Ontario invests more than $5.4 million to boost food processing sector
By Stephanie Gordon
The Governments of Canada and Ontario are providing more than $5.4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help food processing businesses improve food safety, increase labour productivity and enable better access to markets. These strategic investments will support more than 75 projects across Ontario.
“Targeted investments into the innovation of our food processors such as these ensure our food supply chain remains strong and competitive for years to come,” said Neil Ellis, member of parliament for Bay of Quinte and parliamentary secretary to the federal minister of agriculture and agri-food. “This is about serving our communities from both levels of government, helping to give a boost to our local food businesses and address some of the challenges around labour we are seeing right now.”
Some specific types of projects supported through this programming include:
- Implementing technology or other systems to improve food safety.
- Transitioning to automated, advanced manufacturing and/or robotic processing technology to enhance labour productivity.
- Developing new products or processes to increase sales.
More than 75 projects were approved following a competitive, merit-based application intake that took place from November 4, 2019 to November 26, 2019.
Out of the approved projects there were several investments made into the fruit and vegetable sector.
A. Lococo Wholesale Ltd.
The fruit and vegetable grocery wholesaler and retailer will receive up to $110,470.02 to purchase and install new packaging equipment at their facility which is automated, and includes components that are digital and integrated with other weighing and labelling equipment to improve labour productivity and increase throughput.
Algoma Orchards Ltd.
The apple orchard based in Durham Region will receive up to $57,726.25 to purchase and install an innovative automated boiler to run and sanitize juice operations equipment, resulting in labour efficiency, energy savings, and other business benefits.
Fresh City Farms Inc.
The organic fruit and vegetable farm that focuses on grocery and meal delivery will receive up to $50,000 to undertake a marketing campaign to market their new line of value-add prepared foods.
Jacob MacKellar Farms Ltd.
MacKellar Farms, which specializes in edamame production for Canada, will receive up to $10,449.87 to purchase and install an advanced washing system for pumpkin seed processing to replace the current method which is unable to recover some of the wash water and requires a significant amount of labour to handle the wastewater.
MacKellar farms will also receive up to $50,000 to hire third party businesses to implement a marketing plan, attend tradeshows and undertake product demonstrations to help enter new markets and expand sales in Canada.
North House Foods Ltd
The Ottawa-based manufacturer, co-packer and distributor will receive up to $76,946.75 to purchase and install a new automated hot pasteurization and filling line for their shelf stable sauces to improve labour productivity.
Rootham’s Gourmet Preserves Ltd.
The Wellington County-based jam and preserve maker will receive up to $10,000.00 to purchase and install a water activity meter and metal detector to monitor for food safety risks and prevent foreign objects from contaminating their products.
Stratus Vineyards Limited
The Niagara region vineyard will receive up to $6,185.03 to purchase and install a steamer to upgrade and improve their winery sanitizing program.
The organic juice company based in Peel Region will receive up to $134,733.19 to purchase new equipment to automate process technologies to improve labour productivity, increase production throughput, and improve food safety and reduce environmental impact.
Well Juicery Canada Ltd.
The Toronto-based juicer will receive up to $200,000.00 to purchase and install a new hyperbaric (HPP) system to their juice bottle filling line, stainless steel process equipment and an efficient packaging system which will address significant labour productivity deficiencies.