Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 05, 2010 16:52 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Research to Help Farmers Access Lucrative Market for Essential Oils

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2010) - The Government of Canada is investing in research that will allow farmers to access a lucrative local market for essential oils. Today, the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) announced that Laboratoire M2 Inc. will receive up to $64,700 to study the effects of different growing conditions on three aromatic plants with an eye to securing a year-round Canadian-grown supply of the main ingredients for their patented disinfectant. 

"When we support industry in developing new uses for agricultural products, we provide opportunities all along the value chain from grower to processor to retailer to consumer," said Minister Blackburn. "This company is generating demand for a high-value crop and we want to make sure Canadian farmers are positioned to supply it." 

Laboratoire M2 Inc. produces an environmentally-friendly disinfectant called Thymox™ made from oil extracts. This research will evaluate the potential for Canadian farmers to supply some of the active ingredients in ThymoxTM, by studying the growth of three aromatic plants including thyme, oregano and Monarda, under different conditions to produce essential oils rich in Thymol. It will also test new methods for extracting and analysing active ingredients in the essential oils of herbs, opening the door to export possibilities in the value-added market for products made from essential oils.

"This funding is an unbelievable opportunity for Canadian farmers," stated Laboratoire M2 Inc. President, Serge Auray. "Four farms are already involved in the pilot project and we anticipate commercial benefits in the short term for the Canadian market."

This project is being funded under the Developing Innovative Agri-Products initiative, which supports industry-led science and technology projects. The initiative is part of the larger Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program, a $158 million five-year program that promotes industry-led innovation initiatives that help get new agricultural products into the marketplace and improve agricultural processes.

This follows on an earlier investment in the project of $487,494 under AAFC's Agri-Opportunities Program, announced in October 2009, to help the company prepare to meet regulatory requirements in international markets, secure a patent for the product's use in the food processing industry and purchase equipment. This project is expected to create 17 jobs by year three and generate $3.6 million worth of annual demand for thyme by its fifth year of production.

In addition to this program, Canada's Economic Action Plan supports agriculture as a core economic driver in this country. The Government of Canada is focused on strengthening the economy, preparing to pay down the deficit when the time is right, and creating and protecting Canadian jobs, now and in the future.

For more information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's programs visit

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Celine Falardeau
    Senior Advisor, Communications