Kitchener-Waterloo

Guelph home to Ontario's first private grain testing facility

Ontario's first private testing facility for cereal grains has opened in Guelph, providing local farmers with a alternative to facilities operating in western Canada.

Lab is co-owned and operated by the Grain Farmers of Ontario and SGS Canada

Nicole Mackellar says Canada's two other private testing facilities are located in western Canada. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

Ontario's first private testing facility for cereal grains has opened in Guelph, providing local farmers with an alternative to facilities operating in western Canada. 

The lab, which is located at 503 Imperial Rd. N., is the result of a partnership between the Grain Farmers of Ontario and Mississauga-based company SGS Canada.

There are two labs that are located in western Canada, but they really are focused in more on western Canadian crops.- Nicole Mackellar, Grain Farmers of Ontario

"It's something we've been working on for the past year and a half," said Nicole Mackellar, manager of market development for the Grain Farmers of Ontario, "and we are very happy to say that it is fully operational."

Farmers, processors, and millers are able to bring grain samples to the lab and have them tested for quality.

"We really need to be able to have something to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and quality is one of those areas," Mackellar said. "Being able to have these tests done, to have that quality information that we can then show to the industry to show that we are producing high quality products, will let Ontario become a leader in both global and domestic markets."

First for Ontario

She said the lab in Guelph is the first privately operated testing facility in Ontario. Prior to it opening, farmers would have had to send their samples across the country for testing.

"There are two labs that are located in western Canada, but they really are focused in more on western Canadian crops," she said. "That's one of the reasons why we were very interested in developing a lab here in Ontario, so that we would have something closer to home that would allow us to get results back in a very timely manner."

Mackellar would not estimate the cost of a sample test, but said the lab would charge a fee comparable with other Canadian facilities. 

She was also not willing to say how much money the Grain Farmers of Ontario invested in the lab, but said the cost of setting up and maintaining the facility would be shared with SGS Canada.

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