Agri-Food Open for E-Business Program Brings More Than 650 Businesses Online

Published on May 07, 2021

The governments of Ontario and Canada invested over $3.2 million since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to help Ontario agri-food businesses establish or expand their online presence. This investment provided businesses with more opportunities to grow their operations and offer more food choices for families who are shopping at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the onset of the pandemic, businesses were struggling to connect with Ontario consumers who were looking for more opportunities to purchase locally grown and made products online. The Ontario government quickly responded by launching the Agri-Food Open for E-business Program, and continues to ensure that the agri-food sector is resilient with the launch of an interactive map that helps consumers find local food options and support small businesses across the province. This map highlights more than 650 local food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations that have taken advantage of this program. 

Since the investment, more than 650 businesses now have a new or expanded online presence including 9 businesses in Etobicoke Lakeshore. Bondi Produce and Specialty Foods, TC Tibetan MoMo, Station Cold Brew, Junction Farmers Market, Two Bears Coffee, Pelmen Foods, Rawcology, Wagener’s Meat and Kerr’s Candy are examples of Ontario agri-food businesses that are now able to reach more customers with the support of the Agri-Food Open for E-business Program. This investment continues to make it easier for Ontario families to buy locally grown and made food by farmers and food processors in their communities which strengthens the provincial economy and helps our agri-food supply chain stay strong. 

“The Ontario Government is committed to keeping the Province’s supply chain strong during these extraordinary times” said Christine Hogarth, Member of Provincial Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Connecting the families of Etobicoke-Lakeshore who need options for purchasing food online is crucial to supporting local agri-food businesses and keeping people safe as the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine continues. I’m pleased that 9 agri-food businesses have been able to benefit from the Province’s Agri-Food Open for E-Business Program. I encourage people in Etobicoke-Lakeshore to continue supporting our local businesses which have given so much to our community ” 

Ontario agri-food businesses interested in developing their own e-commerce opportunities can receive funding through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade’s Digital Main Street Program.