Farm Credit Canada

Farm Credit Canada

March 28, 2011 04:30 ET

Canadian agribusiness owners innovate to make their products work

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - March 28, 2011) - Only about 20 per cent of new products get to market or succeed within the first year, according to The latest edition of Farm Credit Canada's (FCC) Knowledge Insider publication, Grow your idea, profiles Canadian agribusiness owners who have innovated to make their products work and examines the key factors that helped make them successful.

The publication features those who are finding new uses for existing products and others who are developing new products to successfully enter new and existing markets.

Bioplastic resins made from corn and potato starch turned into golf tees, biomass from cash crops made into car parts, and plant extracts used to create functional foods, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals – these are just some of the ways agribusiness owners are innovating to meet consumer and market demands.

"Now more than ever, consumers know what they want – affordable, high-quality products that are customized to their needs, and they expect to get it" says Brenda Frank, FCC Senior Director of Strategy and Business Insight. "Someone will meet the needs of these consumers. Canadian agribusiness owners are well positioned to capitalize on opportunities to meet consumer demands, and information in this edition can help them get there."

Joe Vidal, President and CEO of Bioriginal Food & Science Corp., a global provider of innovative essential fatty acid (EFA) solutions, and a success story featured in the publication, attributes his company's success to "anticipat[ing] what the customer will need and [being] willing to adapt to the changing market." Vidal also notes that listening to customer input is key: "More than half of our new products come from suggestions from existing customers. Talk to customers or potential customers. Find out what they need or want. It is not always so obvious, but you have to do it."

Several other successful agribusiness owners and industry experts are also featured, and some recently shared their stories at an FCC-hosted panel event in Abbotsford, B.C. Speakers included John Rowe, who appeared on Dragons' Den marketing his product, the Honey Drop, as well as Bill Vanderkooi, who is creating the first vitamin D-enriched egg. Videos of the presentations are available on the FCC website.

"The stories of innovation in the publication are truly inspiring," adds Frank. "These entrepreneurs have taken time to monitor market trends, understand their business and form strategic partnerships, and it's definitely paid off. It's exciting to learn from those who have grown their ideas from concept to commercialization."

Knowledge Insider is a bi-annual publication that includes information from leading-edge business owners and experts, as well as tools that producers and agribusiness and agri-food owners can use for business planning.

FCC is committed to advancing the business of agriculture and is Canada's leading lender to the agriculture and agri-food industry. With a healthy portfolio of more than $20 billion and 17 consecutive years of portfolio growth, FCC is strong and stable – committed to serving the industry through all cycles. FCC provides financing, insurance, software, learning programs and other business services to producers, agribusinesses and agri-food operations. FCC employees are passionate about agriculture and committed to the success of customers and the industry. For more information, visit

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