OHA Hazelnut Marketing Project RFP

The OHA is embarking on another project in hopes to secure a Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Grant. Please see the following RFP.

November 5, 2023

Ontario Hazelnut Association Request for Proposal for hazelnut marketing and traceability project.

Information RequestedInformation Provided
Name of Consultant
Mailing Address
Postal Code
Name of Contact Person
Telephone Number
Email Address

Contact for Request for Proposal

Ontario Hazelnut Association


Proposals must be received by November 15, 2023

All proposals submitted understand that the project is contingent on provincial/federal funding support.


Currently, domestic hazelnut growers sell their hazelnut output at the farm gate, at farmers’ markets or to specialized small food retailers.  Large confectionary companies have expressed interest in purchasing from Ontario producers if hazelnuts are sanitized, dried, graded and shelled, which is currently done by each farm individually.  The current market demand for Ontario requires over 45,000 acres of hazelnuts and would generate $300,000,000 annually in nut sales, with an economic impact over $1 billion annually.  There is a global shortage of hazelnuts.  Areas that were traditionally high producers (Turkey, Georgia, and parts of the U.S) are facing climate issues including drought, as well as geo-political issues affecting supply and supply chain.

Hazelnuts is an emerging market in Ontario.  Currently, the hazelnut market in the Ontario sector is 100% imported with no current plan for bringing our new domestic product to market.  For hazelnuts to be a prosperous Ontario commodity, we need to develop the infrastructure required to advance the industry.  There are currently no other nut aggregators or co-ops prepared to bring over 300 aces of Ontario hazelnuts to market.  Through an industry wide market development report was undertaken in 2020, the OHA must create and implement a commodity wide set of tools to advance into the broader hazelnut market.  Top on the list of those tools is a food traceability system.

If domestic supply becomes readily available, new business opportunities will be required in Ontario.  Overall, this project will identify and influence the Ontario hazelnut industry to select and implement the most advanced and best practices identified.

Scope of Project

The creation of a plan to implement a food traceability system will require reviewing current systems in place for other commodity organizations and systems used in other regions such as the US and British Columbia.  The OHA will then compile input from users along the supply chain (growers, aggregators, processors, and food production businesses).  

The review will focus on eliminating barriers for growers, including an educational component outlining return on investment for implementation of a food traceability plan, incremental tools to on-board OHA members to a common system to streamline supply chain management.  

The project will also focus on getting the knowledge out that hazelnuts can be grown in Ontario.  This will include lobbying with government entities, attending popular farming shows, and spreading education though on farm events.

OHA is seeking quotations from qualified consultants to conduct the marketing and food traceability project including developing a future implementation plan.  

Scope of Work/Project Requirements

The OHA is seeking a Consultant to develop a marketing plan, including a food traceability program, including recommendations on incremental adoption of plan for members.

The consultant will provide information, data, recommendations, and guidance in the areas outlined below. In providing these services, the consultant will have regard for other regional programs and strategies, and will consider strategic partnerships with existing commodity organizations and provide options that can be implemented in the most efficient manner possible.

  1. Examine the existing marketing and food traceability systems including cost, ROI and use among end purchasers. 
  2. Engage with other commodity organizations and industry organizations
  3. Engage with stakeholders and end purchasers to determine low-mid and high-end systems
  • Assess systems based on cost, ROI and prevalent use in industry
  • Create comparable information document to demonstrate good better best scenario
  • Identify opportunities for leveraging existing systems
  • Recommendations on the expansion and/or modification of existing systems with other organizations
  • Seamless network integration. A key component of the assessment should provide recommendations on how existing systems could work for hazelnut growers
  • Long-term Growth and Financial Sustainability

Provide recommendations for future growth and financial sustainability of a hazelnut marketing program.

  • Meet with the OHA board to gain input and review results
  • Present final results to OHA

Project Deliverables

The successful proponent will be required to:

  1. Establish a marketing and food traceability working group that includes representation from OHA members and relevant community stakeholders.
  • Meet with the established working group to report on milestones and project deliverables.
  • Develop a consultation plan to liaise with OHA Board of Directors and commodity organizations and  regional employers, as well as other community stakeholders, to obtain necessary information, feedback, and data.
  • Submit Draft and Final Reports that outline:
  • Work plans, project timelines, and project milestones.
  • Recommendations supporting rationale for service requirements as outlined above
  • Research including responses and best practices.
  • Make a formal presentation(s) to OHA Board of Directors and staff 

Project Timeline

Commencement of the OHA Marketing and Food Traceability Project will immediately follow after the selection of the successful proponent. Project deliverables are to be completed mid 2025, with a final presentation and report.


The total allocated budget for services is $65,600 including hst.

Submission Process

Please direct any questions and submit your written quotations via email prior to the deadline noted above to: contact@ontariohazelnuts.com

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