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Remembrance Day 2017

On this Remembrance Day, we reflect on the sacrifices our men & women in uniform have made to keep our country safe. Tri-Mach Group is proud to honour our servicemen and women. Lest we forget. 

 

Hershey Raises Growth Forecast Again After Positive Third Quarter

From: Food & Beverage Media

Waterloo Tyke Preds Now Championship Team  

Once again, the Waterloo Tyke Predators gain another victory. On Saturday November 4th, the Tyke Preds beat the Guelph Gryphons 42-32 . The Waterloo Tyke Preds are now the 2017 Ontario Football League Tyke Champions. Tri-Mach Group is proud to sponsor such a hard working team! Congratulations on your win Waterloo Preds! #PredsPride #BleedPurple 

To get updates on the Waterloo Tyke Predators games, check out their Facebook page: @WaterlooRegionMinorFootball

Food Performance: How does Western Canada measure up?

From: Food in Canada

Food-borne illness outbreaks and food recalls tend to grab media headlines and consumers’ attention. Many Albertans will be familiar with the XL Foods meat recall, for instance. Overall, there are more than four million cases of food-borne illness per year in Canada. It leaves Canadians to question just how safe is our food. Canadians are also questioning the cost, health and availability of our food.

How well do Western provinces perform? In The Conference Board of Canada’s 2016 provincial food performance report card, Western provinces performed relatively well to their provincial peers. Indeed, Saskatchewan is head of the class among all provinces. The province excels with “A” grades in four of five categories: food safety, industry prosperity, household food security, and environmental sustainability. Its only “B” grade is awarded on the healthy food and diets category. B.C. is also among the top performers, Alberta received an “A” grade for household food security while Manitoba’s best grade was an “A” for food safety.

In 2015, the Conference Board produced an international food performance comparison of Canada’s food system to assess how the food system meets the needs of the population. The report card measures Canada’s performance against 16 OECD countries across the same five elements of the Canadian Food Strategy: industry prosperity, healthy foods and diets, food safety, food security and environmental sustainability. While Canada (along with Ireland) received the top grades in food safety, there is need for improvement, particularly in reporting on chemical risks in food consumption, conducting more frequent nutrition and dietary studies, food traceability and radiation standards in food.

Compared to most of our peers, Canadians generally choose healthy foods, as we consume lower-than-average intake levels of salt and saturated fats and have a diverse diet. However, Canadians’ health is somewhat compromised by higher levels of diabetes and obesity. Moreover, many Canadians bring home more food than they need generating relatively high levels of food waste and are comparable with other countries in terms of their knowledge and literacy about food.

When measured by affordability and price volatility, overall food availability on a national level is not at issue. However, there are localized problems of food access and prices, and at-risk populations (including indigenous people and single-parent households) continue to exist. Canada does not perform as well in other areas. For example, Canada has among the highest rates of both food waste and food losses in the world, and ranks behind all other countries for rates of greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions.

Canada’s industrial strengths in the food sector are its resource endowments, capital available to farms, crop production, and economic viability. However, the Canadian industry falls short of other countries in measures such as food innovation, livestock production, and representation among leading global food companies.The Conference Board of Canada’s 6th Annual Canadian Food & Drink Summit, taking place this December in Calgary, will explore Western Canada’s food performance. Topics of discussion will also include the Barton Report and the recommendations from the federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth where agriculture was identified as having strong potential for substantial growth and export improvement. The Summit will also debate the Government of Canada’s National Food Policy and more.

The Summit will feature engaging sessions and an exciting lineup of leading food experts and experienced practitioners who will share best practices and insights with you on how to engage stakeholders and Canadians to take action, including on trade, inspiring food innovation stories from Alberta, healthier beverages, agri-food outlook, reducing food waste, the labour gap in agriculture, affordable diets, organic retail experience, the future of the grocery business, growing culinary experiences, beef and crop sustainability, and more.The goal is to advance Canada’s food performance. Food affects our lives, health, jobs, environment, and economy. Ensuring that our food is of high quality, affordable, healthy and safe to eat matters to every one of us. We hope you will attend the Summit and look forward to seeing you in Calgary on December 4-6, 2017.

Written by: Jean-Charles Le Vallée, PhD,  associate director Food Horizons Canada, The Conference Board of Canada.

Ontario Greenhouse Cucumbers Making a Splash in Asia

From: Food in Canada

Guelph, Ont. – The market in Asia is welcoming produce from Ontario greenhouses – specifically cucumbers.

In a statement (“Ontario greenhouse cucumbers find fresh new markets in Asia,” on Oct. 10, 2017), the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) explains that “recent economic expansion combined with limited domestic production of cucumbers in Asia sparked the idea for a series of trade missions by Ontario greenhouse growers to explore market opportunities.”

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) worked on developing market initiatives throughout 2014 and 2015.

They’re now seeing the fruits, or veg, of their labour.

Jacquie Trombley, OGVG’s Marketer Liaison Officer, says in the statement that the organization has started pilot shipments “to select Asian markets right now. The success of these pilot shipments will lead to weekly shipments.”

The statement says the growers in Ontario can have their cucumbers in Asia in just two or three days after picking.

There were challenges in making it all work. Trombley says in the statement that regulations and logistics was one. And “getting Asian customers to believe Canadian farmers could grow cucumbers all year round.”

In 2015, the statement says the OGVG hosted an Ontario greenhouse vegetable trade show in Hong Kong so that potential buyers could see what vegetables were on offer. The group also provided educational information and technical support.

This came in handy, since as Trombley explains, “Ontario cucumbers look different from what Asian consumers are used to because we grow different varieties. We considered that challenge and hosted our own trade show to demonstrate our products.”

Growing Forward 2 funded in part the market development project from 2014 and 2015, which was “the first significant step toward expanding Ontario greenhouse vegetable exports overseas. OGVG is building on that success to expand marketing and sales in other Asian markets,” says the statement.

Federal Government Invests in Canadian Livestock Health

From: Food in Canada

Guelph, Ont. – Canada’s federal government is supporting livestock health with an investment of $1.31 million.

In a statement, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) says the investment was made to the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) “to help ensure the safe transportation of livestock, develop emergency management tools for the livestock industry and improve animal care assessments.”

Jennifer MacTavish, the chair of the CAHC, says in the statement that the organization appreciates the support. She adds that the funding will help “develop Canada’s Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals and affiliated animal care assurance programs.”

The CAHC is a non-profit organization serving Canada’s farmed animal industry. The organization is a partnership of cross-sectorial organizations, all recognizing a shared responsibility for an effective animal health system.

The investment will be divided between four projects, as noted in the statement, including:

  • Up to $223,929 to develop a new livestock transport on-line certification program that will simplify, standardize and provide an opportunity for truckers, shippers and receivers to more easily access the training necessary to improve handling practices.
  • Up to $160,713 to update the Transportation Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals during transport.
  • Up to $813,200 to develop an emergency management plan for the Canadian livestock industry to help mitigate, to respond to, and to recover from major hazard emergencies.
  • Up to $112,180 to revise the Chicken Farmers of Canada’s animal care assessment program to meet the new Code of Practice for hatching eggs, breeders, chickens and turkeys. The project will strengthen the poultry industry’s capacity to respond to ever increasing demand by markets to demonstrate effective animal care standards.

Canadian Researchers Discover Genetic Clue to Peanut Allergy

From: Food in Canada

Hamilton, Ont. – Canadian researchers, says the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network (AllerGen), have pinpointed a new gene associated with peanut allergy. In a press release (“New genetic clue to peanut allergy,” on Oct. 10, 2017), AllerGen says the discovery offers “further evidence that genes play a role in the development of food allergies and opening the door to future research, improved diagnostics and new treatment options.”

AllerGen is a national research network funded by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada through the Network of Centres of Excellence program. In the statement, AllerGen explains that “the gene, called c11orf30/EMSY (EMSY), is already known to play a role in other allergy-related conditions, such as eczema, asthma, and allergic rhinitis. This study is the first to associate the EMSY locus with food allergy, and these findings suggest that the gene plays an important role in the development of not just food allergy but also general allergic predisposition.”

The AllerGen researchers included Dr. Denise Daley, an associate professor at the University of B.C., Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver; and Dr. Ann Clarke, a professor at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine in Calgary, and adjunct professor at McGill University in Montreal. In the statement, Daley says that “the discovery of this genetic link gives us a fuller picture of the causes of food allergies and this could eventually help doctors identify children at risk.”

AllerGen says that an allergy to peanuts develops early in life “and is rarely outgrown.” Roughly one per cent of Canadian adults and between two and three per cent of Canadian children are affected. Symptoms can be severe to life-threatening. The co-first authors of the study included Dr. Yuka Asai, an AllerGen investigator and assistant professor at Queen’s University, and AllerGen trainee Dr. Aida Eslami, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of B.C.

In the statement, Eslami says the results of the study “suggest that EMSY could be a useful target for predicting and managing food allergy treatments in the future.”

Canada’s Government is Helping to Expand Hazelnut Orchards in Ontario

From: Food in Canada

Simcoe, Ont. – Canada’s government is helping to expand hazelnut orchards in Ontario. In a statement, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says it has made an investment of almost $500,000 to the Ontario Hazelnut Association (OHA) “to help develop the hazelnut industry.”

Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, says “Launching a hazelnut industry in Ontario is good news for our farmers, our consumers and our economy.  This investment is part of our Government’s plan to support a strong and diverse agri-food sector in Ontario, in order to create good jobs and grow the middle class.”

The investment will help the OHA develop orchard management practices “to enhance early development of hazelnut trees, develop strategies to mitigate drought stress in nursery trees and establish production techniques to multiply hazelnut plants for commercial use.”

The OHA has welcomed the news of the investment, saying in the statement that research so far has helped develop new innovations in micropropagation, variety selection, and orchard management.

Linda Grimo, chair of the OHA, says, “This new crop has enormous potential for Ontario and this support has brought us much closer to realizing our goal of establishing 10,000 hectares in the province by 2027 and creating new economic opportunities for rural communities. We are grateful for our partnerships with the federal and provincial government, the University of Guelph, and Ferrero Canada. We are very proud of the work the University of Guelph has been doing and look forward to future collaborations with both the University of Guelph and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.”

AAFC has partnered with the University of Guelph and Ferrero Canada to work on the project.

The Conservative Party of Canada Visits Tri-Mach HQ

@AndrewScheer from the Conservative Party of Canada visited Tri-Mach Group’s headquarters last week to speak out on the behalf of small businesses. The Conservative Party of Canada wants to support and protect small businesses and their growth. Tri-Mach Group is a proud supporter of this message: #savelocalbusiness #smallbusinessweek

PEI Students Help Fix Oyster Industry Problem

From: Food in Canada

Charlottetown, PEI – Students at the University of Prince Edward Island have developed a piece of equipment that will make oyster growing a whole lot less labour intensive.

In a story on the university’s website (“SSDE students flip oyster problem into a business opportunity,” on Oct. 4, 2017), UPEI explains that “farmed oysters, which are grown in cages weighing up to 200 pounds each, need to be turned once to twice per week during the growing months for an average of five years.”

Some farms may have anywhere from 200 cages to thousands of them. So growers look for employees strong enough to handle the job for up to 10 hours per day, says the story. The job of cage turning helps to “discourage mussels, barnacles and algae build-up, which lets water circulate better and more food reach the oysters. This results in more appealing oysters that can garner higher prices.”

The students in the School of Sustainable Design and Engineering (SSDE) at UPEI developed “specially designed equipment that gently guides the oyster cage in a roller coaster-like flip,” says UPEI. The students are Jordan Sampson, Brett McDermott and Dylan MacIssac.

According to UPEI, the industry has welcomed the news of the invention. It removed the “back-breaking labour” from the job; saves time and money; and will help address staff shortages.

An independent PEI-based company, Synapse Inc., has stepped up to help the students turn their invention into a marketable product. The company helps transfer expertise and knowledge from the UPEI into products, services, and insights that offer benefits beyond the university.

The students have filed for patent, start-up funds and will soon incorporate their company.