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.
May 27, 2020
May 27, 2020
June 30, 2020
Successful Applicants Announced
July 15, 2020
Supported Program Period
July 15, 2020 to March 31, 2021
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
Food Venture Program, Guelph
The Friendly Society, Elora
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
Retour Bistro, Guelph
Taste Detours, Guelph
The Seed, Guelph
Transition Guelph, Guelph
Uprooted Farm Corp., Elora
The Urban Orchardist, Guelph
Urban Stalk, Guelph
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
Zocalo Organics, Hillsburgh