Velocity company Ceragen is helping make the impossible, possible to boost food security
October 18, 2023
When it comes to buying fresh fruit like strawberries, Canadians are largely vulnerable to global food supply chains which can break down in a matter of weeks. This became very clear to families trying to keep fresh food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ceragen, a company at Velocity, University of Waterloo’s startup incubator, has developed probiotics for plants to improve crop yields by up to 20 per cent and the company is participating in the Homegrown Innovation Challenge, a research challenge funded by the Weston Family Foundation. The challenge aims to increase Canadian food security by increasing produce growth domestically. Ceragen’s project group just received $1 million to optimize several aspects of domestic indoor strawberry production, including preserving the summer-quality strawberry taste.
“Our team’s goal is to optimize indoor strawberry production to facilitate year-round, local production at cost parity with imported strawberries,” said Danielle Rose said, Ceragen’s co-founder and CEO. “Canada imports 80 per cent of our produce, so we are susceptible to supply chain interruptions, and improving Canadian production and supporting local production can ensure that the customer gets better quality produce in a safe manner.”See how Velocity supports founders