Helping keep Valley Bio in the valley 0
Member of Parliament for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke Cheryl Gallant visited Rueben Stone, president of Valley Bio on Wednesday, where they announced the business recently received a $7,500 grant for the plant to become a registered seed establishment. For more community photos please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca
Valley Bio Limited recently received a federal grant to keep their business in the county.
Rueben Stone, president of the local seed business, has been sending his seeds south of Ottawa to be processed, but with the recent federal grant the local establishment is now a registered seed establishment and can process the seeds.
“The grant opens the doors to be able to better manage and market our seed business,” explained Mr. Stone.
One door that has opened by the $7,500 grant is the fact he can now process the seeds locally, which will save the company time and money.
His goal is for the plant on Highway 17, west of Cobden is to process 10,000 acres of product.
The grant was awarded to Mr. Stone by the Eastern Ontario Development Program explained Member of Parliament for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke Cheryl Gallant who was visiting the facility Wednesday morning to congratulate Mr. Stone and tour the facility.
Valley Bio contracts local farmers to grow hemp, buckwheat, gluten free oats, soya bean, amaranth and pea seeds. Grown in the county, the pedigree seeds are now also processed here.
He went into the pedigree seed business a few years ago to meet the demand to produce gluten-free products.
According to Mr. Stone, 10 years ago there was 30,000 acres of buckwheat being grown across the country. However, over time the buckwheat harvest has declined to 3,000 acres, which is what was harvested last year.
“The demand didn’t go away, it was going up,” explained Mr. Stone.
He notes over the last 10 years farmers continued to grow traditional crops like corn, wheat, beans and canola, not expanding to meet the demands of the gluten intolerant market.
Last year Bio Valley also received a $5,000 grant for marketing.
The business received its accreditation from the Canadian Seed Growers Association, Canadian Seed Institute and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
“They all have there own little part,” noted Mr. Stone.
Valley Bio employs three full-time staff with two peak times during the year – in the spring time when it comes time to plant and in the fall, harvest time.
Cyndi Mills is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist