JUNE 2024

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Summer is now upon us! At the AAC we consider our annual summer meetings and tours to be the official kick-off of summer. Our recent two-day gathering in London, ON was another excellent opportunity for board and staff to learn, connect and experience the energy that surrounds the organization as we begin work on our next 3-year strategic plan. A big shout out to tour hosts Nortera Foods and the Original Cakerie for their hospitality. 

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts by our programs team in processing and reviewing the nearly 560 project applications received through the Agri-Tech Innovation Initiative. Funded through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP), this $25 Million, merit-based program, with three funding streams available to a combination of both food producers and processors, was a major undertaking. Thanks to our team’s experience and efficiency, along with the infusion of knowledge from sector experts assisting with reviews, the program is progressing as per schedule. Funding announcements for successful projects should be shared soon. 

This spring we also completed a comprehensive survey of our membership. We gathered information on sectoral issues and priorities, insights into future programming opportunities and ways for the AAC to add extra value to membership. We had excellent response from our 55 members that span Ontario’s agri-food value chain and are now looking forward to incorporating findings in program design, enhanced communications and in providing valued services to our membership. 

The AAC’s 2050 Committee is starting to make headway. The group is shaping expectations and refining its objectives for the next year. Consulting firm Intersol has been retained to help turn vision into action, with events and activities to be announced in the coming months. Key to the strategy will be creating partnerships within our broader agri-food sector to establish a vision for a strong, resilient agri-food system to serve Ontario for future generations. 

Happy Summer Everyone! 

Melanie DiReto, AAC Executive Director


The AAC board of directors and staff gathered in London June 4-5th for the organization’s summer meeting and project tours. The annual gathering affords an opportunity to learn, connect, and strategize for the upcoming year. The tours are an excellent way to connect with recent program participants and learn about the impact of agri-food programming investments. 

The first tour was hosted by Nortera Foods at the location of one of their contract growers, Glan-R-Vest farms near St Thomas. Nortera received funding through the Supply Chain Sustainability and Adaptability Program’s Infrastructure Investment Stream to expand production of Ontario-grown lima beans. A major player in Canada’s processing vegetable industry, Nortera worked with Haggerty AgRobotics to develop an innovative, robotic crop scouting system used to identify and measure pervasive weeds. Dan Oliver, Agronomy, Seed & Compliance Manager with Nortera provided the group with an overview of the project, a display of the custom robotic equipment and shared some of the results achieved thus far. 

The group next headed back to London to visit the Ontario production facility of The Original Cakerie. The company, founded in 1979 in Delata, BC is now part of the Dessert Holdings Group, a North American leader in quality desserts. The tour of the state-of-the-art facility was hosted by AAC Board Member, Jose Medina who serves as Vice President of Regulatory, Food Safety and Quality Assurance for Dessert Holdings. The assembly was able to view the entire cake production line serving major retailers in both Canada and the United States.  

The day was capped by a visit to London’s “Club House” located in the old Kelloggs cereal factory. The team bonded over dinner, drinks and a variety of activities including mini golf, bocce ball and the multi-sport simulators.  


At the AAC, we're pleased to spotlight some of the insightful reports that have been funded in part by the Supply Chain Stability and Adaptability program. The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) partnered with the Organic Grain Hub to release the Organic Council Corn and Grain Value Chain Report, a report mapping the organic corn and wheat supply chains in Ontario.  

The report found that amid growing global demand for organic products, organic value chains require diversified channels to build resiliency against shifts in the marketplace.

This funding was used to conduct three reports focused on Ontario Organic value chains:

This is the first report of its kind, providing much-needed data for the organic sector.

Click here to access the Ontario Organic Corn and Grain Value Chain Report.



Increasing Deadstock Capacity Initiative 

Cost effective, safe deadstock management is a priority issue for Ontario's livestock industry. 

The Increasing Deadstock Capacity Initiative provides cost-share funding support for deadstock management. It addresses immediate and short-term deadstock capacity needs at businesses and municipalities in Ontario. The $1.5 million initiative, funded by the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP), will run for two years subject to the availability of funding allocated to the Initiative. 

The maximum cost-share funding assistance available for a project is 40 per cent of total eligible costs to a maximum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) in funding per project. The intake will close on 11:59 pm EST September 15, 2024 or when the funding has been fully allocated.


The Increasing Deadstock Capacity Initiative (the Initiative) is funded through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP). Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. The Agricultural Adaptation Council is delivering the Initiative on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Veterinary Incentive Program

Veterinary Incentive Program provides grants for newly licensed veterinarians who practice on food animals in underserviced areas of Ontario. The $5 million program provides eligible veterinarians with up to $50,000 in grant payments.

Applicants must apply to the Program and request funding using the Application Form found online at www.adaptcouncil.org/program/vip. Completed Application Forms are received on a continuous basis.


The Veterinary Incentive Program is funded by the Government of Ontario to provide grants for Newly Licensed Veterinarians who practice on Food Animals in Underserviced Areas of Ontario. The Agricultural Adaptation Council is delivering the Program on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


Tiffany King

Tiffany joined the ACC in April as Administrative Coordinator. Tiffany has more than 20 years of administrative management experience working with other non profits and government agencies. She is a detail-oriented professional who strives to offer exceptional client services. 

Amena Ahmadzai

Amena joined the AAC’s management team in May. She is leading AAC’s finance and administrative teams. She has an extensive background in finance gained from nearly 10 years working with various Ontario-based non-profit organizations and businesses.


Ontario Agri-Careers Support Initiative (OACSI)

This June, we're taking time to highlight the Ontario Agri-Careers Support Initiative and how it's helped the hiring process and support networks for temporary foreign workers (TFW) at Bimbo Canada. As part of OASCI, Bimbo Canada became aware of the TFW program and they wanted to explore the process and how to take care of individual TFW. By valuing each person and taking care them, 90-95% of foreign workers were retained through the business.

The Initiative was designed to grow the labour market for food and beverage processing businesses by either enticing people to become employed in the sector or to remain employed. This initiative supported innovative projects that were tailor-made to address specific needs of employers, employees and jobseekers to attract and retain a strong and vibrant workforce. Successful applicants were required to share their project outcomes, best practices and lessons learned with the industry. 

For more OASCI success stories, visit our website here.



Member-Appreciation-Lunch-July-13-Listowel image

We're proud to share events and happenings within our membership. This month, we're spotlighting Ontario Federation of Agriculture's (OFA) Member Appreciation Lunch. You don't want to miss out!

If you're part of the OFA's membership, mark your calendars for complimentary lunch. Enjoy delicious food from HotRod’z Foodz Truck and connect with others from the Agriculture community.

  • Date: Saturday, July 13
  • Time: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Location: Larry Hudson Chevrolet Buick GMC
  • Address: 1000 Wallace Ave N, Listowel, Ontario N4W
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