The Government of Ontario is now accepting applications from innovative food and agriculture businesses.

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence was created to reward businesses who innovate in the food or agriculture industry. Katie Nolan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Adviser for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says they are using a very broad definition of innovation. She tells potential applicants that if they have solved or overcome a problem in their business or sector it’s innovation.

Successful applicants will be from the food or agriculture industry but according to Nolan businesses that contribute to agriculture or food may also be recognized. She points to 2016 Regional Award recipient and North Augusta based business V6 Agronomy Inc. as an example. She adds that winners often find the award helps them get the word out about what makes their business special.

There are four categories with 48 awards available. The Premier’s Award is for $75,000 and the Minister’s Award is $50,000. There will be three Leaders in Innovation Awards of $25,000 and finally 45 $5,000 Provincial Award Winners. Applications must be submitted before midnight on May 25th.

Nolan finished by saying she thinks this is a great way to profile innovation, which is good for the entire region. More details on the awards, and a link to the application form, can be found here.