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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

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.

Dr. Oetker Expands Capacity in London, Ontario

From: Food in Canada

London, Ont. – Dr. Oetker Canada is installing a high-speed, frozen pizza manufacturing line to its plant in London.

The province of Ontario is helping out with the project by investing $7 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund – Food and Beverage Growth Fund.

For more on Dr. Oetker:
Dr. Oetker closes plant in Grand Falls, N.B.
Feds, province invest in Dr. Oetker plant
UPDATE: Dr. Oetker coming to London, Ontario

In a statement, the government of Ontario says the new line “will help to create 103 jobs and retain 115 positions and boost competitiveness in London.”

The new production line includes dough preparation, baking toppings, freezing and packaging equipment. The statement adds that it “will be unique in that it will use high-speed press technology to manufacture both the smaller (one to 2 serving size) and the larger (family-size)  pizzas.”

The line will almost double the production rate at the plant to 18,000 pizzas per hour from 10,000 pizzas per hour.

The government of Ontario says the “investment will help to incease the amount of Ontario inputs that Dr. Oetker Canada uses to $23.3 million from $9.4 million per year, which will have a significant impact on the agri-food supply chain.”

Dr. Oetker Canada is the Canadian division of the Oetker Group, a multinational food and foodservices corporation.

Study Finds More Reasons to Eat Whole Grains

From: Food in Canada

Copenhagen, Denmark – A study headed by the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark has found several reasons why consumers should include whole grains in their diets.

In an article (“Several reasons why whole grains are healthy,” published on Nov. 2, 2017 by Miriam Meister), the National Food Institute says researchers from various departments looked at consumers who swapped their refined grain products, such as white bread and pasta, for whole grain versions.

The study included 50 adults who were at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

What the researchers found was “that the participants had less inflammation in their bodies when eating whole grains,” especially with rye.

Participants also ate less overall. This is “presumably because whole grain consumption causes satiety. While eating the whole grain diet, participants have generally lost weight.”

The researchers add that what effects whole grains have on gut bacteria composition warrant further study.

For more on the study, click here

Canada Looks to Grow its Livestock Genetics Exports

From: Food in Canada

Kemptville, Ont. – The federal government has invested $3 million in the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA).

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says in a statement that it sees opportunities in new markets for Canada’s livestock genetics.

In fact, says Lawrence MacAuley, Canada’s minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, “farmers around the world want Canadian breeds of livestock, because they are recognized worldwide for their high quality. This investment will help Canadian livestock genetics exporters access new and emerging markets, like China, leading to greater returns for our farmers and their families and continued growth for the economy.”

The statement explains that the demand is high for Canada’s “superior livestock breeds so [farmers] can raise cows and goats that produce more milk, and sheep that can produce more meat.”

This particular project will focus on exporting dairy, sheep and goat genetics, which says the statement, in 2016 generated exports of more than $150 million – a sum the CLGA is hoping to increase to 200 million.

Michael Hall, executive director of the CLGA, says the investment will benefit all of Canada’s agriculture exporters. “Canada’s world class genetics combined with the training and knowledge transfer made possible by Canada’s AgriMarketing funding is instrumental in improving farming practices around the world,”

Saputo Acquires U.S.-Based Specialty Cheesemaker

From: Food in Canada 

Montreal – Saputo Inc. has acquired a U.S.-based specialty cheese company.

Betin Inc., which does business as Montchevre, is based in Belmont, Wis. In a statement, Saputo says the company has 320 employees and had revenues of CDN$150 million for the 12-month period ended June 30, 2017.

Montchevre, which was established in 1988, is the largest goat cheese manufacturer in the U.S. The company supports a network of independent family farms and using French cheese-making techniques makes more than 75 varieties of goat cheese.

The company also produces a full line of organic goat cheese and is the only U.S. manufacturer to produce non-GMO certified goat cheese.

On its website the company says the decision to sell was “difficult and emotional” but adds that “this alliance [with Saputo] will provide a stronger, more secure market for our 500+ milk producers and will help propel Montchevre to new heights.”

In the statement, Saputo says the acquisition “will enable the Cheese Division (USA) of Saputo to broaden its presence in specialty cheese in the U.S.”

BC Fruit Company Receives Funding Boost

From: Food in Canada

Pitt Meadows, BC – A local company has received help from the BC government to promote its newest products.

The BC Ministry of Agriculture says in a statement that it gave Pacific Canadian Fruit Packers $75,000 to help the company promote its new line of dried blueberries and cranberries.

The products have been launched under the company’s retail brand, Wild Coast Fruit Company.

The funding will go toward online campaigns, traditional print materials, demos and radio advertising.

Cam Watt, a partner in Wild Coast Fruit Company, says the company is “so pleased to be a part of this funding program.”

The BC government says its approach is to support the province’s agriculture, seafood and food processing sectors, and encourage the consumption of BC products.

U.S. Scientists Develop a Test that could Improve Food Safety

From: Food in Canada

College Station, Texas – Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) may have found a way to breed chickens that are resistant to pathogens.

The ARS, which is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research agency, says the scientists developed a new test that can identify “roosters whose blood contain naturally high levels of two key chemicals, cytokines and chemokines.”

These are the chemicals that get the birds’ innate immune response working. (See the ARS’ report on the new findings in “Breeding Resistant Chickens for Improved Food Safety,” from Oct. 30, 2017.)

By using the new test, says the ARS in the report, “commercial poultry breeders can single out roosters that have a strong immune response and use them to selectively breed a more robust flock.”

Having this kind of resistance, especially during the birds’ first week of life, “may lower costs related to animal well-being and food safety.”

Right now the industry uses sanitation, vaccines, biosecurity and antibiotics or other medications to keep chickens safe from pathogens.

But, says Christi Swaggerty, a microbiologist in the ARS’ Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, some chickens have such robust immune systems that they can resist pathogens on their own.

It’s the new test that can help “select roosters for breeding a line of resistant broilers. They then exposed the resistant broilers to several pathogens. They compared the resistant group to a group of susceptible broilers bred from roosters with low cytokine and chemokine levels.”

What the scientists found was that the “susceptible broilers had more pathogens and signs of infection than the resistant group. Ultimately, such resistance could mean fewer pathogens remaining on birds at the processing plant and improved consumer safety, Swaggerty notes.”