Northern Ontario businesses receive $313,428

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finance

In partnership with FedNor, Northeast Community Network, Rethink Green, and Cloverbelt Local Food Co-operative, the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) has established a multi-year funding program for farm and food businesses in northern Ontario.

The Sustainable New Agri-Food Products and Productivity (SNAPP) Program supports northern Ontario agriculture and food producers, businesses, collaboration, communities and First Nations to create new products, enhance abilities for season extension, scale up production or enhance productivity.

Last year, FedNor announced $921,300 in SNAPP funding over a three-year period, $825,000 of which will be used as microgrants to support eligible project costs. RAIN oversees the funding of SNAPP, and works with the committee of northern partners to review applications.

SNAPP’s first in-take period was November 15, 2016 to February 28, 2017. During this period RAIN distributed just over $313,000 in grants to 63 applicants, bringing the total value of investment to $744,519. In the Algoma/Manitoulin region, 21 applicants were approved for grants. Each applicant is eligible to receive up to $5000 at 75% cost share to purchase equipment for approved projects, and collaborations of three or more entities are allowed. Details of all approved applicants can be found at rainalgoma.ca.

“There is an abundance of innovative agri-food projects across the North. Northern hops, trout paté, apple cider, essential oils and shiitake mushrooms were just a few of the new products to be created with the support of SNAPP,” said David Thompson, RAIN Project Coordinator with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre.

Trunorth Naturals Inc., located in the Algoma region, is one of the 63 applicants that was approved for a grant of $5,000 for a project to enhance productivity. Trunorth Naturals is a company that harvests and distributes Chaga mushrooms to wholesale and online retail distributors. Chaga mushrooms grow on birch trees and are used to make Chaga tea, which is a natural health product.

“With the approval of SNAPP funding I am able to purchase processing equipment that will substantially increase productivity and efficiency which will help to expand and scale up Trunorth Naturals to the next level” says Cody McElrea, owner and operator of Trunorth Naturals.

The next in-take will be open from July 1, 2017 to August 31, 2017. Details can be found at www.rainalgoma.ca/SNAPP.
RAIN will be at the Sustain Algoma Expo on June 3, 2017 from 9am – 3pm at the Johnson Township Community Centre and will be able to answer any questions.

For more information please contact Melissa Watson at 705-942-7927 ext. 3135 or mwatson@ssmic.com. Follow @RAINAlgoma on Facebook and Twitter for updates and information.