Food, beverage processing sector receives financial boost
Ottawa has announced an investment of up to $4.6 million to the Food and Beverage Cluster through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program.
The cluster, led by the Canadian Food Innovators (CFI), will include an additional $2 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of $6.6 million, for companies like the Bonduelle food processing plant in Bedford, Que.
“We welcome this support from the federal government into Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector,” says Dr. Joseph Lake, chair, CFI and director of innovation and research, McCain Foods Limited. “This cluster is fostering greater collaboration between academia, government and industry and the projects currently underway will encourage new exciting new opportunities for the sector.”
The cluster will support cutting-edge research on product and technology innovations in cereals, oats, pulses and new ingredients that serve as natural preservatives. The projects will also focus on the development of innovative alternatives in frozen food safety practices to help extend shelf-life and enhance Canada’s global competitiveness.
Ottawa also reaffirmed an investment of up to $30 million in the Canadian Food Innovators Network (CFIN) through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).
“We know that Canadian innovation is key to keeping our agri-food industry competitive and strong,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will help ensure our processors are at the forefront of innovation, growing their businesses, boosting their competitiveness and providing top quality food for families across Canada and around the world.”
The CFIN, led by the CFI, will help accelerate product development, innovation, and technology adoption in Canada’s food and beverage processing sector by funding projects under three streams: innovative solutions to food processing challenges; collaborative projects in automation, packaging, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology; and, pilot-scale equipment at Canada’s food and beverage innovation centres.