Local Business Receives Agri-Processing Funding

Province of Manitoba Media Release |

Seven Manitoba food-processing companies will receive $369,500 to purchase new equipment to better meet consumer demands, improve efficiencies and create opportunities for economic growth across the province, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.

“Canada’s innovative food processors deliver high-quality food products to the marketplace and drive our economy,” said Minister Ritz. “Our government is proud to support projects like these that create jobs, growth and prosperity in the agricultural sector.”

Funding has been provided through Growing Forward 2’s Growing Value – Commercialization program, which helps new and existing agri-processors bring foods and other agriculturally based goods to market through product development, market research and productivity improvements.

“There are many unique processors and agri-businesses throughout Manitoba, growing, designing and selling a wide range of products,” said Minister Kostyshyn. “This program brings innovative products to market, creates new opportunities for existing businesses and supports the growth of our agricultural economy. Strategic investments like these create growth, new jobs and a diverse agricultural sector.”

The projects and funding received include:
* Notre Dame Creamery Ltd. in Notre Dame de Lourdes – $60,000 to purchase a butter printer, which is used to package smaller butter portions and create new flavoured products to meet market demands;
* Red River Milling Inc. in Niverville – $100,000 to add a pneumatic conveyance to its hemp processing facility, which will increase efficiency and improve food safety and quality;
* Cavalier Candies Ltd. in Winnipeg – $50,000 to purchase new equipment to wrap and seal their candies, which will increase efficiency and capacity needed to meet consumer demand;
* Ash Apiaries Ltd. in Gilbert Plains – $36,000 to develop and commercialize a line of energy beverages, which will use honey as the only sweetener and a source of other nutritional benefits, as well as $50,000 to purchase equipment to put tamper-resistant seals and shrink seal labels on packages;

* Red Dog Enterprises Ltd. in Swan River – $16,000 to commercialize compounds extracted from red osier dogwood trees in human health supplements and animal feed;

* Stoney Brook Creamery in Steinbach – $15,000 to establish a micro-creamery and develop organic dairy products; and
* Winnipeg Old Country Sausage Ltd. in Winnipeg – $42,500 to upgrade their hot water, shipping, holding and cooling areas to improve efficiencies.

“The Growing Forward 2 funding allows us to complete projects that we wouldn’t be able to pursue on our own,” said Brent Ash, co-owner of Ash Apiaries. “The idea behind the beverage project is to produce a refreshing drink that provides an energy boost using honey as the sweetener. There is currently very little honey being used in beverage manufacturing so if this drink takes off, it will be good for the honey industry as a whole.”

Government funding can represent up to half of the cost of each project, to a maximum of $100,000. In total, these projects represent an investment of more than $1 million in agri-food processing across the province. Once complete, these projects will create 19 new jobs and are expected to create another 18 jobs after three years.

Many of these projects have received assistance from Manitoba’s Food Development Centre, located in Portage la Prairie. The centre provides entrepreneurs with product development and research expertise, equipment, and industry links to transform an entrepreneur’s food and beverage product ideas into a market-ready product. Minister Kostyshyn noted Manitoba’s goal is to establish a value-added food industry worth $5 billion by 2020.

The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.

The next application deadline for Growing Value-Commercialization is January 1, 2015. Value-added agricultural industries are eligible to apply, including food processing and biofibre production companies. For more information about this program or the Food Development Centre, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture.