Stouffville-based Greenbelt Microgreens received the top honour of the Premier's Award for developing an eco-friendly process to grow organic microgreens year-round. The company's state-of-the-art facility grows nutrient-dense sunflower sprouts, pea shoots, wheat grass and other microgreens that can be produced on an average 10-day growth cycle, with a shelf life of 13 days.
The Minister's Award was presented by Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to Mississauga-based SunPillar Inc./Two Bridges Vineyards for developing Hive Health, a product designed to fit inside a standard commercial beehive that helps producers monitor bee health without having to disturb their bees.
Three Leaders in Innovation Awards were also presented to:
- Moyers Apple Products, based in Beamsville, for developing a chemical-free, waterless sanitizer for produce that reduces health risks and increases shelf life
- Freshwater Cuisine, based in Kenora, for creating popular food products that minimize food waste by incorporating all parts of freshwater fish
- Fresh Air Media (Andrew Campbell), based in Strathroy, for raising awareness of the journey from farm to table through social media and helping to bring rural and urban communities together.
Supporting innovation in agriculture is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
"Ontario’s agriculture sector is internationally recognized because of the dedicated, passionate and skilled workers behind it. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists for asking the imaginative questions that have led to these made-in-Ontario innovations. And thank you to everyone in agri-food for playing a vital role in creating the industry’s jobs of tomorrow, as well as making Ontario even more competitive in the global agri-food market", says Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario.
"Year after year, these awards showcase outstanding individuals across the province whose innovative ideas are helping grow Ontario’s agri-food sector for today and tomorrow. I’d like to congratulate this year’s recipients and thank them for their commitment to strengthening Ontario’s world-class agri-food sector and positioning our province for continued economic growth", Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, added.
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