FedNor invests over $950,000 to grow and diversify the agri-food sector in Algoma region

News release

Government of Canada support will help strengthen food supply chains for Canadians while also supporting critical sector development

August 5, 2022 – Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Strong food supply chains are necessary to meet the needs of Canadians everywhere. Accordingly, the agri-food sector represents a critical means of creating both economic growth and supply chain improvements. Investments in the agri-food sector help create sustainable communities with strong, diverse economies across Canada.

Today, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, announced a FedNor investment of $951,530 in two projects designed to fuel growth and diversification in the agri-food sector of Northern Ontario. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor.

The Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN), a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), will receive a non-repayable contribution of $721,530 to create and deliver a Responsive Advancement for Meat Processing (RAMP) program that would provide productivity assessments and management training to abattoirs and meat plants throughout Northern Ontario. The goal of the project is to expand and diversify the meat supply chain, critical to the agri-food sector in the region in response to the continuing high demand from consumers and farmers for locally-sourced meat products. As a direct result of this investment, RAIN expects to create 10 full-time jobs and to help maintain 35 more.

As part of the announcement, Penokean Hills Co-operative (PHC), will also receive $230,000 to undertake infrastructure expansion aimed at improving operational efficiency and capacity at the feed yard. The improvements achieved through this project will allow PHC to increase the growth and daily gains of the cattle, and to increase the overall number of finished cattle in the value chain. This project is anticipated to create one permanent and two temporary jobs while also increasing revenue for local stock farmers and local crop farmers providing feed.


“Northern Ontario’s farmers and agri-food producers feed families across the nation. Today’s funding from FedNor of $951,530 will directly support the Rural Agri-Innovation Network and the Penokean Hills Co-operative in Saulte Ste. Marie as they work to expand and diversify production. Not only will this strengthen Canadian supply chains, but it will also help create and maintain good, local jobs.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister Responsible for FedNor

“The FedNor funds announced today will help good, locally produced food remain available while also supporting growth and diversification in the critical agri-food sector supply chain. We are proud to support our local farmers and producers with these projects that will help foster partnerships and create new growth and new opportunities for Northern Ontario.”
Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour

“This investment represents an important step toward building a resilient farm and food sector in Northern Ontario. FedNor is helping support farmers and communities to enhance the agri-food sector in Algoma region through these funds, and in doing so is helping our region meet its economic potential.”
David Thompson, manager of the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN)

“We are happy that FedNor is supporting this infrastructure expansion, which will allow us to not only continue to create high-end, consistent products for market, but to increase our production. These improvements will benefit the farming community, our customers, and support many more restaurants, butcher shops, and other businesses across Ontario.”
Chris Gordon, Owner and General Manager at Penokean Hills Farms

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s programs, which provide financial support of projects that lead to job creation and economic growth, and through which FedNor works with businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario:

    • Penokean Hills Cooperative’s portion of the funding is provided by FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), which supports projects led by municipalities, First Nations, and other organizations and institutions that promote sustainable community economic development, diversification, job creation, and self-reliant communities.
    • The Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN)’s funding is provided by FedNor’s Regional Growth Through Innovation Fund (REGI), which supports the growth of Northern Ontario businesses, their expansion into new markets, and their adoption of new technologies and processes.

Associated links


Alison Murphy, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
Media Relations

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