Agri-Food Open for E-Business Program Brings More Than 650 Businesses Online

WOODSTOCK – The governments of Ontario and Canada invested over $3.2 million since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to help Ontario agri-food businesses establish or expand their online presence. This investment provided businesses with more opportunities to grow their operations and offer more food choices for families who are shopping at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re making sure Ontario’s agri-food supply chain stays strong during these challenging times,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and MPP for Oxford. “Connecting our great local businesses here in Oxford with Ontario families who need options for buying food online is another way our government is keeping people safe and businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At the onset of the pandemic, businesses were struggling to connect with Ontario consumers who were looking for more opportunities to purchase locally grown and made products online. The Ontario government quickly responded by launching the Agri-Food Open for E-business Program, and continues to ensure that the agri-food sector is resilient with the launch of an interactive map that helps consumers find local food options and support small businesses across the province. This map highlights more than 650 local food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations that have taken advantage of this program.

Since the investment, more than 650 businesses now have a new or expanded online presence including 19 businesses in Oxford. Jakeman’s Maple Syrup is one example of an Ontario agri-food business that is now able to reach more customers with the support of the Agri-Food Open for E-business Program. This investment continues to make it easier for Ontario families to buy locally grown and made food by farmers and food processors in their communities which strengthens the provincial economy and helps our agri-food supply chain stay strong.

Ontario agri-food businesses interested in developing their own e-commerce opportunities can receive funding through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade’s Digital Main Street Program.


Media inquiries please contact:

Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford

(519) 537-5222