Ontario Growing the Food Industry in Northeastern Ontario


The Ontario government is providing more than $5 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to 25 agriculture, aquaculture and food processing projects in Northeastern Ontario. This investment will build a stronger Ontario by expanding business operations, creating good-paying jobs, improving quality of life, supporting access to locally produced food and driving economic growth in northern communities.

“Our government recognizes the importance and significance of local food sources for personal well-being and economic growth,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “We are providing northerners access to healthy food options and cultivating business development, diversification and prosperity in the food industry across the Northeast.”

Projects receiving NOHFC funding include:

  • $754,775 for Manitoulin Trout Farms Inc. – located in Little Current – to purchase new cages and nets
  • $328,520 for Local Food and Farm Co-ops – operating out of Markstay-Warren – to administer its Healthy Food Distribution North initiative to improve access to healthy regionally produced food in Northern Ontario
  • $250,744 for Oshadenah Holsteins – a dairy farm located in Tehkummah – to purchase equipment, build a new barn, renovate its existing barn and construct a manure storage pit
  • $114,530 to establish Gorham Farms – a poultry and beef cattle farm in McKerrow
  • $106,118 to establish Ije’s Place – an African and Caribbean commercial bakery in Desbarats

“Our government is committed to supporting a robust agri-food sector in Northern Ontario,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “That’s why we are making important investments to help these regions innovate and overcome the barriers for growth. These investments further strengthen the economic potential of the North where there is great opportunity to build our sector, and continue to provide safe, quality food made right here in Ontario.”

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $473 million in 4,244 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.5 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 6,600 jobs.

Quick Facts

  • In 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.


“The circumstances of the last few years have exacerbated issues in local food supply chains. Funding support from the Ontario government allows Local Food and Farm Co-ops to coordinate the pan-regional partnership project: Northern Ontario Food Distribution Network and provide value-chain coordination, training and advisory support to communities and food co-operatives across Northern Ontario. NOHFC backing is vital as we work towards our goal of improving market access and enterprise start-up and scale-up support for food and farm producers, processors, social enterprises and co-operatives.”

– Shylah Wolfe
Project Manager, Local Food and Farm Co-ops

“The new dairy housing at Oshadenah Holsteins has incorporated technology and equipment that allows for more efficient, productive care of the cows. Animal health and welfare is always a top priority and with the new system there is great satisfaction in seeing the bar being raised for these goals. We greatly appreciate the support of the Ontario government for our operation and for all agriculture in Northern Ontario.”

– Alex Anstice
Vice-President, Oshadenah Holsteins


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