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For the additional $ 10 million, London-based RH Accelerator, an incubator and startup for technology companies, is working to attract around $ 2 million in private-sector investments in grove food companies.
Additionally, Western Fair District will spend approximately $ 3 million on renovating the space. Fanshawe College and Western University will provide research and innovation support, and the London Training Center will support skills training, but this will be in kind, Lakhotia said.
“We are very happy about it. We’ll have a fantastic cluster here in a couple of years, ”said Joe Dales, partner at RH Accelerator. “You have prepared the pump. Now we’re helping to do what RH does: get into early-stage deals and get seed capital. “
Mayor Ed Holder called the announcement a “really, really groundbreaking achievement. This is a sustainability investment in food security and in our community. “
London Small Business Center is getting $ 200,000 from FedDev and an additional $ 160,000 from Libro Credit Union to help people start food businesses, said Steve Pellarin, executive director of the London Small Business Center.
“It’s incredible. That way we can offer training and support across the Southwest region through partnerships with other centers,” he said.
There are around 90 agri-food companies in the London area employing around 7,000 people.
That is sure to grow as Maple Leaf Foods builds a $ 660 million chicken processing facility that will employ approximately 1,450 people when it opens next year.
There are other food industries in London as well, including Dr. Oetker, a frozen pizza maker; the cakery, a dessert shop; Nestle; Natra Chocolate America and Sikorski Wurst.
The Aspire Food Group, which will produce protein powder from crickets, is under construction.
“London has considerable strength in food production and is growing. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the vital importance of Canadian food processors. We want to promote the potential of this sector, grow and bring more products and services to market, ”said Young.