By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
May 13, 2013 - Member of Parliament Ray Boughen (Palliser), on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart have announced a $10 million investment over five years for the Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM) program.
“As our agriculture industry grows, there is a demand to provide safe, reliable products more efficiently and effectively than ever before,” Stewart said. “Increasing our value-added processing is a key component of our plan for growth and this new initiative will help to achieve that goal and grow the industry.”
The new SLIM program will provide funding to help value-added agribusiness processors adopt best practices, new technologies, and state-of-the-art processes that stimulate improvements in productivity and efficiency.
The program will provide funding for lean gap analysis to help applicants identify process improvements, associated equipment, facility modifications, and training requirements related to improvements in productivity and efficiency. Eligible expenditures under the gap analysis include consultant fees and expenses directly related to the cost of developing the assessment. Funding is available for up to 50 per cent of eligible and approved expenses to a maximum of $20,000 per applicant.
The program also includes an infrastructure component, which will provide funding for facility modifications, equipment and associated installation and training to improve productivity as identified in the gap analysis. This would include projects such as process automation, process improvements and technology adoption. Funding is available for up to 50 per cent of eligible and approved expenses. The maximum project allocation per applicant is $500,000.
The SLIM program is open to Saskatchewan agri-businesses involved in value added processing of agricultural products, such as food, feed and bio-products.
“Our goal is to produce top-quality products and if we can find a more efficient way to serve our clients’ needs, we will look at any and all opportunities,” Tony Martinez, President of Donald’s Fine Foods said. “This program will allow agribusinesses, like ours, with the extra incentive to improve our overall processes.”
Interested applicants can find more information on at www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/growingforward2.