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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.

Manitoba Entrepreneurs Gathered for a Special Food Fight

From: Food in Canada

Winnipeg – Several food entrepreneurs gathered at a specialty shop gearing up for a fight. A food fight, that is. But not just any food fight. De Luca’s specialty grocery store was home to the Great Manitoba Food Fight in late September. In a press release, the Manitoba government explains that the competition is “open to companies that have developed but not fully commercialized a new food or beverage product.” The Food Fight  is presented by De Luca’s and Food & Beverage Manitoba. This year, four companies received awards to help them get their products out in the marketplace.

The winners were:

• Tall Grass Dill Pickle Vodka, from Capital K Distillery in Winnipeg, won the inaugural craft beer and spirit competition. Owner Jason Kang received a prize packaged valued at approximately $5,000.

• Little Bones, from Little Bones Wings in Winnipeg, won Gold in the food category. Owner Alex Goertzen received a prize package valued at approximately $13,000.

• Hemp Macaroons, from Piccola Cucina in Winnipeg, won Silver in the food category. Owner Pina Romolo received a prize package valued at approximately $7,000.

• Bilton and Stokkies, from Mr. Biltong Beef Jerky Company in Winnipeg, won bronze. Owner Jeremy Silcox received a prize package valued at approximately $4,000.

The release says the prize packages “will be tailored to each entrepreneurs’ needs and the expertise and resources needed to help move the product toward commercialization.” Some of the services could include recipe refinement, package design, marketing, workshops, trade shows, business management, food processing, or safety and handling.

The Great Manitoba Food Fight is sponsored by the Manitoba government and Food & Beverage Manitoba in partnership with De Luca’s.

Premium Brands Acquires Another Ontario Meat Company

From: Food in Canada

Vancouver – Premium Brands Holdings Corporation has acquired another Ontario-based meat manufacturer.

In a press release, Premium Brands says Brampton, Ont.-based Skilcor Food Products is a leading manufacturer of cooked back ribs and other unique protein products. The company, which was established 50 years ago, has annual sales of approximately $27 million. On its website, Skilcor says it develops, produces and distributes value-added, portion-controlled, fully cooked meat products. It also distributes and is a broker for major national and private label brands.

The company operates out of a 34,000 sq.-ft. facility that was built in 2006. George Paleologou, Premium Brands’ president and CEO, says in the statement that the acquisition will help the company “strengthen” its presence in meat manufacturing and distribution. “It will not only expand our portfolio of products but will also give us specialized production capacity that will enable us to provide customers with premium quality differentiated protein solutions in the high growth ready-to-eat product category,” he says.

“In addition, Skilcor’s experienced and talented management team will further enhance the depth of our Protein Platform in central Canada.” The statement says the transaction will be funded through Premium Brands’ existing bank facilities and is expected to be immediately accretive to its annual earnings per share and free cash flow per share.

The Digitalization of Food Palletizing

From: Food Manufacturing

The technological and social revolutions of the past few decades have completely reshaped industry. The food packaging and palletizing industry is no exception. In fact, the last ten years alone has seen the adoption of advanced technologies at an unprecedented rate. Alan Spreckley, robotics food and beverage segment manager, and palletizing robotics expert at ABB, explains how digitalization is repackaging the future of food palletizing.

Spreckly explains that this growing trend places a higher demand for single-portion servings of pre-prepared and pre-packaged food on the food industry, which makes the packaging and palletizing processes less linear than they have previously been. Similarly, the unstable economy of recent years has nurtured a generation of savvy customers, eager for the special offers and deals that retailers regularly provide, further complicating the palletizing process. This leads to scenarios where manufacturers will be required to change palletizing patterns quickly and cost-efficiently.

Robotics is taking over the palletizing industry. In the past decade, robot pricing has come down making this a cost-effective choice for palletizing applications. Robots are more flexible and require less maintenance and floor space. Our sister company (Advance Millwrights Inc.), provides equipment for bag filling/handling, bag sealing and robotic palletizing.

Go to www.advancemillwrights.com for more information on robotic palletizing.

Ontario’s Supports Conestoga Meat Packers

From: Food in Canada

Breslau, Ont. – Conestoga Meat Packers has received a financial boost from the province of Ontario. In a statement, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced that it is investing $5.3 million to help the company “boost productivity and expand its pork processing capacity by 86 per cent.” The investment is expected to create 170 new jobs at the facility in Breslau.

“Our government is proud to support the continued growth of Ontario’s food processing sector, an important driver of our economy,” said Jeff Leal, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture, in the statement. “This support will help Conestoga Meat Packers increase its productivity, enhance competitiveness and create good jobs in Waterloo Region.” Conestoga Meat began processing farm-fresh pork in 1982. Today it is Ontario’s second-largest pork processor and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Progressive Pork Producers Co-operative Inc., a co-op of 157 southwestern Ontario hog producers. The government investment was made through Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund. With the funding Conestoga Meat “will purchase leading-edge equipment that will almost double its meat processing capacity.”

For more information on the Conestoga Meat Packers, check out their website: www.conestogameats.com

Precision Cutting: Handtmann’s INOTEC WT99-iT Series  

From: Food in Canada

Handtmann says its new generation of INOTEC WT99-iT Link Cutter was recently honoured with a design award from Germany’s International Forum Design GmbH located in Hannover. In a statement, Handtmann says the design institution selected the INOTEC WT99-iT Link Cutter from more than 5,000 applicants from 59 countries. The features that stood out were its “hygienic design and dynamic precision performance with proven technology that has been upgraded from previous generations in every critical area affecting sanitation, performance, reliability and simplicity of use,” says the company.

The new iT generation link cutters, explains the statement, comply “with all of the hygiene, sanitation and ergonomics requirements and are meeting all of the demands for efficiency and reliability in the heavy duty working environments of modern processors.” In fact, the company says the iT series “is a model for modern food processing equipment design with simple controls, rounded edges, many ergonomic features, free access to all elements for maintenance and cleaning, and faster speeds made possible by even more precise cutting.” The INOTEC series link cutters work with all sausage types with extremely high precision at speeds up to 1,800 cuts per minute, says the statement.

To learn more about INOTEC link cutters, go to: www.handtmann.ca/inotec

Building the Ontario Beef Brand 

From: BLOCKtalk Magazine 

According to BLOCKtalk Magazine, “2017 will mark an exciting year for the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) as the organization makes a significant shift in the role they play in the development and implementation of regional marketing initiatives throughout Ontario”. BLOCKtalk discusses the strong demand for Ontario beef in the consumer market and how we must bridge the gap between farmers, processors and urban customers when paying for local beef products. 

Click here to learn more about the BFO and how they are reaching out to their consumers. 

 

 

 

Challenges & Opportunities for the Meat Sector

From: International Food & Meat

According to International Food & Meat, historically, price, taste and convenience have been the consumers’ principal drivers. Now the food industry is looking more and more at product attributes, such as place and method of production, provenance and background story, care of the local economy, animal and worker welfare, environmental impact and overall sustainability. International Food & Meat Magazine highlights some of the key points about the protein economy from David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing, Imperial College as well as many other challenges the meat sector will face in the future.

Maple Leaf Foods acquires U.S. veggie protein company for US $140M

From: Canadian Manufacturing

Maple Leaf Foods has announced it will acquire an American company that makes plant-based protein foods for US $140 million and any related costs.

Maple Leaf says it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Lightlife Foods Inc., which makes vegetarian deli meets, chicken, beef, sausages and other meatless foods.

President and CEO Michael McCain said in a statement that consumers are looking for alternative protein sources and this growing market is one of Maple Leaf’s strategic growth platforms.

Lightlife’s management will continue to run the Turners Falls, Mass.- headquartered company, which will operate as a subsidiary of Maple Leaf.

The deal is subject to a U.S. regulatory review and is expected to close in March.