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Canada’s CFIA & USA’s FDA Have Signed a Memorandum of Understanding

From: Food in Canada

College Park, Md. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have agreed to collaborate.

The two agencies announced in a press release that they “have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will facilitate the sharing of food safety information and data, and enable collaborative research projects.”

For a look at the MOU, click here.

Paul Mayers, vice-president of the Science Branch of the CFIA, says in the statement that the two countries already share a strong tie, which “allows us to work together to find innovative and cooperative ways to share information and data in respect to food safety. This collaborative approach to information sharing builds on our individual strengths while expanding our combined knowledge.”

The purpose of the MOU, which was signed at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition campus, is to help both countries collaborate on food safety science.

The MOU is expected to give scientists on both sides of the border access to greater food safety information and data, which will bolster innovation and advance research.

SLIM Program Supports Saskatchewan’s AG Processing Sector

From: Food in Canada

Regina, Sask. – A local brewer and food and ingredients company are reaping the benefits of a government investment.

In a press release (“Support for Value-Added Sector in Saskatchewan,” on Sept. 29, 2017), the government of Saskatchewan announced $330,000 in funding for Rebellion Brewing. And $500,000 for AGT Food and Ingredients.

The funding is through the Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM) program.

The brewery, says the release, will use the funding to expand its brewing capacity, and add exterior grain storage and a canning system.

Mark Heise, president of Rebellion Brewing, says in the release that the brewery is growing. “We live here, we spend dollars here and our profits stay here,” he says. “In less than three years, our small brewery has created 20 new jobs with more on the way. The value-added agriculture sector has tremendous growth potential and is key to creating a diversified and resilient Saskatchewan economy.”

AGT says it will use the funding to support production and equipment upgrades. That includes improving its polishing, bagging and conveyor system to increase productivity.

Murad Al-Katib, AGT’s President and CEO, says in the release that, “Investments in infrastructure, value-added advanced manufacturing and innovative new technologies, aided through programs like SLIM, are assisting Saskatchewan agriculture in building sustainable competitive advantages.  These investments position Saskatchewan and Canada to capture opportunities with the world’s growing populations and rising incomes in emerging markets.”

Mars Canada Celebrates Official Opening of Bolton Food Plant Expansion

From: Canadian Packaging 

Mars Food has invested CDN$77 million in the 50,000-square-foot expansion of its Bolton, Ont. food plant to increase production of its ready-to-heat rice and grain products. Mars Food celebrated its official opening on October 11, 2017.

This expansion represents the single-largest capital expenditure in the history of Mars Food, and will the much-needed capacity having been designed for future growth. Most importantly, the state-of-the-art, LEED Gold-certified facility will add 37 new highly-skilled jobs.

The Bolton food plant expansion comes on the heels of a similar expansion of its chocolate facility located in Newmarket, Ont. Together, the two expansion represents a total investment of $147 million in 2017, greatly increasing the company’s presence in Ontario.

About Mars Food
Mars Food is a fast-growing food business, making tastier, healthier, easier meals for all consumers to enjoy. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Mars Food is a leader in producing great tasting products such as: Uncle Ben’sDolmioSeeds of ChangeMasterFoodsSuzi WanEblyRoycoKan Tong, and Raris. Mars Food is a division of Mars, Incorporated.

About Mars Canada
Mars Canada is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, a private family-owned business with more than 1,300 associates across the country. In Canada, Mars was established in the late 1940s and is known for some of the Canada’s best-loved brands, including Uncle Ben’sSeeds of ChangeMaltesersM&M’sPedigreeSnickersRoyal CaninWhiskas, and Excel. Mars in Canada comprises four business segments: food, chocolate, Wrigley and petcare. Mars Canada is one of Canada’s top 100 employers. For more information, visit www.mars.com/canada/en.

Ice Cream Trends 

From: Food Processing

Craving some new frozen treats this summer? Innovation in frozen desserts is making frozen treats more popular. According to research director David Sprinkle, there is a lot happening in terms of new product innovation in the ice cream market: “It’s combining old-fashioned themes with on-trend ingredients, blending sweet flavors with savory, shifting from diet products to those with nutritional and functional benefits.

Click here to learn more about new and trending ice cream ingredients, flavors and packaging systems. 

Modern blueberry processing plant opens 1 year ahead of schedule

From the CBC

The grand opening of Acadian Wild Blueberry Co.’s processing plant was held in Saint-Isidore on Tuesday, July 19, a full year ahead of the expected opening date. The push to open sooner was to meet the demand for increased processing capacity from local blueberry growers, said John Bragg, president and co-CEO of the parent company, Oxford Frozen Foods.

The company currently employs 70 full-time workers and more than 200 seasonal workers. More jobs are expected to be created as more land comes into production over the next several years.

The plant is considered to be the most modern blueberry processing facility in the world. It will have two freezing tunnels that can process up to 1.5 million pounds of fresh blueberries per day during the harvest season. The cold storage can hold 45 million pounds of product.

More than 300 farm families are currently involved in New Brunswick’s wild blueberry industry. Blueberry production provides about 360 full-time jobs and about $11 million in labour income, according to the government.

Learn more about turn-key fruit processing solutions from Tri-Mach Group here.
Read the full article here.

Ex-CEO of Lululemon makes her new pitch: high-end frozen food

From the Globe and Mail

Vancouver’s Yaletown Urban Fare is the sort of up-to-the-minute supermarket where, directly inside the doors, you’re greeted by a produce section — a big one, with an emphasis on freshness and organics. On the right, a deli section dominates, with dozens, if not hundreds, of salads and entrées made fresh daily. And on the very back wall, a full 90 paces from the front door, is what might be the quietest place in all of Yaletown—the freezer section.

And here, on a lower shelf, behind the big glass doors, reside eight spots reserved for the entrées produced by a Vancouver-based start-up called Luvo that dares to think frozen food can be healthy and delicious. Only six of the spots are stocked today, which could be regarded as good or bad, much like the prospects of the company itself.

Luvo is a company with a rock-star CEO and a corporate creation myth for the ages, but it is also a very deliberate construct, and Yaletown and its Urban Fare are exactly the kinds of places that it was concocted for. The company says it’s doubling its revenues annually (as a private company, however, it won’t say what those revenues are). Meanwhile, its entrées—offerings such as red wine braised beef with polenta, and orange mango chicken with whole grains, kale and broccoli—are increasingly available in Canadian supermarkets.

The challenge faced by CEO Christine Day — well, one of the challenges — is that grocery shoppers like these make up precisely the demographic that is turning most rapidly away from frozen foods, a category where American unit sales have been dropping by up to 3% annually in recent years. Meanwhile, the company has taken the seemingly counterintuitive approach of targeting its products, not at one of Urban Fare’s ever-fragmenting food tribes, but at a broader public that is beginning to read ingredients lists but is otherwise open to anything that’s tasty and nutritious.

Learn more about sanitary processing solutions for the frozen food / RTE industry here.
Read the full article here.

Report Card on Ontario Food and Beverage Processing Industry Innovation Tells the Story

From Newswire.ca

Food and Beverage Ontario has released two reports on innovation in the Ontario food and beverage processing industry. Reports have indicated that there are several value-creating physical and on-line innovation resources available in Ontario to processor businesses across the province but coordination and communication continue to be key to uptake.

Complementary on-line innovation resources are also available and are largely concerned with information on government programs and funding and advisory services for businesses. Report highlights:

  • Processors cite product innovation as their top innovation priority, however they rank innovation technology and methods as the overall industry priority.
  • The greatest challenge limiting a company’s ability to innovate was identified by over 50 per cent of the respondents as financial resources and time.
  • Companies that seek out external support equally prefer both in-person contact and websites.
  • Processors are asking for innovation resources to be better coordinated, easy to navigate and to access.

“We have been working hard for the last year mapping resources and building a provincial innovation network with key stakeholders,” said Norm Beal, CEO, Food and Beverage Ontario. “Now it’s time for FBO to implement a coordinated plan that will make it easy for Ontario’s 3,000 plus processor businesses to locate exactly the innovation support they need to be more competitive.”

Read the full article here.

Ben & Jerry’s, New Belgium Introduce Beer-Flavored Ice Cream

From FoodManufacturing.com

Earlier this year, Ben & Jerry’s and New Belgium Brewing included the Vermont ice cream maker’s flavors in a new beer. Now, the Colorado-based craft brewer is returning the favor.

The companies, which announced their partnership in April, on Wednesday unveiled a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream based on Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. The ice cream concoction — named Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale — will feature ale-flavored ice cream with fudge brownies and ribbons of caramel.

A portion of the proceeds from the ice cream, like the beer, will go toward Protect Our Winters, a group that organizes winter sports enthusiasts in the fight against climate change. In addition, the companies also unveiled eight recommended pairings of New Belgium beers and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream this week, as well as a “tried-and-true pour-over method” to serve them in a single dish.

Read the full article here.

The stunning rise of frozen fruit

From FoodNavigator USA

While sales in much of the US frozen food category are pretty lackluster, sales of frozen fruit have surged in the past three years, with the category now worth more than $1bn vs just $300m a decade ago, says Dole Packaged Foods.

Paul Panza, senior director of marketing for Frozen at Dole Packaged Food, said that frozen fruit is the #1 fastest growing category within the frozen aisle in grocery and fourth within the overall food/beverage category, with dollar sales growing 13.4% in 2014 compared with just 0.7% for the frozen food category as a whole.

He told FoodNavigator-USA: “Sales have been growing steadily since we entered the market in 2005 but in the past three years things have really taken off. That’s when we started to see the double-digit growth. Not only were people buying more, but when we started looking at the numbers in 2013 we saw that household penetration was up 3.5 points vs 2012… usage has completely changed into everyday healthier products, like smoothies, toppings for oatmeal, salads, yogurt, and snacking instead of for desserts and baking – something that you’d buy once or twice a year in a holiday recipe.”

Drilling down to the SKU level, volume growth (in pounds) is coming from mixed berries (+23%), mixed fruit (+22%), tropical fruit (+37%), mango (+43%), and pineapple (+44%), whereas more traditional fruits such as strawberries grew at a more modest 5% in 2014, he said.

Learn more about Tri-Mach Group’s best-in-class services for the frozen food industry here.

Read the full article here.

Freeze Drying Equipment Market to Reach US$30.98 Billion by 2019

From Globe Newswire

According to a new study, global freeze drying equipment market was valued at US$15.9 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach US$30.98 billion by 2019 at a CAGR of 10.5% during 2013-2019 forecast period.

Industrial freeze drying showed the highest demand and was estimated as the largest product segment with 45% of the total revenue market in 2012, and is expected to be a leading product segment at a CAGR of 10.3% during the forecast period. Mobile freeze drying demonstrated a huge demand in the past few years and is expected to be the fastest growing segment with a CAGR of 11.1% during 2013-2019 forecast period.

The food processing segment was the leading application segment with a 35% of the total market share in 2012, and is expected to show a substantial growth in the next few years. Biotechnology is expected to be the fastest growing application at a CAGR of 11.2% between 2012 and 2019. Pharmaceuticals will be another growing application in the next few years due to increasing demand for production in antibiotics and capsule packaging.

North America dominated the global freeze drying market with 30% of the global revenue market share in 2012. Europe was the second leading market, with 28% of total market share in 2012. Due to rising demand for leather conservation and food, the European market is expected to hold a significant market share globally in the next few years. New plan establishment and extensive expansions in Asia Pacific is expected to show the highest growth at a CAGR of 11.2% during 2013 – 2019 forecast period.

Read the full article here.