Ben Keddy, head of sales, left, and Syd Oland, owner and operator, stand in the Yukon Chocolate Company’s kitchen in Whitehorse on Nov. 29, 2018. The company is among a number of local food producers to receive funding from the federal government. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Ben Keddy, head of sales, left, and Syd Oland, owner and operator, stand in the Yukon Chocolate Company’s kitchen in Whitehorse on Nov. 29, 2018. The company is among a number of local food producers to receive funding from the federal government. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Eight projects receive $600,000 in agriculture funding

The funding is provided by the federal government

Yukon Agricultural Association president Cain Vangel says he’s pleased to see local food producers in the territory benefiting from federal funding.

“It’s fantastic to have support,” he said, noting the assistance helps get projects off the ground and has the potential to create more jobs in the industry.

In a May 20 statement, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) highlighted eight agriculture and food-related projects in the territory it has funded, noting that over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has been working to provide relief funding in the territories for Northern businesses.

To that end, “investments of nearly $600,000 have been made to support eight agriculture and food-related projects” in the Yukon.

Projects funded

The largest amounts, at $100,000 each, are going to Yukon Valley Farms and Grandma Treesaw’s Bannock Catering Services.

Yukon Valley Farms is using the funds for a two-year project aimed at diversifying its products by constructing a mill building to house equipment used for turning grain into flour and other products. Grandma Treesaw’s will focus on a pilot project aimed at exporting dry bannock mix for sale to the pacific northwest United States.

Meanwhile, the Yukon Chocolate Company and Farm Gate Local Foods and Services each received $99,999. The Yukon Chocolate Company is using the funding for a two-year project to expand and meet growing demand. The funds were also used for the creation of Yukon Food Provisions, a collaborative food production and sale space, which opened in late 2020.

Icy Waters received $90,750 to purchase and install an oxygen monitor system and commercial freezer at their facility. That purchase is aimed at improving productivity and quality of their arctic char products.

Yukon Berry Farms received $49,500 to purchase a haskap berry harvester and build a greenhouse; Silver Line Farm received $38,000 toward a three-year project to design and build a movable honey processing facility and purchase processing equipment that will be rented out; and finally, Growers of Organic Food Yukon received $20,960 for a two-year project to look at the feasibility and develop a management plan for a Northern Organic Farm Learning Centre.

“Even during the pandemic, Yukoners are finding ways to thrive and grow,” Yukon MP Larry Bagnell said. “I am pleased to see local businesses continuing to find success and contribute to the local economy. CanNor is supporting projects that contribute to the growth and prosperity of the territory. This investment from the Government of Canada supports sustainable regional and community economic development in Yukon, and will help create good local jobs in Northern and Indigenous communities.”

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Agriculture

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