Seeding Our
Food Future

Seeding Our Food Future is a grant program offering seed funding, training and support for 40 new and existing Guelph-Wellington food system businesses, not-for-profits and social enterprises to support sustainable transition and recovery from current economic shocks.

An initiative of Our Food Future and Innovation Guelph’s Circular Food Economy iHub.


In January 2020, Guelph-Wellington officially launched Our Food Future, our community’s ambitious initiative to create Canada’s first circular food economy. Since that time, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many of the challenges Our Food Future aims to resolve.

That’s why we’re taking direct steps to help local food system businesses emerge from the current crisis stronger and more sustainable. To provide immediate, direct support and ignite a shift to more resilient communities, Our Food Future and the Circular Food Economy (CFE) iHub is launching this seed funding program to help new and existing businesses overcome the impact of the current crisis by building capacity and resilience.

Defining a Circular Food Economy

Inspired by the planet’s natural cycles, a circular food economy reimagines and regenerates the systems that feed us, eliminating waste, sharing economic prosperity, and nourishing our communities.

Seeding Our Food Future is an initiative of Grow Back Better, Our Food Future’s 10-point recovery plan in response to COVID-19 and part of the City of Guelph and Wellington County’s overall economic and social recovery efforts. We are reprioritizing or restructuring existing elements of Our Food Future to provide immediate support to strengthen our local food economy, including through supporting new and existing food businesses. For more information about Grow Back Better, visit Grow Back Better | Food Future Kitchen Table.

What the Program Provides

To support the recovery, development and growth of local food system businesses, round one of Seeding Our Food Future will offer 40 selected companies:

  • a non-repayable seed funding grant of $5,000
  • up to 30 hours of targeted support and expertise through Innovation Guelph ($4,500 value)
  • a guaranteed spot in R-Purpose MICRO, a 12-week educational program focused on building sustainable practices and business resilience, delivered by Provision Coalition ($1,200 value); and
  • the chance to apply for a supplementary interest free loan of up to $10,000 through Harve$t Impact in collaboration with the Waterloo-Wellington and Saugeen Community Futures offices.

Additional rounds/application calls may occur as funds become available. Please check the website to stay abreast of program updates.

Who it’s For – Eligibility Criteria

All applicants must be a business, not-for-profit or social enterprise located in Guelph and/or Wellington County and meet one or more of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Starting a new business (including not-for-profit or social enterprise) that contributes to the circular food economy.
  • Pivoting to a more circular/sustainable business model.
  • Implementing circular practices, systems or processes in an existing business, not-for-profit or social enterprise that is part of the food system.
  • Creating or pivoting an existing business, not-for-profit or social enterprise to a business model that supports inclusive access to nutritious food, particularly during the immediate crisis.
  • Enabling a food system business, not-for-profit or social enterprise to effectively use data & technology.
  • Initiating a collaboration that contributes to a circular food economy.

If you or your organization has received funding from Our Food Future or any of its Implementation teams, for work related to Our Food Future, you are not eligible to apply.

Program Dates

Program Launch
May 27, 2020
Applications Open
May 27, 2020
Applications Close
June 30, 2020
Successful Applicants Announced
July 15, 2020
Supported Program Period
July 15, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Application Process

For more information on program guidelines and the application process, please download the Seeding Our Food Future Program Guide 2020

Applications are closed

Seeding Our Food Future Participants

3 Beets to the Wind Farm, Fergus 

4th Line Cattle Co., Hillsburgh

Fifth Bean Inc., Guelph

A Friendlier Company, Guelph

Ag Business & Corp Inc., Palmerston

Ambiances Gourmandes, Fergus

BioFerm Functional Foods, Guelph

Blue Sky Beef (Grow Well Eat Well), Arthur

The Conscious Kitchen, Guelph

Elora Farmers Market, Elora

Eramosa Herbals, Guelph

Escarpment Lab, Guelph

Fan/Joy, Hillsburgh

Food Venture Program, Guelph

The Friendly Society, Elora

GR365N, Puslinch

Guelph Food Bank, Guelph

Heartwood Farm & Cidery, Acton

Handsome Devil Bistro, Elora

The Junction Food Network, Guelph

Kortright Presbyterian Church, Guelph

The Red Express, Clifford

Reroot Farm, Harriston

Respira, Guelph

Retour Bistro, Guelph

Seed Voyage

Spiral Farm

Taste Detours, Guelph

The Seed, Guelph

Transition Guelph, Guelph

Uprooted Farm Corp., Elora

The Urban Orchardist, Guelph

Urban Stalk, Guelph

VegetaBALES, Kenilworth

Ward One Brewing Co., Guelph

WaterFarmers Urban Agriculture Innovation, Guelph

Well Baked Box, Guelph

Wellington Made, West Montrose

Wild Grove Regenerative Ag, Arthur

Winterhill Farm and Garden, Rockwood

Zerocery, Guelph

Zocalo Organics, Hillsburgh

This program is part of Grow Back Better, Our Food Future’s 10-point recovery plan in response to COVID-19 and is offered in collaboration with:

10C Logo
Guelph Chamber of Commerce
Business Centre Guelph Wellington
Lang Wood Centre
Provision Coalition
Launch It
Smart Cities Challenge
City of Guelph
County of Wellington