Industry Highlights

Photo of apples display
Apples are a big business in Durham and local companies have become the leaders in driving the adoption of innovative solutions and technology in this field.

From an extensive research and development project to increase processing efficiency through an innovative closed-loop water recycling system, to developing the first of its kind in Ontario press on wheels with top-of-the-line technology and computerized pressing equipment that can process 500 litres of cider an hour, Durham companies are leading the way.

Photo of Spinach
Spinach is a massive market in Canada and is a very difficult crop to grow. Thanks to ingenuity, vision and determination, North America’s only hydroponic spinach producer – Durham Foods – calls Durham Region home. After extensive R&D process, the spinach in now distributed to more than 50 area grocery stores. This first of its kind innovative system has won the 2012 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.
Photo of Various Spices
Hela Spice Canada specializes in the design and formulation of custom blends for the meat, poultry, bakery and other sectors of the food industry.

The company has an on-site, up-to-date meat pilot plant, a food chemistry laboratory, a microbiology laboratory and blending facilities to compliment the nature of the company’s service in the industry. It assists all customers through courses offered in meat technology, food ingredients, food chemistry and microbiology of spices.

featured Agritech employers

Durham Foods Logo


Durham Foods is a family-run greenhouse in Port Perry, Ontario. They have developed an innovative system to become the only commercial growers of hydroponic spinach in North America. Their spinach is grown in a pesticide and herbicide-free environment. Durham foods products are sold at various grocers and markets across Ontario. Visit Website
Durham College Logo


The Centre for Food, located in Durham Region is a higher education experiential learning environment focused on the field-to-fork concept. Students become experts in all stages of agriculture and culinary including planting, growing, harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sale and food creation services. Visit Website
Algoma Orchards Logo


Algoma Orchards has been growing apples in Durham Region since 1964. Their apple growing business has grown and expanded since then, now becoming a state-of-the-art apple packing facility shipping to grocery stores across Canada. Algoma also create a new state of the art automated farm fresh juice and apple cider facility. Visit Website

Agritech News

Durham College Coldframe Technology Research Project

A research project taking place at Durham College’s Whitby campus has Greg Moran, professor of HVAC at Durham College, and Shane Jones, professor of horticulture, working on coldframe technology that will allow plants such as lettuce and kale to be grown year round. The project was recently featured on a segment of City News. Watch the video for...

Durham College Hosts 5th Annual Research Day

On Thursday, April 30, Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE)hosted its fifth-annual Research Day at the college’s Oshawa campus. Staff members from ORSIE were joined by the DC Leadership Team, student and faculty researchers and community and business partners to share the importance of research on campus and highlight the applied research and innovation projects currently underway. The day focused on areas significant to the local and provincial economies and highlighted the agriculture, health care, gaming and wearable technology sectors. Diverse breakout sessions were held throughout the morning and Courtney Cole, founder and CEO of ForAHealthyMe Inc. delivered the keynote address about the convergence of economics, aging, demographics and the role of technology in the delivery of healthcare. DC’s rapid prototyper was also demonstrated for those in attendance. “Over the past five years the college’s research agenda has advanced significantly thanks to the creativity and expertise of our faculty, staff and students,” said Judy Robinson, vice-president, Academic. “Under the leadership of ORSIE many unique applied research projects have been supported, helping us all prosper through innovation.” Since launching five years ago, ORSIE has made incredible strides in the pursuit of the college’s applied research agenda by responding to business and industry needs for practical solutions through applied research and innovation activities, while providing real-world experiences for students. As part of DC’s research agenda ORSIE has entered into several agreements with local small and medium-sized businesses in the environmental, energy, social sciences and humanities fields, developing strategic research plans, forming an ethics board and receiving significant research funding from several government agencies. “There is an...

Durham Foods

(Port Perry) – Jim Sheehan demonstrates each piece of customized seeding and harvesting equipment with the flourish other men might reserve for sports cars. He explains there are nuances that separate “farmers” from “growers.” “A grower will buy machines like this from Europe. A farmer will make them himself,” he says. To emphasize which camp he belongs in, Sheehan grins and gestures to a switch on the electrical panel that has been fashioned from a small tupperware container. To read more, click...