Supporting all stages of business growth in PEI’s food industry

News release

Federal and provincial governments help companies through Food Island Partnership programming 

March 1, 2024 · Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Prince Edward Island’s traditional food sectors have long been a driving force for the province’s economy. Today, innovative agri-food companies continue to build on that momentum, developing fresh new ideas and sowing the seeds for growth.

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that new and established players in the Island’s food industries have the support they need to continue to adapt, collaborate, and discover new markets.

Fueling an innovative food economy

Today, Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, announced a non-repayable contribution of $336,300 to Food Island Partnership to support growth in PEI’s food ecosystem. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The Province of Prince Edward Island is also providing a further $321,600 in grant contributions to Food Island Partnership to support agri-food business development.

These investments will allow Food Island Partnership to continue offering innovative programs like Food Xcel, Food Propel, and FoodWorks, which help agri-food companies start-up and scale-up. The funding will also support quality assurance, human resource expertise, and other specialty services to help companies expand and grow.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to the food industry in Atlantic Canada, supporting growth and job opportunities in rural communities, and working with innovative Atlantic Canadian organizations to help sustain Canada’s global competitiveness.


“PEI is known for its food. From oysters and handpies, to ice cream and craft beer, you simply can’t go wrong. As a vital part of the Island's economy, the agri-food sector is creating jobs and opportunities - big and small. Your government is committed to investing in this sector and the great people who work in it, helping it to diversify and ensuring that businesses have what they need to compete and grow.”

- The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Food Island Partnership is viewed across the country as a leader in innovative food business programming. We are proud to support their fine work so that our passionate agri-food entrepreneurs can realize their dreams and make exciting contributions to a strengthened Island economy.”

 Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown

“Prince Edward Island is internationally recognized for the high-quality food products grown and harvested from our land and sea and as a destination for culinary excellence. The Food Island Partnership plays an integral role in building on our opportunities to grow, develop and deliver Island products to more markets worldwide.”

- Honourable Cory Deagle, Minister of Fisheries, Tourism, Sport & Culture for the Government of Prince Edward Island

“At Prince Edward Island, known as Canada's Food Island, we attract ambitious food entrepreneurs committed to advancing their ventures within our thriving community. The ACOA funding serves as a pivotal pillar, bolstering our Island's dynamic food product development ecosystem through steadfast support for Food Island Partnership programs.”

Bryan Inglis, CEO, Food Island Partnership

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing a $336,300 (non-repayable) investment through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) to Food Island Partnership.

  • The Province of PEI is providing $150,000 in funding through Innovation PEI, $85,000 through the Department of Fisheries, and $85,800 through the Department of Agriculture.

  • The Food Island Partnership is an industry-led organization tasked with growing the food industry through food company and food cluster development on Prince Edward Island.

  • Food Xcel has been developed to help aspiring food entrepreneurs move their idea forward through a combination of progressive workshops, networking opportunities with food agencies, industry experts, and entrepreneurs and a chance to compete for a $25,000 award from Innovation PEI’s Ignition Fund.

  • The 2023-24 FoodXcel program recently concluded its pitch competition, with the winners, Megan Bearisto and Edward Lambert, founders and owners of C&B Corner Cafe, awarded a $25,000 Food Ignition Fund to help grow and scale their bagel company in Kensington, PEI. With this award they will be purchasing new equipment to help expand into new markets. The other finalists include: Canoe Cove Honey, Main Squeeze Lemonade, Pawfection Pet Food, and Boonoonoonoos.

  • Food Propel is an accelerator program built for companies looking to grow it business. The program includes one-on-one and team mentoring with experts in the industry. It will also include educational sessions, strategic planning and growth plan workshops as well as trade shows and best practices missions.

  • Food Works is a modern multi-tenant food production facility that provides low-risk rental space and expertise to help agri-food business to scale up.


Connor Burton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Sharon McGuigan
Manager of Communications 
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency  

April Gallant
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Fisheries, Tourism, Sport & Culture
Province of Prince Edward Island

Crystal MacGregor
Director of Marketing and Communications
Food Island Partnership

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