Food Entrepreneurs: Building Ontario Innovation One Product at a Time
The Agri-food Management Institute, in partnership with Georgian College and local municipalities and economic development partners, the County of Simcoe, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, are proud to present the inaugural all-Ontario conference. Food Entrepreneurs: Building Ontario Innovation One Product at a Time, is a province-wide conference being be held on Friday, March 4, 2016 at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College. Pre-conference seminars will be held on March 3, 2016.
This two-day event includes panel discussions by successful food entrepreneurs and industry experts on topics such as innovation, human resource management, food safety culture, overseeing and executing strategy, product idea viability, collaborating for growth, and more. It will also feature:
- Pre-conference seminars that introduce new entrants or newly established businesses to food safety regulations and food nutrition labelling
- Regional showcase of:
- Flavours from the regions of Ontario : Taste products from around the province and learn more about the unique flavours from north, central and southern Ontario. Each of the six regions will proudly showcase artisans and food businesses that best represent their “taste of place” and tell the stories of these businesses
- Input supply companies and a “business development alley” with supporting organizations such as
- Community Futures, AMI and Georgian who work to help businesses increase their competitiveness
- Concurrent breakout sessions tailored to two streams of learning: Established and newly established businesses
- Plenary session will speak to innovation and the future of food
- Pitch sessions for entrepreneurs looking for tips on pitching a new product or business to possible investors, buyers, distributors and/or partners
- Connection café: Participants can get the most out of their conference experience by joining in on a facilitated networking session to network and look for input from their peers on burning issues impacting their operations or business planning
Conference Itinerary Summary
Day 1: Pre-conference seminars: Thursday, March 3, 2016
Time: 1 to 3 p.m. Introduction to Food Safety Regulations
3:15 to 5 p.m.: Introduction to Nutrition Labelling
Location: Kempenfelt Conference Centre
3722 Fairway Rd., Innisfil, ON L9S 1A5
Day 2: All-day conference: Friday, March 4, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Georgian College Barrie Campus
One Georgian Dr., Barrie, ON L4M 3X9
The full conference agenda and speaker list will be posted shortly... please stay tuned!
Fast facts about food in Ontario:
- Ontario farms grow more than 200 different agriculture commodities. Many of these are processed in the province.
- Ontario’s food processing sector is the third largest in North America. Yearly sales total more than $34 billion.
- Almost 25 percent of the province’s manufacturing businesses are based in rural Ontario. Advantage include: lower land costs, lower worker turnover and closer access to agricultural inputs.
- Retail grocery sales total more than $25 billion in 2009 and Ontario exported $9.39 billion in agri-food products in 2010.
- Food services sales added up to $22.5 billion in 2010 and created 404,200 jobs.