Federal Funding Announced for National Food and Beverage Processing Research

The federal government has committed close to $4.6 million towards national food and beverage processing research.

The funding, announced by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, will support the Canadian Food Innovators’ (CFI) research cluster, “Using science and innovation to strengthen Canada’s value-added food industry”.

“We appreciate this investment by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada into research and innovation in Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing industry,” says CFI Chair Joe Lake, Director of Innovation & Research at McCain Foods Limited. “At CFI, our focus is to advance innovation in our national food value chain by bringing together industry, technology specialists, academia and government, and this cluster enables us to work together to add sustainable value to the industry.”

The federal funding is provided through AAFC’s AgriScience program – cluster component under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, and is supplemented by industry contributions for a total project value of $6.6 million.

Ten research projects across Canada are being funded through the cluster. The projects focus on addressing issues affecting dairy, pork, poultry, cereals, pulse and vegetable processing under the themes of processing innovation to increase value-added applications and food safety and quality innovation to mitigate risk, build public trust and address consumer needs.

CFI undertook a national consultative and priority setting process with the food and beverage industry in 2017 to identify the main themes of this new cluster.

“The collaborative research we are able to do through this cluster will help strengthen our industry and drive economic growth,” adds Lake.

The Canadian Food Innovators – Innovateurs Canadiens en alimentation was established in 2013 as an industry-led initiative for Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector to access innovation funding and successfully delivered the country’s first food processing research cluster.

More information about CFI-ICA and the new network is available at www.canadianfoodinnovators.ca.