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Federal government investing in new food processing innovations

Research being led by Canadian Food Innovators

By Diego Flammini,

The Canadian Food Innovators (CFI) will lead a research group of food and drink industry professionals to help improve quality control and manage safety concerns.

The Canadian federal government is helping too – with a multimillion dollar investment.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced an injection of $3 million into the project that will also address health and wellness concerns customers raise. The research initiatives will focus on eggs, fruits, cereals, vegetables and meat.

"Our Government remains focused on the economy, and Canada's food and beverage sector is a major contributor in creating jobs and economic growth,” said Minister Ritz in a release. “This cluster will work to improve the competiveness of the food and beverage processing sector, create prosperity for the entire food value chain, and open up new market opportunities for our hard-working farmers.”

The food and beverage industry was responsible for over $23 billion in exports in 2013.

"This strategic investment by the Government of Canada in innovation in Canada's food processing sector is important to our competitiveness,” said Canadian Food Innovators Chairman, David Shambrock. “It is enabling Canadian food enterprises to work collaboratively with leading researchers at Canadian universities, Canada's food tech centres, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's research centres to solve problems, make new discoveries, and improve products and processes. Canadian consumers and our international customers will all benefit from this commitment to innovation.”

The investment is made possible by Canada’s AgriInnovation Program, a five-year operation receiving upwards of $698 million.

The AgriInnovation Program is part of Canada’s Growing Forward 2, a $3 billion, five-year plan involving federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

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