Business & Policy
Government invests in innovation to advance Canada’s food processing industry
By Top Crop Manager
The Government of Canada will invest up to $4.6 million to the Food and Beverage Cluster through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program. The cluster, led by the Canadian Food Innovators (CFI), will include an additional $2 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of $6.6 million.
The cluster will support research on product and technology innovations in cereals, oats, pulses and new ingredients that serve as natural preservatives. The projects will also focus on the development of innovative alternatives in frozen food safety practices to help extend shelf-life and enhance Canada’s global competitiveness.
Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, on behalf of the Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development, also reaffirmed an investment of up to $30 million in the Canadian Food Innovators Network (CFIN) through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).
The CFIN, led by the Canadian Food Innovators, will help accelerate product development, innovation, and technology adoption in Canada’s food and beverage processing sector by funding projects under three streams: 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 support the vision of the recently announced Food Policy for Canada, that Canada’s food system is resilient, innovative and enhances our economy. The Canadian Food and Processing Industry currently employs more the 285,000 Canadians. Improved coordination, collaboration and innovation in the food processing sector through initiatives such as the cluster, can help to strengthen the food system.