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April 26, 2017

Innovative research initiative to promote the introduction of new food products at the Horton Farmers' Market in St. Thomas and the Waterford Farmers' Market.

Farm Credit Canada and Fanshawe College have come together to rethink the development and introduction of new local food products.

Beginning in June 2017, Fanshawe will establish Fanshawe Farm Market booths at two farm markets in southwestern Ontario: the Horton Farmers' Market in St. Thomas and the Waterford Farmers' Market in Norfolk County. The project will involve close collaboration between farmers in the region and Fanshawe faculty and students in the Agri-Business Management program, which is offered at the Simcoe/Norfolk Regional Campus.

The Fanshawe Farm Market booths will provide students the opportunity to introduce new products that farmers or other food-focussed businesses would like to bring to market and also gather feedback and ideas direct from customers on-site. Through this research, students will utilize skills acquired in the Agri-Business Management program, including sales and relationship management, monitoring food safety and traceability and social media marketing. Along with highlighting new local food products and providing market research to producers, the main goal is to support agri-food innovation in southwestern Ontario.

Farm Credit Canada has provided financial support to launch the project and establish the booths. Additionally, contributions have come forward from local community sources, including the City of St. Thomas, St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation, Elgin County and Norfolk County.

“We are very grateful for the support of Farm Credit Canada to help us introduce our Fanshawe Farm Market booths this summer in St. Thomas and Waterford,” comments Donna Gates, chair of the Simcoe/Norfolk Regional Campus. “A number of farmers and food processors have come forward with new products for us to showcase. We look forward to introducing these products at the markets and through our social media channels throughout the summer. It has been exciting for Fanshawe to receive support from our partner municipalities and economic development organizations.”

About the Centre for Research and Innovation at Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College has been formally involved in research for over 10 years. The Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI) is the one-stop shop for the research and development needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the London region.

Our highly-qualified team works with external partners to develop innovative research projects and programs, serves as a liaison to external funders and confronts real problems with thoughtful and pragmatic solutions that help organizations achieve their goals, while engaging and inspiring new generations of innovators. Students figure prominently in our research and innovation activities as we strive to produce highly-qualified graduates for the local, provincial and national labour markets and unlock potential in the next generation of Canadian innovators. More information can be found at www.fanshawec.ca.

About Farm Credit Canada (FCC)

FCC is Canada's leading agriculture lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $28 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and its role in feeding an ever-growing world. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and agri-food industry. Our profits are reinvested back into agriculture and the communities where our customers and employees live and work. Visit https://www.fcc-fac.ca for more details.

For further information about Fanshawe College, please contact Corporate Communications.