Innovation Stories

Innovation can be characterized as an active ongoing process that results in unique methods and/or products, which relies on the capacity and determination of innovators. This process of innovation often begins with an insight into a problem, an existing need that is not being met, a gap in knowledge, and/or a lack of information. Innovators understand the root of a problem, and work creatively and persistently through trial and error to address it, adapting along the way. This involves employing the appropriate financial, technological, methodological, and social resources available while working toward a goal. Innovation is the solution to a unique problem – to fix or update something, to serve a new need, to prevent a problem, or to educate. Innovation generates new insight and information, provides solutions, and/or offers new products. 

Below is an excerpt on “Innovation in the Food Processing Industry” by Stats Canada and The Daily. Click here to download the full report and learn about the breakdown of innovation per province.

“With sales totaling over $100 billion a year, food processing is the second largest sector in Canada’s manufacturing industry, following transportation equipment. It is also highly innovative, with almost three-quarters of firms in the food processing industry (72%) introducing at least one of four types of product, process, organizational or marketing innovation during the fiscal years 2016 to 2018. Nearly half (48%) introduced new methods in their processing operations and 39% made a new or improved product available on the market. Organizational innovations such as the implementation of new methods in business practices, workspace organization or external relations with other organizations were introduced by 47% of firms in the food processing industry. Almost half introduced some type of marketing innovation (48%) such as the use of new media or new promotion techniques, new product placement or pricing methods, and changes to aesthetic design or packaging.”

Because we found that the concept of ‘innovation’ and available policy support to incentivize innovation appears to have totally missed the kinds of innovation developed by small scale food processors, we gathered a few stories to show that ‘innovation’ is alive and well amongst small scale food processors! Check out these inspiring stories about innovative women food processors in Canada!

Dyana Biagi | Aji Gourmet Products

Donna Denison | Little Creek Dressing

Alana Elliott | Libre Naturals

Lyndsay Scott | Kindrid Cultures Inc

Afke Zonderland | Okanagan Rawsome

Mal Paterson | Seedz Crackers

Agathe Mathieu | Sprightly Plant Power

Dafne Romero | North Pacific Kelp Wild Foods

Susan Kirkpatrick | Kirkaberry Farms

Kristin Zerbin | Hoochy ‘Booch Kombucha

Margaret Taylor | Nudemarket

Célia Auclair | Forest for Dinner

Melinda Kopet | Alkeme

Gillian Watt | BC’s Best Raw Pet Food

Amy Matamba | Amy’s Kitchen and Catering

Laura Virginillo | Modern General Food Group