Canadian government invests in innovation to advance Canada’s food processing
In a bid to develop Canada’s food processing systems, an investment of up to $4.6 million to the Food and Beverage Cluster through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program has been announced.
The Canadian food and processing industry employs more than 285,000 Canadians and is ever-growing. Directed by the Canadian Food Innovators (CFI), the announced cluster will include an additional $2 mn in contributions from industry, for a total investment of $6.6 mn.
The cluster will support research on product and technology innovations in cereals, oats, pulses and new ingredients that serve as natural preservatives. In a bid to extend shelf lives, the project supports the development of innovative alternatives in frozen food safety practices which aims to reinforce Canada’s global competitiveness.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, at the Bonduelle food processing plant in Bedford, said: “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.”
Minister Bibeau, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, also reaffirmed an investment of up to $30 mn in the Canadian Food Innovators Network (CFIN) through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). The 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.
Led by the Canadian Food Innovators, the CFIN will help further develop product development, innovation, and technology use in Canada’s food and beverage processing sector. CFIN aims to do this by funding projects under three primary pillars: 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 consider the plans outlined in the recently announced Food Policy for Canada. Details include that Canada’s food system is resilient, innovative and enhances the national economy.