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Regional partners in an agriculture and agri-food study want to hear from local businesses

grey county agriculture and agri-food

Grey County has teamed up with regional partners in the undertaking of a significant study of the area’s agriculture and agri-food sector and is seeking participation from local businesses to help develop regional and local Action Plans. 

In addition to Grey County, the partnership group includes Bruce and Simcoe counties, the cities of Barrie and Orillia and Georgian College, along with local business support agencies.

In a Grey County media release, the study is called The Agriculture and Agri-Food Value Chain Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) and will consist of an analysis of the current agriculture and agri-food business climate based on standardized interviews with local businesses. The survey results will be analyzed by independent consultants and developed into Action Plans for the region and each county to address identified opportunities and challenges for this vital business sector. The study is being undertaken to ensure that future support provided by the partner organizations is based on sector-specific needs and opportunities.

The group is aiming to interview up to 350 local businesses (owners, operators and managers) associated with the agriculture and agri-food sector including farmers, agri-food processors, distributors, nurseries, food retailers, restauranteurs and agri-support businesses such as tractor dealerships or farm equipment sales.  

To participate or to learn more about the Agriculture and Agri-Food Value Chain BR&E, please contact the County of Simcoe’s Economic Development Office at 705-726-9300 ext. 1206 or e-mail

Interviews are being conducted from February until August 31, 2018. As the Action Plans will only be as strong as the input received, the group encourages as many businesses as possible from this sector to take part in the study. Since 2014, many of the regional partners have been supporting the agri-food sector by providing training and networking opportunities including a Food Entrepreneurship Speakers’ Series, food labelling workshops, food safety regulatory training, business to retail networking, and more. 

Local funding for the program is being provided by the County of Simcoe, Grey County, Bruce County, the City of Barrie, the City of Orillia, Georgian College, Nottawasaga Futures Community Development Corporation and South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre.

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