Agriculture Minister David Marit

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Minister David Marit have announced funding of $5 million for the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre in Saskatoon.

The funding, delivered through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP), will support the Food Centre’s work to enable the continued growth of value-added revenue and agri-food exports in the province over the next five years.

“Saskatchewan has always been a leader in agriculture production,” said MacAulay. “With the Food Centre’s hard work over the years, and continued work to come, there will be even more opportunities to commercialize regional products in the heart of the Prairies and we’re proud to support their efforts.”

“Saskatchewan has one of the fastest growing value-added sectors in the country thanks to a combination of our agricultural base, investment potential and research, and innovation assets like the Food Centre,” Marit said. “New ideas and products are one of the key enablers of the competitive, growing economy we have in our province, and this investment ensures that we will continue to grow and protect our agriculture industry in Saskatchewan.”

Established in 1997, the Food Centre is a non-profit organization offering pathfinding, product development and commercialization services to agri-food processors. It has supported the development and processing of over 1,000 new products, consulted with more than 500 companies and assisted in product commercialization related to almost all new agri-food start-ups in the province.

“The Food Centre is very pleased to have the continued support of federal and provincial governments in our mission to grow the value-added industry,” Food Centre President Mehmet Tulbek said. “Today’s investment announcement to the Food Centre will enhance our services to expand capacity to commercialize new innovative products and technologies. With this support, Saskatchewan will continue to be one of the leaders in innovation for the food industry, exploring novel uses from locally grown inputs, raw materials and co-products to create greater value for our agri-food sector and providing industry access to global opportunities.”

Sustainable CAP is a five-year, $3.5-billion investment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.