News Release Article from  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada and Ontario Supporting Agri-Food Processor in Belleville

Investing in Job Creation and Increased International Sales Opportunities

March 7, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The federal and provincial governments are supporting a local Belleville chocolatier to create new jobs, increase productivity and strengthen Donini Chocolate's competitive advantage in the sale and manufacturing of liquid chocolate.

An investment of $127,000 through the Growing Forward 2 program will support Donini Chocolate's plans to continue to grow and expand by:

  • Creating five new full-time positions
  • Increasing automation and labour productivity
  • Enhancing processing capacity to meet needs of domestic customers
  • Expanding international sales through new business with a major United States chain.

Growing Forward 2 is a federal-provincial-territorial funding program that encourages innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada's agri-food and agri-products sector. The investment in Donini Chocolate builds on support for other eastern Ontario-based companies that have received funding through Growing Forward 2 as part of a $1.9 million dollar investment in eastern Ontario's agri-food sector.

Since 2013, the governments of Canada and Ontario have committed $33.5 million to almost 680 projects for food, beverage and bio product processor businesses through Growing Forward 2.

Supporting local agri-food processors is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • Since 2013, Growing Forward 2 has provided a total of over $94 million in cost share funding to approximately 4,300 projects, including $1.9 million in funding for eastern Ontario agri-food businesses.
  • Growing Forward 2 was launched in 2013 and is a five-year commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-based bioproducts sector.
  • Donini Chocolate, through Johnvince Foods, supplies more than 1,850,000 kilograms of quality milk chocolate in tanker loads to Canadian and international customers annually.

Quotes

"The agri-food processing sector is of vital importance to Canada's economy. Investments in this industry are helping to drive growth, foster innovation and create new market opportunities."

- Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

"By investing in small and medium-sized agri-food businesses like Donini Chocolate, our government is helping businesses to expand and leverage new opportunities in both domestic and foreign markets. Growing Forward 2 is part of the Ontario government's efforts to support our province's growing agri-food sector by creating good jobs and strengthening the connection between farmers, food producers and consumers."

- Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

"Donini Chocolate is pleased to have the support of both the federal and provincial governments through Growing Forward 2. Growth has been the result of this partnership and to date we've hired more full-time, permanent staff to our team and signed a new contract with a large US retail client."

- Joe Pulla, President, Donini Chocolate

Additional Links

Contacts

Christina Crowley-Arklie
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
The Office of the Honourable Jeff Leal
416-326-3069

Bianca Jamieson
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Communications Branch
519-826-3145

Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay
613-773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada


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