Grand Opening of the Institute of Food Processing Technology
CAMBRIDGE, ON, Nov. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The grand opening of the Institute
of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) was celebrated today at the
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning with
the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal
Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the
Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural
Affairs and the Honourable John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges
The opening of the IFPT marks an important leap for the food and
beverage manufacturing industry, Ontario's largest manufacturing
employer. Created through a partnership between the Alliance of Ontario
Food Processors (AOFP) and Conestoga, the facility is the first and
only technology centre that focuses on developing a skilled workforce,
tailored to the needs of the sector.
"Our government is committed to helping southern Ontario's manufacturers
be more competitive, adaptive and innovative," said Minister Goodyear.
"By supporting the Institute of Food Processing Technology, we are
helping to ensure that our region's food processing and manufacturing
sector has the skilled workforce it needs to grow and prosper."
The opening of the IFPT comes at a crucial time for Ontario's food and
beverage manufacturing industry. A recent study released by the AOFP
from consulting firm MNP LLP predicted that the sector will face
serious long-term skilled workforce shortages by 2026. The opening of
the IFPT seeks to mitigate these shortages, support innovation and
technology, and strengthen Ontario's economy.
"The Ontario government was pleased to collaborate in funding the
creation of this unique institution," said Minister McMeekin. "The
Institute of Food Processing Technology has both leading-edge
technology and expert instructors to provide the education and training
programs that meet the growing needs of our food processing sector."
Minister Milloy adds, "This new, state-of-the art facility helps
Conestoga create new opportunities for more students to achieve and
exceed their career goals. The success of Ontario's postsecondary
students and apprentices is key to our province's economic prosperity."
"We are very pleased to work with our government and industry partners
to address the labour market needs of Canada's food processing sector,"
said Conestoga President John Tibbits. "The advanced education and
training programs that will be delivered through IFPT will provide many
opportunities for students seeking successful careers as well as
addressing the needs of one of Canada's largest and most important
During the grand opening, President Tibbits also announced the Institute
would be named the Craig Richardson Institute of Food Processing
Technology in recognition of the tremendous contributions made by the
president of AOFP, Craig Richardson. A strong advocate of the endless
possibilities of solid partnerships, Richardson was a major driving
force in making the IFPT a reality.
"The IFPT is a perfect example of government, academia and industry
working together to eliminate obstacles that impede the success of the
Canadian economy," said Craig Richardson, President of the AOFP.
"Together we've created Canada's first and only skilled trades training
facility dedicated to the vital food manufacturing sector."
The Alliance of Ontario Food Processors is a non-profit organization of
food and beverage manufacturing companies and industry organizations.
Members have joined together to provide a comprehensive and
co-ordinated approach to promoting and representing the Ontario food
and beverage manufacturing industry on issues of common interest and
Conestoga is a leader in polytechnic education, providing a full range
of career-focused education and training programs to meet the needs of
learners and our growing community. The Institute of Food Processing
Technology, created in partnership with the Alliance of Ontario Food
Processors and with support from the governments of Canada and Ontario,
provides hands-on, experiential learning in the classroom, mechanical
shops, laboratory settings, and on-site pilot plant to promote the
development of a skilled workforce for Canada's food processing
SOURCE: Alliance of Ontario Food Processors
For further information:
Communications Manager, AOFP
(519) 650-3741 ext.226
Corporate Communications Manager,
(519) 748-5220 ext 3336