoa, the Peruvian "super food," however most quinoa sold in the province is imported from South America. While the crop can grow in Ontario, the lack of bulk seed suppliers limits commercial production in the province. But local farmers Teresa and James Murray stepped in to develop an organic quinoa seed bank. Working with the Ontario government, the Murrays identified viable varieties of quinoa for Southwestern Ontario. In 2015, they planted four promising selections and dried and cleaned the resulting seeds, making them ready to market to local farmers. For consumers, this means quinoa can now be bought and eaten local. For producers, it opens the door to a lucrative new crop that offers profits of $1,500 to $2,000 per acre and has growing domestic and international demand.

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