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Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence - 2018 Program
Table of Contents
The agri-food sector has always been innovative in running their
businesses, adapting practices and looking for partners to compete
in the global economy.
To help spur this innovative spirit, the Ontario government created
the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.
This annual program recognizes outstanding agri-food related innovators
including producers, processors and organizations.
This awards program is not intended for the research community.
Annual program awards include:
- 45 provincial award recipients with a cash prize of $5,000 each
- three Leaders in Innovation awards of $25,000 each
- the Minister's Award of $50,000
- the Premier's Award of $75,000
Award recipients will also receive use of the Premier's Award for
Agri-Food Innovation Excellence wordmark to support their marketing
The recipients of the 2018 awards will be recognized at events
across Ontario in 2018.
Deadline: May 25, 2018 is the due date
for completed applications. Electronic applications must be received
no later than 11:59 p.m. and hard copy applications
must be postmarked by the deadline date to be accepted.
The objectives of the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation
Excellence Program are to:
- recognize and encourage innovators in the agri-food sector
- foster innovation in the agri-food sector that has an effect
at the farm level
- raise awareness about the importance of agri-food innovation
and its impact on the Ontario economy
You are eligible to apply under the program if you are:
a) Primary Producer/Farmer
- must be a resident of Ontario
- must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
Any one of the following four options will be acceptable for enrollment
and application for the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation
- Provide a valid 2017 Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN)
- Provide a copy of your 2017 Gross Farm Income Exemption Certificate
letter received from the Farm Property Class Tax Rate Program.
- Beginning farmers and those who actively farmed in 2017 can
provide a copy of the Property Assessment Notice from the Municipal
Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) confirming the property
is classified as "Farm" (eligible for the Farm Property
Class tax rate), or a copy of the municipal tax bill declaring
the property as "Farm Taxable (FT)".
- If a farm business chooses not to have a FBRN for cultural
or religious reasons, they must provide the following:
- Religious Reasons - a copy of the Religious Exemption Letter
as provided by Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal
- Cultural Reasons - First Nations producers may provide
a letter from the Indian Agriculture Program of Ontario (IAPO)
verifying the farm business operates in the First Nations
- must be a Canadian owned company with less than 100 annual full-time
salaried and non-salaried employees in total
- a minimum of 50% of the food ingredients used in the Ontario-based
manufacturing facility must be sourced from Ontario growers/producers
- primary processing facilities must be in Ontario.
c) Agri-Food Organization
- must be Ontario based with a direct relationship / mandate to
the agri-food sector.
Applicants must be in compliance with all applicable federal, provincial
and municipal legislation that apply to the operation of the innovation.
You are ineligible to apply for the program if you are:
- an employee of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
- an immediate family member of individuals employed with OMAFRA
including spouse/partner, parents, brothers, sisters, children,
aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and grandparents
- a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and any combination
of agri-food business or agri-food related organization in which
individuals employed with OMAFRA, are owners of, members of
or have a controlling and/or financial interest in.
Only one application per applicant can be submitted in any one
Applicants from previous years may re-submit an innovation that
was not recognized with an award. These applications are not carried
An award winning innovation cannot be submitted again. Previous
award recipients are eligible to submit a new project for consideration.
Applicants must be willing to participate in interviews, site visits,
photographs and video recordings at the discretion of the ministry
or selection committees.
The ministry has the right to refuse an application where concerns
have been identified with respect to compliance with regulatory
legislation and requirements, undue influence and/or misleading
and inaccurate information.
Note to successful applicants: If your innovation is
selected for an award, cheques will be made payable to the organization
or person listed as the applicant on your application form.
Innovation areas may include:
Examples of innovation areas include but are not limited to:
- improved business practices
- response to consumer demands (e.g. new production and processing
methods, product development)
- response to expanding consumer tastes (e.g. locally-grown
and produced world foods) collaborations (strategic alliances,
- environmental stewardship
- energy and bio-economy
- health and safety
- food safety and traceability
- education and marketing of the agriculture and food industry
Primary producers, processors, and agri-food organizations interested
in participating must complete and submit an application either
electronically or in hard copy by 11:59 p.m. on May 25,
2018 . The application can be downloaded from: www.ontario.ca/agrifoodinnovation.
Please refer to the last page of the application form for
options to submit your completed application.
Please ensure that your application includes complete answers to
all questions in the application form.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to include five photos supporting
the innovation in electronic format, if available. Print copies
will, however, be accepted. Letters of support are encouraged.
The following process will be used to select the Premier's Award
for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence award recipients:
- Applications will be received at OMAFRA
- An acknowledgement letter will be sent to each applicant
- Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and prepared
for consideration by two independent review panels by OMAFRA's
- The first level review panel will evaluate all applications
and select award recipients
- A second level review panel will assess the selected award
applications and make recommendations on the top applications
to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Premier's
- The Minister and Premier will review recommended applications
and select the Premier's, Minister's and Leaders in Innovation
(3) award recipients
The following criteria will be used to assess applications:
- Impact or Benefit - Refers to the economic
and/or social benefit to Ontario's agri-food sector resulting
from the innovation.
- Uniqueness and Originality - Refers to historical
information of where the innovation originated and the uniqueness
of design or style utilized to produce the innovation.
- Development - Refers to the extent to which
the idea or concept has been thought through to completion. Consideration
may be given to the stage of development i.e. emerging through
- Operational Benefits - The innovation must
have been developed or be in development and currently be in use
or have a future use in the agri-food sector.
- Adoption and/or Commercialization - Refers
to the degree of success (or potential for success) of adoption
by other agri-food businesses or the commercialization and marketing
of the innovation.
- Broader Use - The innovation must have potential
for use on a broader basis and be able to demonstrate the potential
for having a positive effect on the agricultural industry.
Innovate. Grow. Prosper.