Partnering to help food producers succeed, be efficient and supply high-quality products to the province’s tables.
Protecting Niagara’s vines from winter’s bite
Ontario’s $3.5-billion grape and wine sector represents half of the Canadian sector, and preventing winter injury to grape vines is a constant concern. That’s why Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is taking steps to avoid millions of dollars worth of cold-weather damage. Working with local grape growers and Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc., Brock researchers developed VineAlert, a program that measures the cold hardiness of grapevines and warns growers when to turn on their frost-fighting wind machines. VineAlert helps Ontario’s grape industry avoid up to $13.8 million in lost sales from a single severe cold weather event, as well as $11.7 million in lost sales while damaged vines recover in subsequent years, and $29 million in vine renewal and replacement costs.
Boosting agriculture now and in the future
From field to fork, the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph connects food research experts with food producers to ensure sustainability, economic growth and food security for Ontarians and Canadians. Food has been at the heart of the university’s identity since its founding colleges were established more than 150 years ago. All of the university’s seven colleges – spanning engineering, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, art, biology, veterinary science, business, environment, economics and agricultural studies – support the university’s leadership role in food and agricultural research and teaching. Among its initiatives, the Arrell Food Institute supports five inaugural scholars from Canada and abroad whose graduate studies are intended to help transform the global food industry. Along with the university’s Food From Thought project – which connects cross-campus experts with international partners to find ways to sustainably feed a growing world population – the institute is helping feed Canadians and raising the country’s profile in the global food economy.
Showing egg producers how to do better business
Canada’s system of supply management in the dairy industry is designed to make sure production matches demand, giving Canadians access to high quality products such as fresh eggs from local farmers. And it’s important to continuously analyze the sustainability and resiliency of this system to ensure its success. University of Waterloo’s Bruce Muirhead is helping the egg industry by comparing the Canadian supply management systems to broader global food policies, changing how the Canadian market impacts, or is impacted by, international trade. By comparing international agricultural policies, Muirhead gives context to the Canadian system of supply management. His research has led to a better understanding of the impact of the system on international trade discussions and how it can ensure high-quality locally produced eggs.