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Source: Foodbev Media

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will provide approximately $12 billion in funding to protect farmers from potential damage caused by tariffs imposed by China, Mexico, Russia and others.

According to the USDA, the imposed tariffs could cost US farmers approximately $11 billion, affecting products such as soybeans, milk and pork, as well as fruits, nuts, and other speciality crops.

The short-term relief funding will be provided through a range of support programmes, which aim to help agricultural producers meet the increased costs caused by disrupted markets.

Firstly, the new Market Facilitation Program will provide payments to producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs, which the USDA says “will help farmers manage disrupted markets, deal with surplus commodities, and expand and develop new markets at home and abroad.”

The USDA will also introduce the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, which will purchase “unexpected surplus of affected commodities” such as fruit, pork and milk for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programmes.

Finally, a Trade Promotion Program will be implemented, which will aim to assist in developing new export markets for US agricultural products.

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said: “This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire US economy.

“The President promised to have the back of every American farmer and rancher, and he knows the importance of keeping our rural economy strong.

“Unfortunately, America’s hard-working agricultural producers have been treated unfairly by China’s illegal trading practices and have taken a disproportionate hit when it comes illegal retaliatory tariffs.

“USDA will not stand by while our hard-working agricultural producers bear the brunt of unfriendly tariffs enacted by foreign nations.

“The programmes we are announcing today help ensure our nation’s agriculture continues to feed the world and innovate to meet the demand.”

Pinty’s Delicious Foods is scooped up by Quebec Processor

From: Food in Canada

St-Hyacinthe, Que. – Olymel L.P. has acquired an Ontario poultry slaughtering and processing company.

Olymel made the announcement in a statement that Pinty’s Delicious Foods Inc., which is based in Burlington, Ont., is now part of the Olymel stable.

Pinty’s manufactures fully cooked products and other related products and employs 360 people. The company has three processing plants in Ontario – Port Colborne, Paris and Oakville.

Pinty’s products are found across Canada and in the U.S. under the brands Pinty’s Food Service, Pinty’s Pub & Grill, Pinty’s Eat Well, Pinty’s Perfect Portions and Pinty’s Delicious Food Inc.

The company was founded in 1943 by Ed Pintwala. It supplies its products to restaurants, delis and retailers, and recently introduced a new line of beef burgers, bottled sauces and kettle potato chips.

Olymel says the current employees will stay on and both companies “will continue their activities separately and independently.”

The acquisition is part of Olymel’s strategy to position itself “as the leader of the pork and poultry slaughtering and processing sector” in Canada, says the statement.

Olymel owns seven poultry slaughtering and processing establishments in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, and distributes its products under the Olymel, Flamingo and Galco brands.

Tri-Mach Group CEO now part of CMC Board of Directors

June 22, 2018

As of yesterday, Tri-Mach Group’s CEO, Krystal Darling, has been selected to be part of the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) Board of Directors. As a new member of the CMC Board of Directors, Krystal will take part in advocating for Canada’s high-quality meat products with a continued focus on improving the Canadian global meat market.

With Tri-Mach Group’s new seat on the CMC Board of Directors, we can proudly represent our Canadian meat packers, processors and fellow equipment suppliers in the largest sector of Canada’s food processing industry.

For more information on the Canadian Meat Council, visit: www.cmc-cvc.com

Premium Brands acquires Ontario protein manufacturer

From: Food in Canada

Vancouver – Premium Brands Holdings Corporation has added a new protein solutions company to its family.

Premium Brands has acquired a 100 per cent interest in Concord Premium Meats, an Ontario company that manufactures products under the MarcAngelo, Skoulakis, Central Park Deli, Black River Angus and Connie’s Kitchen brands.

Premium Brands owns a range of specialty food manufacturing and food distribution businesses with operations in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and locations in the U.S.

George Paleologou, president and CEO of Premium Brands, says in a statement that the culture at Concord Premium Meats fits in well at Premium Brands and the company’s “focus on products that are benefitting from a variety of long-term consumer trends, combined with its product innovation abilities and production capacities will help to further accelerate the growth of our Protein Group.”

Tri-Mach Goes RED

June 8, 2018

Today, Tri-Mach Group wears RED to show support and participate in RED Day.

What is RED Day?

St. Mary’s Red DAY fundraiser is an opportunity to come together as a community to raise awareness of heart disease as a serious health risk and how it can be prevented. According to the Regional Cardiac Centre, heart disease is the leading cause of death among Canadian women. Every year, heart disease claims the lives of roughly 25,000 women. This is more than the five most prevalent cancers combined. Tri-Mach Group is proud to be part of the RED Day community and is thrilled in the increased RED Day investment for the St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre.

Show your support today and wear RED for the heart of the women you love! #RedDayFriday

For more information on RED Day or to donate to this cause, go to: www.supportstmarys.akaraisin.com

Whole Grains Contribute Significant Nutrients to Canadians’ Diets

From: Food in Canada

Saskatoon, Sask. – Canadians may not all be consuming enough whole grains, but a survey has found that what whole grain foods they do consume are nutrient dense.

This observation is one of the findings the University of Saskatchewan presented at the Canadian Nutrition Society’s annual conference in Nova Scotia.

An article on the university’s website about the findings (“Cutting out grains cut out important nutrient sources” on May 7, 2018 by Jennifer Thoma) explains that a team at the U of S examined grain consumption patterns in the recently released 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey by Statistics Canada.

What the research team found was “that many foods made from enriched (refined grains) grains or whole grains are important nutrient contributors to the Canadian diet.”

In fact, the current consumption of whole grains among Canadian consumers delivers “a high amount of key nutrients to the diet (43 per cent of folate, 39 per cent of iron and 31 per cent of dietary fibre) while only contributing 25 per cent of the daily calories,” says the article.

But what the team also found was that about 80 per cent of Canadian adults are not consuming the amount of whole or enriched grains that Canada’s Food Guide recommends they should.

One of the researchers says most of the grains we consume are enriched. And since enriched grains can contribute “23 per cent of Canadians’ daily fibre, 40 per cent of folate and 31 per cent of the iron” they are still an “important food source.”

For more on the research, click here.

Ontario Beekeepers Experience Huge Losses

From: Food in Canada

Milton, Ont. – After a long winter, beekeepers in Ontario opened their hives to some bad news.

The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association announced in a statement (“Ontario Beekeepers Experience Overwhelming Losses” on May 14, 2018) that it had surveyed 900 beekeepers and that “seven out of 10 Ontario beekeepers suffered unsustainable losses.”

In addition, one in three of them lost about 70 per cent or more of their colonies.

The losses will also affect the vegetable and fruit growers who depend on the bees for pollination, says the statement.

The association explains that beekeepers experience losses after most winters and will split their hives and add new queens to make new colonies. This helps to recover their losses.

When beekeepers experience a loss of more than 20 per cent, they will need to purchase new queens and bees. Losses of more than 50 per cent of a hive can be “catastrophic.” And that means “colonies will be in recovery mode all summer.”

According to the association, one in four beekeepers have said with these kinds of losses they may not be able to continue in beekeeping.

For more on the survey, click here.

Bonduelle to Expand Three Facilities in Ontario

From: Food in Canada

Mississauga, Ont. – Bonduelle Canada Inc. is upgrading its vegetable processing facilities and adding 87 new jobs along the way.

The company announced a $79.8-million project that would include expanding its facilities in Southwestern Ontario in Tecumseh, Ingersoll and Strathroy. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)has contributed $8.5 million to help with the project.

In a statement, OMAFRA says its investment is through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund. The $8.5 million is expected to help Bonduelle “adopt new technology to put new frozen vegetable products and packaging formats on the domestic and export markets, increase productivity, enhance food safety and increase exports,” says the statement.

Bonduelle Canada processes Ontario-grown vegetables in frozen and canned formats for the Canadian and U.S. markets through its three facilities, which produce 250 million pounds of finished produce annually.

A story in the Windsor Star (“Bonduelle to get up to $8.5 million from Ontario for expansion; ‘Tremendous news’ for Tecumseh” by Sharon Hill on May 8, 2018) says the facility in Tecumseh is the largest “and produces Green Giant canned vegetables and canned products for other labels along with frozen vegetables, while the smaller operations in Strathroy and Ingersoll produce frozen vegetables.”

The Windsor Star article also says that the Tecumseh site “survived a $40 million to $50 million fire in July 2014.”

Bonduelle’s expansion project is expected to increase its exports to the U.S. by $34 million per year, which is 55 per cent higher than current levels, says the OMAFRA statement.

Griffith Foods Scales up Production

From: Food in Canada

Toronto – The province of Ontario is helping Griffith Foods Limited scale up production and create new jobs.

A statement from the government of Ontario (“Ontario Helping to Create Jobs and Boost Economic Growth in Toronto” on May 3, 2018) says the province is investing up to $1.4 million in Griffith Foods’ $14.2-million Commercialization Scale-up of Innovative Products.

The funding is through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund – Food and Beverage Growth Fund.

Griffith Foods is a family owned designer and manufacturer of ingredient systems for food companies. The company has clients around the world.

Its products include marinades, glazes, cereal-based coatings, bread crumbs, salad croutons, dry seasonings, culinary liquid sauces, soups and gravies.

The Ontario government says the investment will help the company increase productivity, expand its specialty lines and modernize its equipment. The project will add eight new jobs and retain 337 positions.

Olds College Launches Cannabis Program

From: Food in Canada

Olds, Alta. – A new cannabis program is launching at Olds College, a community college specializing in agriculture, horticulture, land and environmental stewardship.

In a statement on its website (“New Cannabis Production Program Launched” on May 1, 2018), the college says the new program is called Cannabis Production Program – Level 1.

The program includes four online courses, which are followed by a two-week field study where students will obtain hands-on experience at Sundial Growers Inc., an approved licensed producer of medical cannabis, and Terra Life Sciences, a company that produces pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications and premium grade wellness products.

The four online courses are called:

  • Introduction to Horticulture Production
  • Introduction to Crop Production and Facilities
  • Cannabis Legislation and Documentation
  • Horticulture for Cannabis Production

Olds College says registration opened on May 1, 2018 for the program with delivery starting July 3, 2018.

The program prepares students for employment in cannabis production. Students can expect to gain entry-level, job-based training with hands-on experience.

The college says it’s also developing a second Continuing Education course called Cannabis Retail Advisor, which will be available this fall.

For more on the Cannabis Production Program – Level 1, click here