BEDFORD, QC, Aug. 28, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, was at the Bonduelle food processing plant in Bedford where she 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.
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.
Minister Bibeau, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, also reaffirmed an investment of up to $30 million in the Canadian Food Innovators Network (CFIN) through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).
The CFIN, led by the Canadian Food Innovators, 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.
These investments also support the vision of the recently announced Food Policy for Canada, that Canada's food system is resilient, innovative and enhances our economy. Improved coordination, collaboration and innovation in the food processing sector through initiatives such as the cluster, can help to strengthen the food system.
"We know that Canadian innovation is key to keeping our agri-food industry competitive and strong. 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 Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Canada's food and beverage processing sector employs hundreds of thousands of middle-class workers across the country. Our government is proud to support these efforts to drive innovation in this important sector, which will help businesses adopt new technologies, bring exciting new products to market, and ensure continued growth and job creation."
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"We welcome this support from the federal government into Canada's food and beverage manufacturing sector. 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."
- Dr. Joseph Lake, Chair, Canadian Food Innovators and Director of Innovation & Research, McCain Foods Limited.
- The Canadian Food and Processing Industry employs more the 285,000 Canadians.
- Canadian Food Innovators was established in 2013 to enable Canada's food and beverage manufacturing companies to jointly access federal innovation programs, and delivered the first food processing research cluster under Growing Forward 2.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.
- Through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, $338 million initiative, the government is supporting leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.
- The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) aims to spur innovation for a better Canada. Specifically, it serves to simplify application processes, accelerate processing, and provide assistance that is more responsive and focused on results.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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