Feds invest $7.2M to grow London’s agri-food sector

Artist rendition of The Grove from www.thegrovewfd.com

The federal government is spending $7.2-million to help grow agri-food companies in the London-region, a move expected to create 550 jobs.

On Thursday, area MPs Kate Young and Peter Fragiskatos announced the FedDev Ontario investment for the Western Fair Association (WFA), in partnership with London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and RH Accelerator.

The agency said the project will expand the range of supports available to food entrepreneurs and high potential agri-food companies at The Grove, the Association’s agri-business hub, by providing local agri-food businesses with access to new equipment, seed funding and mentorship.

On top of creating an expected 550 jobs, the WFA expects the project to maintain 100 more, commercialize 20 new products or services, and support the development and growth of up to 40 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“Our agriculture and agri-food sectors are critical to the well-being of our population,” said Melanie Joly, the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “Southern Ontario’s agri-food producers are playing an important role in supporting Canada’s economic growth and local economic diversification. The FedDev Ontario investment announced today will support London businesses to grow and strengthen this key sector, while creating valuable jobs, and helping our economy build back stronger.”

Since November of 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $140 million in 102 projects in the agriculture/agri-food sector, and has invested over $44 million in 57 projects in the London area.