Growing Innovation offers new ideas for aspiring food entrepreneurs at Owen Sound Campus April 20
March 30, 2015

Tom and Karen Ferri grow and market many varieties of apples from their Clarksburg-area orchard, including Honey Crisp, Mac, Mutsu, Ambrosia, Gala, Cortland and Golden Delicious.

Tom and Karen Ferri grow and market many varieties of apples from their Clarksburg-area orchard, including Honey Crisp, Mac, Mutsu, Ambrosia, Gala, Cortland and Golden Delicious.

Aspiring food entrepreneurs will want to mark their calendar for Food Entrepreneurs: Growing Innovation, a one-day community seminar at the Georgian College Owen Sound campus on Monday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is being planned by Georgian College in partnership with local municipalities and economic development partners, including Grey County, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Grey County Chefs’ Forum and the Grey Bruce Agriculture and Culinary Association.

Highlights of the day include panel discussions by successful food entrepreneurs. Also featured will be an exhibition of approximately 25 local food producers and processors who will showcase their locally made products, provide samples and be able to share their unique entrepreneurial stories with attendees.

The seminar addresses the growing need for education and training in the area of food entrepreneurship development. Local, sustainable food has increasingly become a priority for consumers. In response, municipalities recognize the benefit of value-added agriculture and product development as a strategic imperative for economic growth.

Growing Innovation capitalizes on these agricultural and economic development trends and offers tools and resources to help agri-food businesses position themselves to meet new consumer demand. The event will focus on what is needed to further develop the local food economy and particularly what producers need to bring their food and beverage businesses to higher levels of productivity and profitability.

The training will take place through panel discussions and interactive workshops which will present successful, local food entrepreneurs, expert panels of food business owners and a lunch catered by Georgian College instructors and students and using locally sourced ingredients. Participants, including aspiring artisan food producers, will learn how to cultivate a successful food business from existing entrepreneurs and industry experts. The event is expected to stimulate the regional agri-food economy through the development of a more comprehensive food business support system that may include business/kitchen incubation, distribution tools, programming, mentoring and more.

Growing Innovation builds on the success of two similar day-long community seminars held earlier in Orangeville and in Collingwood. Together, they attracted about 340 food entrepreneurs.

For more information or to register, visit foodentrepreneursowensound.eventbrite.ca.