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REGINA, Oct. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - Time is always the enemy for relief efforts in disaster zones like hurricane-ravaged Haiti. Mera Food Group, a Western Canadian food technology company, has pioneered a new method to help relief agencies deliver emergency food aid faster.
Relief agencies have long relied on corn-soy blend (CSB) products to respond to disaster or famine situations. This product typically comes in sacks of flour-like powder that be easily mixed with local water sources to create a porridge that is high in protein, fibre and calories.
"CSB is a wonderful product but it has its weaknesses. There can be delays in transportation, it can suffer significant spoilage losses and it can become unhealthy if mixed with contaminated local water supplies," said Wayne Goranson, president and CEO of Mera Food Group.
Mera has developed 'just in time' technology involving mobile facilities that can produce and cook CSB from scratch on site as needed and pre-mix it using purified water. The technique was developed in the company's labs in Regina, Saskatchewan and implemented in the Dominican Republic where Mera has an existing soy milk plant.
"I was here when the hurricane hit and my staff and I got involved immediately by driving over truckloads of soy milk. All in all, we donated over 100,000 servings of soy milk but I could see that there was a continuing need for more and better food aid," Goranson said.
"I want to congratulate our technical team on their speed and innovation in developing this product that will save many lives and make a huge difference here in Haiti and many other places around the world."
Mera's just-in-time pre-mixed CSB product has been welcomed by numerous government and non-governmental agencies, including the Canadian Red Cross, the World Food Program and MINUSTAH (the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.)
"Mera is an amazing company with heart and compassion! Their team is superb. It takes perseverance to work in Haiti," said Canadian ambassador to Haiti Paula Caldwell St-Onge.
Mera is complementing its milk production by starting production of the pre-mixed CSB this week. Goranson estimates that the facility can produce 3,000 servings an hour at peak capacity.
"Our only limitation is local transportation. As soon as we can get our product trucked out, we can have nutritious food delivered to those who need it almost immediately," Goranson said.
About Mera Food Group
Since 1987, the Mera Group of Companies have leveraged technology driven, innovative solutions. Our food and agriculture division, has focused on technological innovation to deliver protein for human consumption.
Mera leverages the expertise of a diverse team of engineers and technical specialists to produce and deploy mobile food processing units that convert vegetable protein into desirable, consumable food products.
Mera is a highly diverse organization with respect to cultures and languages, actively recruiting personnel from around the world. Mera recognizes the importance of giving back to the communities where its personnel live and work. Mera's team dedicates time, talent, resources, and leadership to community events and initiatives.
Mera has extensive experience in international operations and has implemented soybean, corn and pulse production projects on small and large scales.
Praise for Mera Food Group:
"A few short days after the hurricane we facilitated Mera's border crossing with more than four tonnes of food, before many international aid agencies had arrived. I personally traveled to the affected areas to participate in Mera's delivery of this much-needed aid."
- Max Antoine II, Executive Secretary of the Border, Port au Prince, Haiti
"Mera is an amazing company with heart and compassion! You and your team are superb. It takes perseverance to work in Haiti."
- Canadian Ambassador to Haiti Paula Caldwell St-Onge
SOURCE Mera Food Technologies Inc.
Video with caption: "Video: Mera Food – Making a Difference in Haiti and Around the World". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20161026_C1487_VIDEO_EN_803755.mp4&posterurl=http%3A%2F%2Fphotos.newswire.ca%2Fimages%2F20161026_C1487_PHOTO_EN_803755.jpg&order=1&jdd=20161026&cnum=C1487
Image with caption: "Mera fed roughly 100 children in Jeremy, Haiti, a community hard hit by the hurricane (CNW Group/Mera Food Technologies Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161026_C1487_PHOTO_EN_803715.jpg
Image with caption: "Mera’s operations provide local employment (CNW Group/Mera Food Technologies Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161026_C1487_PHOTO_EN_803717.jpg
For further information: Media contact: Lyle Hewitt, Martin Charlton Communications, 306-584-1000, [email protected]