Released on February 20, 2015
Today, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), on behalf of Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart, announced more than $13 million for the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc. (Food Centre) to build and equip a new innovative facility. The Food Centre is the primary source of food product development, technology transfer and commercialization for the Saskatchewan food industry.
As Saskatchewan’s agri-processing industry expands, so does the demand for new product development and commercialization. The new 30,000 square foot facility will support the expansion of Saskatchewan’s food ingredient processing sector, housing product development, specialized laboratory services, extrusion technology, interim processing capacity and more.
“Our government is focused on what matters most to Canadians by creating jobs and opportunities,” said Ritz. “Our government is proud to support this new facility that will create jobs and growth in the agricultural industry here in Saskatchewan. This centre will bolster the ability of Canada’s innovative food processors to deliver high-quality food products to the marketplace while driving our economy.”
“Our government is pleased to invest in a modern, one-stop facility to help Saskatchewan’s food industry increase its productivity and competitiveness in domestic and international markets,” said Yelich. “In turn, these excellent Saskatchewan-made products will help create jobs and economic prosperity in their communities.”
“As Canada’s leading producer and exporter of agricultural products, it only makes sense that we also have the ability to add value to the raw commodities here in Saskatchewan,” Stewart said. “The Food Centre is key to growing our value-added sector and adding strength to our diversified economy. This expansion will allow for more development and processing here at home.”
“Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector will achieve long term benefits directly from this investment by increasing our ability to expand global market opportunities in value-added processing,” Food Centre President Dan Prefontaine said. “The Food Centre’s new agri-food innovation centre will support innovation and technology through enhanced expertise, training and commercialization resources to assist our industry in accessing markets with new products and services.”
The total cost of the project is expected to be just under $16 million. Nine million of the funding will be provided under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative and $4.3 million will come from Western Economic Diversification Canada. The remaining funds, approximately $2.5 million, will come from industry investment into the Food Centre and from the Food Centre’s capital replacement fund.
Since its inception in 1997, the Food Centre has worked with more than 245 clients and has developed over 600 food products. Some of the innovative products developed at the Food Centre include fruit infused honey, flavoured camelina oils, beef jerky, bison Saskatoon berry jerky, granola bars, breakfast cereals, and barley snacks, to name a few. Construction of the new facility will begin in spring 2015 and is expected to be completed by 2017.
For more information, contact:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Office of Gerry Ritz
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc. (Food Centre)