Nearly $2 million combined for rural technology company and grain elevator business to grow and create 10 new jobs
June 2, 2021 — Mitchell, Ontario
As the world continues to cope with the impacts of the pandemic, businesses supporting southwestern Ontario’s agri-food sector are finding opportunities to scale up, commercialize game-changing innovations, and build resilience for the future. The Government of Canada is focused on the safety of Canadians, while ensuring businesses and individuals have the tools they need to prepare for a strong recovery.
VDB Grains (Van Der Burgt Grains Ltd.) is an independent, family-owned grain trading and elevator operation in Mitchell, Ontario, offering services such as drying, storage and trucking for grain farmers. With a $1-million repayable contribution, VDB Grains will adopt and install a first-in-Ontario high-efficiency grain dryer and other new equipment. This investment will help the company scale up capacity to meet customer demand, while the new grain dryer will reduce crop and food waste. The company’s adoption of ag-tech will not only increase the nutritional value and quality of grain products, but will also benefit farmers by allowing VDB Grains to accept crops with a higher moisture content than traditional grain dryers. This is particularly important due to climate variability.
Mycionics Inc., located in Putnam, Ontario, is a technology company with a vision of solving agricultural issues, and has developed a robotic harvesting system for mushroom growing facilities. This product will be the first in Canada to identify and pick harvest-ready mushrooms without damaging them or their growing beds. This innovation has the potential to address labour shortages while increasing the quality of the harvest. With a $975,766-repayable contribution, Mycionics Inc. will implement the technology in two southern Ontario mushroom operations, test and develop the robotic harvesting system for industrial scale use, and ready it for commercialization and export.
With this investment, VDB Grains will leverage additional capital from other investments, increase local supply chain purchases by 100 percent by 2023, and continue to grow its team, including the addition of four new employees in Mitchell. Mycionics Inc. will also leverage an additional $2.9 million in private sector investment and create six skilled jobs in Putnam, Ontario.