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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

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.

A new state-of-the-art hatchery to open in Ontario

From: Food in Canada

Milton, Ont. – Two chicken processors, one from Ontario and one from Quebec, are set to open a state-of-the-art chicken hatchery in Woodstock, Ont.

Sargent Farms of Ontario and Boire & Frères Inc. of Quebec say in a statement that the $15-million project will operate as the Thames River Hatchery and “will create approximately 30 jobs and have capacity to produce 20 million chicks per year.”

The companies say Thames River Hatchery is the first independent large-scale chicken hatchery built in Ontario in more than 30 years.

Bob Sargent, vice-president of Sargent Farms, says in the statement that the facility will produce some of the highest quality chicks for farmers across Ontario. “This facility features the most advanced technology on the market,” he says, “which will allow us to enhance quality, animal care standards and sustainability.”

Both companies are family owned and operated. Boire & Frères has been in operation for nearly 90 years and is based in Wickham, Que. It is one of the largest hatcheries in Canada, hatching about two million chicks each week.

Sargent Farms is based in Milton and has been in operation for 75 years. The company remodelled in 1993 specifically for poultry processing. Today a third generation of Sargents have an active role in the company.

In addition to the hatchery, says the statement, Sargent Farms is also investing $10 million to enhance and retrofit its halal chicken processing facility in Milton. The company says it will replace all of its equipment and the retrofit will take place in stages over three years, primarily during off hours.

Conestoga College Job Fair 2018

March 22, 2018

On March 21st, Conestoga College held their annual Job Fair in the Cambridge Campus Atrium. This event gives students the opportunity to network with a variety of different employers who are actively recruiting for full-time, co-op and summer positions for trades and apprenticeships. As one of the employers invited, Tri-Mach Group of Companies met with many enthusiastic students who brought forward insightful questions about our group of companies and millwrighting as a career.

On behalf of the Tri-Mach Group of Companies, we would like to take this opportunity to thank @ConestogaCollege for inviting us to attend as well as all of the students that participated in this highly successful event. Thank you to those who stopped by our booth – Tri-Mach Group of Companies would like to wish the best of luck to all of the future millwrights, welders and fabricators who apply for positions.

Visit www.conestogac.on.ca for more information about their programs and courses. 

We’re hiring!

Tri-Mach Group and Advance Millwrights are currently seeking passionate individuals for full-time licensed millwright positions. Individuals that are interested are invited to apply to resumes@tri-mach.com

Quebec Salad Grower Acquires Land in B.C. for $60M

From: Food in Canada

Sherrington, Que. – A fresh vegetable producer in Quebec has acquired 700 acres of land in B.C. to grow organic salad greens.

Quebec’s Vegpro International says in a statement on its website that it acquired the land from Coldstream Ranch of Coldstream, B.C.

It’s been reported in the media that Vegpro has invested $60 million in the venture.

The founder of Vegpro, Gerry Van Winden, says in the statement that the investment is a boon to Canadian consumers. “Today, most of the organic produce originates from the West Coast of the U.S.,” says Van Winden. “Growing local organic produce for Canadians is one of the main goals we are pursuing in establishing a presence in Coldstream.”

Vegpro says it also invested in Coldstream because of its “favourable climate, quality soils and proximity to a quality labour pool.”

The vertically integrated salad grower says it will likely begin operating in Coldstream in the spring or early summer of 2018. There will also be a 70,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art packing facility in Coldstream, which will create up to 200 jobs over the next three years.

In the statement, Jim Garlick, mayor of Coldstream, says the investment in the community “will bring significant economic benefits” to the town but also to the greater community of Vernon, B.C.

Vegpro is known for its FRESH Attitude brand and specializes in producing and packaging baby lettuces and crucifers. The company has fields in Quebec and in Florida.

OIKOS partners with NHL Canada

From: Food in Canada

Boucherville, Que. – A well-known yogurt brand is now the official yogurt of the National Hockey League in Canada.

DanoneWave Canada announced in a statement that its OIKOS brand yogurt has sealed a three-year sponsorship of the NHL in Canada starting with the current 2017-2018 season.

Mélanie Robitaille, DanoneWave Canada’s Marketing director, says in the statement that the sponsorship deal matches a “dream snack” with a “dream sport.”

“This sponsorship takes OIKOS into a bold new territory, allowing us to leverage the NHL’s brand equity to introduce healthy snacking to new consumers, including men – a growing target for us,” says Robitaille.

The company says it will highlight the NHL sponsorship through a marketing and retail strategy.

OIKOS kicked off its sponsorship run on Dec. 16 with the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic. The event featured the Ottawa Senators versus the Montreal Canadiens in an outdoor game in Ottawa.

In 2018, the brand’s Snack to Win promotion will feature a grand prize trip to a 2018 Stanley Cup Final game. Consumers will see official Stanley Cup branding on OIKOS products and point of sales material during the Snack to Win promotional period.

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.