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SLIM: Empowering Sustainable Manufacturing in Saskatchewan

By Jason Falk, B.SC, Program Specialist, Swift Current

February 2024

The Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM) program, funded through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, presents an opportunity for the agribusiness sector in Saskatchewan. It enables value-added businesses to adopt advanced technologies, upgrade equipment and enhance sustainable manufacturing practices while addressing emissions and reducing costs all while creating jobs and expanding an extremely valuable sector of our economy.

Having seamlessly transitioned from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, SLIM maintains its core structure with some modifications. Eligible expenses are categorized into three streams: the efficiency and expansion Stream, which offers a 50 per cent rebate and the emissions reduction stream providing a 60 per cent rebate for potential expenditures. The maximum funding has increased from $500,000 to $750,000, depending on the size of the project and the tier it falls under. Please note that flexible parameters have been established for eligible First Nation businesses to access the program.

A man stands next to a carbon caption machine.
Photo taken at District Brewing Co.,
master brewer Mbaku Hamidu Adma
standing next to his Earthly Labs CiCi
Oak Carbon Capture Machine

District Brewing Company’s success with SLIM is particularly evident in their innovative approach to environmental stewardship. Under the leadership of Joe Van Heerden, the General Manager and CEO, SLIM played a pivotal role in implementing cutting-edge carbon capture equipment. This technology not only captures and purifies carbon dioxide during the fermentation process but also stores it for later use in carbonating beverages, marking a significant stride in sustainability.

Van Heerden emphasizes the critical importance of SLIM funding in this environmental initiative, stating, "SLIM played an indispensable role in our journey toward environmental leadership. The funding provided the necessary support for acquiring carbon capture technology, a key component of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint. It allowed us to make such a large purchase in a timely manner."

Beyond carbon capture, District Brewing Co. also focuses on operational efficiency by repurposing byproducts. All grain residues from the brewing process are redirected to local farmers for use as livestock feed, showcasing a comprehensive approach to sustainability.

Van Heerden passionately recommends the SLIM program to any entity seeking upscale operations while making significant strides in climate action and cost reduction. With a vision set on achieving climate positivity by 2040, Joe is optimistic about SLIM's ongoing role, stating, "We are exploring various paths to reach this goal, and SLIM will undoubtedly continue to be instrumental as we progress.”

For more information, please visit the SLIM program webpage. Questions and inquiries can be directed to Programs Branch at or by contacting the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1‑866‑457‑2377.

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