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(Canadian Meat Business) – The federal government this week announced a new $2.6 million initiative to boost commercial opportunities for Western Canada’s poultry industry.

The investment through Western Economic Diversification Canada, combined with support from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency and industry, will enable the Institute for Applied Poultry Technologies to purchase and install specialized equipment needed to establish and operate a technology innovation and commercialization centre.

The centre will develop, produce and commercialize vaccines and other health-related products. It will also provide western Canadian poultry producers enhanced access to advanced diagnostic services, vaccine development and production capabilities.

“In addition to being a sound industry, government and academia partner, the Institute will help address consumer demands for enhanced food safety, and value-added, hormone-free poultry products, leading to increased consumer confidence in our food supply,” ALMA president and CEO Gordon Cove said in a release.

“The Institute for Applied Poultry Technologies is focused on developing technical solutions and products for the Canadian and global poultry industries,” added Dr. Tom Inglis, president of the Institute’s board. “By working with an integrated team of scientists, veterinarians, industry experts, producers and the manufacturing sector, the Institute will be an incubator for the development of commercial products, tests and applied science. Together we will help to secure a competitive advantage for Western Canada’s poultry industry.”