Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Weston announces $33-million challenge

The Weston Family Foundation is putting up $33 million for a competition to grow fruits and vegetables out of season for the Canadian market.

Eighty per cent of fresh fruits and vegetables are imported, much of it from countries that are vulnerable to climate change, according to Emma Adamo, chairman of the Weston Family Founctation which is funded from the owners of Loblaws, Shopper’s Drug Mart and dozens of other companies.

“The Challenge centres around a competition to generate solutions that will enable domestic food producers to grow berries out of season, sustainably, competitively, and at scale,” the Foundation said.

Funding will be awarded in stages over six years to eligible teams developing tools and technologies that solve the interconnected challenges of growing produce out of season in Canada.

“There is a golden opportunity to boost innovation in the food sector by nurturing bold, game-changing solutions for agricultural producers,” said Adamo.

“By catalyzing these solutions for berries, we anticipate the creation of systems relevant to a broad array of fruit and vegetable crops, helping to position Canada as a leader in this sector.”

I find it more than a bit ironic that Westons are trying to help the farmers and innovators whom it has bullied into cut-rate pricing over decades.