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$100K matching funding to six PEC farm-to-table sector businesses

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis made the funding announcement Thursday.

Six Prince Edward County farm-to-table enterprises shared a major financial boost to help them expand operations.

An investment of $100,000 in matching funding was announced by Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis and Community Futures Prince Edward Lennox & Addington, Thursday. The funds were from the Rural Innovation Initiative, funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“Our region has so many hard-working small businesses that will be even better positioned to bring their ideas and new products to market as a result of the Rural Innovation Initiative program,” said Ellis. “The more local products we are able to grow, process, and distribute, the stronger our economy becomes- and that, in turn, increases prosperity across our community.”

The County Food Hub, a community-led project that saved a rural school from closure by converting part of the school into a hub for food businesses is one of the recipients and will use the funds to support agrifood clients and provide shared equipment and storage facilities.

“After over two years of community engagement, ‘friend-raising’ and political action, the dream for a food hub in the County that will service our agri-food and service industry while building stronger connections around food, nutrition and entrepreneurialism for students and the community alike is about to become real,” said Mike Farrell. “We greatly appreciate the ongoing tangible support from the Community Futures program and look forward to applying this generous matching funding to expand the hands-on management of our facility in this, our rookie year of operation.”

Other recipients include:
The Parsons Brewing Company, which is expanding its farm brewery after a burst of rapid growth; Prince Eddy’s Brewing Company, which is acquiring technology and equipment to scale production at its craft brewery; Pyramid Ferments, which handcrafts unique fermented food and beverages, and is investing in additional retail opportunities and expansion; PEC Foods, which is making a growing line of salad dressings, and is looking to expand local offerings into new markets and the County Soda Company, a craft soda start-up that is ready to scale production through innovation and next-generation capital equipment.

“Investing in sustainable food and farm-to-table businesses is critical to community and economic development and diversification of our region,” said Trevor Brookes, RII Program Manager, Community Futures of Prince Edward Lennox Addington.

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