Key presenters named for Growing Innovation food entrepreneurship seminar
April 15, 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.

Karen Ferri, right, will be a presenter at the April 20 Growing Opportunities event at the Owen Sound campus. She and husband Tom grow and market many varieties of apples from their Clarksburg-area orchard, including Honey Crisp, Mac, Mutsu, Ambrosia, Gala, Cortland and Golden Delicious.

Top local food entrepreneurs will share their stories and advice at Food Entrepreneurs: Growing Innovation, a free, one-day community seminar at the Georgian College Owen Sound campus on Monday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

Space is still available for local food entrepreneurs who wish to attend. For more information or to register, visit foodentrepreneursowensound.eventbrite.ca.

Among the presenters will be Charles MacLean of MacLean’s Brewery in Hanover. He will be talking about how businesses can plan to scale up their operations – and what pitfalls to avoid.

Laura Buckler of Cottage Country North Preserves will share her entrepreneurial experiences as a member of the entrepreneurship panel.

Karen Ferri of T&K Ferri Orchards, Clarksburg, will take part in a panel on farm business innovation.

The question of funding will be discussed by a number of experts from Scotiabank, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Owen Sound and Area Business Enterprise Centre and Slow Money.

The event is 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.

Growing Innovation offers tools and resources to help agri-food businesses position themselves to meet new consumer demand. This event 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.