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  • News
  • July 26, 2016

Ontario and Canada Investing in Barrie Area Agricultural Projects

Supporting Growth in Ontario’s Food and Beverage Sector


The provincial and federal governments have invested over $1 million in 24 projects in Barrie and the surrounding area of Simcoe County and Dufferin County to help grow the region’s food and beverage sector and the local economy.

Federal and provincial representatives made the announcement Tuesday at Cookstown Greens, which received $80,850 to support upgrades to its refrigeration system and the creation of cold wash and pack areas. These projects will improve the produce quality and extend the farm’s selling season.

The 24 projects received funding through Growing Forward 2 — a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that provides funding for programs that improve innovation, competitiveness market development, adaptability and industry sustainability in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors.

These investments help achieve the federal government's goal of encouraging the agricultural and agri-food sector to be a leader in job creation and innovation in order to grow the middle class.

Investing in Ontario’s agri-food sector is part of the provincial government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.


"Today’s announcement demonstrates the innovation and forward-thinking of a number of local industries. From the production of sunflower oil and maple syrup to state of the art dairy operations and cheese-making facilities, the businesses being funded by the Growing Forward 2 program represent the best of our region. Not only are businesses growing forward, but our rich history and agricultural legacy are, as well."

— Ann Hoggarth, Member of Provincial Parliament for Barrie

Growing Forward 2 helps new and established businesses reach their goals of expanding their offerings and increasing their markets. Ontario is committed to helping businesses become more innovative and competitive, and this program helps improve our agri-food and agri products sector.

— Stephen Del Duca, Member of Provincial Parliament for Vaughan

“These investments demonstrate our government’s commitment to a strong and competitive agriculture and agri-food sector in Barrie and the surrounding Dufferin-Simcoe area. Investing in companies like Cookstown Greens allows the industry to expand its production and market share, which improves the bottom line for farmers and helps stimulate the economy.”

— Deborah Schulte, Member of Parliament for King-Vaughan

“Cookstown Greens is happy to have the support of both the federal and provincial governments through Growing Forward 2, allowing us to continue to expand and share our high-quality product with a growing number of people in Ontario. This funding has helped us to make important upgrades to our farm, extend the shelf life of our products and continue to build our reputation as a family farm delivering high quality, delicious organic vegetables to your dinner table.”

—    Simon Ffrench, Cookstown Greens Family Farm Owner


  • Since 2013, the governments of Canada and Ontario have committed more than $44   million to over 850 projects for food, beverage and processing businesses through Growing Forward 2 cost-shared funding assistance.
  • Growing Forward 2 was launched in 2013 and is a five-year commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-based products sector.
  • Cookstown Greens grows over 120 varieties of certified organic vegetables, greens, seedlings and garnishes.


Growing Forward 2 in Ontario

Dufferin Farm Fresh

Simcoe County Farm Fresh

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