Saskatoon, SK – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has awarded over $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.
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 funding 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.
“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,” said Dan Prefontaine, Food Centre president. “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.”