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Soy underpins Argentine economy

Argentinian flagMost of the time what I write about on these pages have to do with food and farming in Canada.

Every once in a while, though, I’m lucky enough to have a chance to experience agriculture in other parts of the world – as I did last month with a fascinating trip to Argentina for the 2013 International Federation of Agriculture Journalists congress.

Much of Canada’s agriculture sector depends on exports so it’s important for us to be aware about what’s going on with other nations who export agricultural products as well. Thanks for reading.

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University competition helped launch Ontario soy food business

YoSo Flamaglo foods

Brothers Erik and Francis Lo at their Cambridge, Ontario production facility. Photo courtesy of Francis Lo.

A growing Ontario soy food manufacturer can trace its roots back to an entry into a student competition at the University of Guelph 15 years ago.

Brothers Erik and Francis Lo entered a soy-based cream cheese alternative into the Project SOY contest in 1998 and although they didn’t win the competition, their company Flamaglo Foods is now recording annual sales of over $1 million.

Flamaglo, under the brand YoSo, sells dairy and gluten-free soy yogurts, gourmet spreads and dips using Ontario-grown soybeans. They’ve also started expanding outside of soy, introducing a line of coconut yogurts last summer.

Most of their products are found in the refrigerated organic or health food sections of major Canadian retail chains, as well as independent health food stores in Ontario and Quebec. Continue reading University competition helped launch Ontario soy food business

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New label makes soybutter safe solution for peanut-free schools

A new approach to labelling a locally produced soybutter is making it easier to use in Ontario’s peanut-free schools.

The toasted soy spread looks and tastes so much like peanut butter that some schools weren’t allowing it, says Scott Mahon, President of WOWBUTTER Foods, a family-owned business in the Stratford area.

To address this challenge, the company has introduced a new peel-off label with individual “Made with WOWBUTTER” stickers underneath that can be applied to school lunch containers identifying their peanut-free status.

It’s a unique system that has just won WOWBUTTER Foods a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.

Continue reading New label makes soybutter safe solution for peanut-free schools

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“Green” lubricant alternative now available in Canada

A new vegetable oil-based multi-purpose lubricant is now available for sale in Canada – with the potential to open up significant new markets for Canadian grain and oilseed farmers.

Smart Earth Corporation’s new Ecolube product was developed in Canada by Linneaus Plant Sciences Inc. as an environmentally friendly substitute for popular lubricant and penetrant products currently on the market for home and work use. Continue reading “Green” lubricant alternative now available in Canada

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New campaign to boost soy food awareness

A recently established Canadian marketing council, led by Soy 20/20, hopes to raise awareness of Canadian soy food products with several new initiatives.

These include a new website, outreach efforts to dietitians and food industry professionals, and a market research study to gauge existing awareness and attitudes towards soy foods among Canadian dietitians.

The Canadian Soy Food Marketing Council, whose growing membership includes seed researchers and developers, seed companies, farmers, grain handlers, food and ingredient processors and soy food and beverage manufacturers, was founded last fall to help position the Canadian soybean industry as a global leader in soy food innovation. Continue reading New campaign to boost soy food awareness

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Long awaited support for local food and farming

There was good news in the provincial budget for farmers this week. The Ontario government announced new, permanent risk-management programs that farmers have long been asking for to help bring some much needed stability to notoriously fluctuating farm incomes.

Farm leaders have been making their case both federally and provincially about the need for this kind of support for a long time. A pilot program specifically for farmers who grow grains and oilseeds, like soybeans and canola, was announced four years ago and its success made it a model for other agricultural sectors also in need of long-term stability, like pork, beef, veal and fruits and vegetables.

What makes farming so special that they need government-supported risk-management programs? Continue reading Long awaited support for local food and farming

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Fabulous farming fotos

For anyone writing or blogging about farming, here’s a great resource for you.

One of my biggest struggles is always trying to find current, accurate and available photos to go along with articles or blog posts.

The Ontario agriculture photo library has a wide array of available photos depicting many of the different aspects of farming in our province. Continue reading Fabulous farming fotos

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