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Governments Support Innovation at Local Fruit and Vegetable Puree-Processing Company
January 7, 2016 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The governments of Canada and Manitoba will invest more than $582,000 in unique, state-of-the-art equipment so a local company can transform Manitoba-grown produce into nutritious and flavorful purees, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.
Canadian Prairie Garden Puree Products Inc. have acquired new equipment and modified their existing operation in order to cook more types of fruits, vegetables and pulse crops like chickpeas, navy beans and lentils, then rapidly chill and package the pureed products into sterile pouches. They are the only company in the world with this technology, which is more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly than traditional processing methods. The technology also ensures the purees retain better colour, flavour, texture and nutritional benefits without any preservatives or additives.
Minister Kostyshyn noted this investment also supports the Manitoba government’s goal of creating a $5.5 billion food processing industry by 2022, which is currently at $4.95 billion.
The company’s expansion, allows them to purchase millions of tonnes of culled vegetables that might otherwise be sent to a landfill or sold at a lower price for animal feed. In five years, the company plans to expand from nine employees to nearly 60.
The company, located at the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie, have received several awards in 2015 for their products including for Best New Product at the Manitoba Food Processors Association’s awards and a "NEXTY" award at the Natural Products Expo West in California.
The purees can be sold to other food manufacturers and other food service customers. The company’s unique process allows purees to be stored at room temperature for up to two years. The sterile packaging system also uses 30 per cent less water and energy than other processes currently in use in the industry.
Government funding represents 50 per cent of the cost of the new equipment. The Growing Value program provides financial assistance to help existing agri-businesses adapt to market forces and environmental considerations, increasing their ability to compete in domestic and international markets.
The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in cost-shared programming in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.
"The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canada’s producers and food processors. Investments such as this help promote growth in our Canadian agricultural industry and increasing income opportunities for farmers."- Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay
"Manitoba’s food processing sector continues to grow, driven by new ideas, technology-savvy entrepreneurs and consumer demand for foods and drinks that are nutrient-dense," said Minister Kostyshyn. "This creates new jobs, strengthens the rural economy and encourages growth throughout the entire agricultural industry."- Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn
"I am very proud of the good work our team has done in building this world-class food processing business. This type of value-added agri-business is a very important part of the community. We are creating jobs, building innovation in food processing and creating more opportunity for area farmers to sell their crops not only locally but around the world. This funding is critical to the success of small businesses like ours. My partners, Harvey and Martin Pollock and I are very grateful to receive it and will put it to work, growing and expanding our young business."- Chief operating officer and owner of Canadian Prairie Garden Puree Products Inc., Kelly Beaulieu
"The Food Development Centre values its relationship with this company. The functional food market in Canada is an $11 billion dollar business and together we are well-poised to assist each other in seeking out new, lucrative opportunities."- Chief operating officer and general manager of the Food Development Centre, Tim Hore.
- Growing Forward 2 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
- Growing Forward 2 (Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development)
- Canadian Garden Purees Inc.
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