Agriculture & Agri-Food is one of the main pillars of Peterborough’s economy due to its climate, land base, experienced operators, research capability, and skills that make it a leader in the production of agri-food products. The region continues to focus on implementing new on farm diversification initiatives.
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Agriculture in Canada
Peterborough is part of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food system
A key driver of Canada’s economy.
Agriculture in Ontario
Ontario’s speciality in genomics-based innovations and technologies advance Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector.
- Peterborough & the Kawarthas is a community committed to sustainability and is one of only a few Ontario communities with a Sustainability scorecard.
- Recognized by UNESCO as a Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development We are part of the Peterborough-Kawarthas-Haliburton region which has been designated a Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development by the United Nations University as endorsed by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). One of 8 RCEs in all of Canada.
- Peterborough continues to focus on implementing new on farm diversification initiatives.
- Trent Aurora Research Greenhouse Microenvironment Laboratory – The most comprehensive research facility of its kind among Canadian universities focused on predicting the future impact of climate change.
- In 2016, Peterborough reported 88 farms using renewable energy producing systems, and Peterborough ranked 4th within the Central Ontario Region for use of renewable energy producing systems.
Woodleigh Farms is an example of sustainable and innovative agriculture with a passive solar greenhouse, and regenerative agriculture and precision agriculture practices
Entomo Farms is a local family-run company that makes cricket-based foods for individuals interested in high-quality, sustainable protein.
As of 2016, there were over 900 farms operating in the region – with farms growing everything from grain and oilseeds, to livestock, to fresh produce and everything in-between.
- Peterborough ranked 18th in Ontario and 5th in Central Ontario for the number of farms selling directly to consumers in 2016 (Census of Agriculture 2016).
- In peak season, there are eight farmers’ markets that operate throughout Peterborough & the Kawarthas.
Notably, the region has a vibrant food scene filled with fresh ideas and even fresher ingredients. The agriculture sector is well-supported by chefs at restaurants from the heart of downtown to lakeside cottage resorts and everywhere in between.
- There are over 300 diverse dining establishments in Peterborough & the Kawarthas. The chefs that work and live here artfully offer up food that embraces local ingredients with global flairs, often choosing to locate here because of the amazing access to passionate producers and great local products.
Engaged Educational Institutions
Peterborough has established agriculture and agri-food research, innovation and talent capacity with direct access to graduates and programming at Trent University and Fleming College .
Through The School of the Environment Trent University has launched a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program. Through this program, undergraduate students are learning about the ethics, economics and environment of sustainable food and farming in our community and throughout the globe.
In September 2021 Trent University launched a new Small-Scale Farming Specialization that allows students to get a deeper understanding of sustainable, regenerative farming practices with more than 240 hours’ of hands-on farming experience.
Agricultural & Environmental Research Facilities:
- Trent Community Research Centre
- Water Quality Centre
- Trent Aurora Research Greenhouse
- Microenvironment Laboratory – The most comprehensive research facility of its kind among Canadian universities, focused on predicting the future impact of climate change.
As of 2020, there are a total of 2185 people in Peterborough with a post-secondary qualification in agriculture, natural resources, and conservation.
Peterborough & the Kawarthas Culinary Tourism Strategy
Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism (a division of PKED) champions the region’s agricultural assets with a focus on developing Culinary Tourism and Agri-tourism. Culinary efforts work to grow food tourism by leveraging the history, heritage, and culture behind the food and drink that makes our destination unique. Agri-tourism experiences bring together the tourism and agricultural sectors, along with the unique processes, people, and places involved.
In good company
Woodleigh Farms is a multi-generational family run business committed to sustainability and offer maple syrup, a large vegetable market garden and greenhouse operation, and a diverse crop production.
Central Smith Creamery roots date back to 1896, with ice cream production being shipped locally and across Canada since 1952.
Bringing cricket-based food products and sustainable sources of protein to a nutrition-starved world.
Agriculture Industry Resources
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
- Invest Ontario – Food & Beverage Manufacturing
- Farms at Work
- 4-H Peterborough County
- East Central Soil & Crop Association
- Peterborough Food Charter
- Peterborough County Federation of Agriculture
- Peterborough County Holstein Club
- The Peterborough County Cattlemen