Eastern Ontario Development Program Supports Agri-food Venture Centre in Northumberland County

March 27, 2015 – Eastern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Network Inc. (Eastern Ontario CFDC Network)

The Eastern Ontario CFDC Network is pleased to announce that the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre, an agri-food business accelerator and niche food processing initiative located in Northumberland County, will receive $225,000 to support the advancement of small batch food products grown in eastern Ontario.

The funding is through the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP) Collaborative Projects stream.

As a niche food processing facility, the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre will accommodate small batch processing, packaging and storage of foods and is meant to support second source revenues from farming operations. The focus will be fruits and vegetables in its initial stages. The accelerator component will consist of business support services in conjunction with strategic partners and services including the Business Advisory Centre of Northumberland (Enterprise Centre), Business Immigration and Settlement, postsecondary institutions (Durham/Loyalist and UOIT), the Northumberland Federation of Agriculture, as well as associated public sector and private sector regional alliances. The 15,000-square foot facility offers a multitude of services, including food processing facility rental, a food testing laboratory, quick freeze and chill capacity, refrigeration and freezer cold storage, educational and meeting space and supports to private sector food-related distribution business.

“Supporting the agri-food sector in eastern Ontario is a key priority for the EODP Collaborative Projects stream and the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre in Colborne will create new jobs and opportunities in this important sector for our rural communities,” said Christine Dukelow, Chair of the Eastern Ontario CFDC Network.

"The Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre supports our commitment to rural businesses and the farming community throughout Northumberland-Quinte West," said Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament, Northumberland-Quinte West, "The EODP program is significantly contributing to job creation in eastern Ontario and this funding will support an important investment in specialized equipment to further enhance the regional impact of the project."

“We appreciate this important investment from the EODP and are pleased to support the agrifood business with the facility servicing a broad base of producers from the counties of Northumberland, Peterborough, Hastings and Kawartha Lakes,” said Dan Borowec, Director of Economic Development, Northumberland County. "The demand for the services provided by the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre has been very high and this support from the Government of Canada will allow the initiative to expand current capacity."

The EODP is a $48-million economic development initiative focused on addressing economic challenges in eastern Ontario and taking advantage of innovative opportunities in the region. The program is managed by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and delivered through eastern Ontario's 15 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) and the Eastern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Network Inc. Applications are solicited by each CFDC and the Network and are assessed on their potential to stimulate local and regional economic development and create jobs.

The EODP Collaborative Projects stream, which is delivered by the Eastern Ontario CFDC Network, provides 50 percent matching funds for eligible initiatives that demonstrate broadsupport from the region and/or various partners, and offer sustainable, measurable, economic benefits to the regional economy.

PLEASE NOTE: A new intake period for applicants interested in Collaborative Projects is taking place March 16th through April 24th, 2015.

For more information about this release, please contact:

Carol Armstrong, Executive Director, Eastern Ontario CFDC Network
Telephone: 705-741-1980 ext. 1 email: Carol.armstrong@eocfdc.ca

About the Eastern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Network Inc. (Eastern Ontario CFDC Network): The Eastern Ontario CFDC Network strategically administers and coordinates opportunities available to the fifteen Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) in eastern Ontario and advocates on behalf of the membership in order to support regional and local economic development initiatives in eastern Ontario. The Eastern Ontario CFDC Network also administers the Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII).

For more information, please visit: www.eocfdc.ca

CFDCs Offer the Following Services:

• Strategic community planning and socio-economic development
• Support for community-based projects
•Business services
• Access to capital

For more information about the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre, please visit: http://www.oafvc.ca/