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IW Business Bulletin – November 26, 2021

New Fermentation Processing Project Announced

On November 23, 2021 Protein Industries Canada announced a new project in partnership with Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre (Food Centre), the University of Saskatchewan, the Global Agri-Food Advancement Partnership (GAAP) and Ag-West Bio.

The project will focus on fermentation processing technology in food and ingredients and create a new training program in the field to build capacity in Canada’s plant-based food sector.

“Increasing the availability of emerging technologies, while recruiting and training future experts, is key to driving innovation in Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient sector. In order to advance our sector and reach $25 billion in sales by 2035, we need to both invest in collaborative R&D projects and build capacity within the ecosystem,” said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “This project is a great example of how working collaboratively across the ecosystem can support the growth of the sector. Increased access to fermentation processing technology guarantees our innovative companies are creating new products that meet ever-growing consumer demand, while ensuring a strong labour force is in place to support the growing ecosystem.”

The project will see an investment of $1.3 million, with $700,000 coming from PIC and $600,000 from the project partners.

“The Food Centre is excited to collaborate with our partners to grow capacity in fermentation technology,” said Food Centre President Dan Prefontaine. “This project will provide new opportunities to develop innovative products from proof of concept to commercialization and further our creation of new expertise in innovative processing for ingredients. It will help to support our protein sector to build industry expertise to transform plant-based material from western Canadian proteins, starches and fibres using fermentation.”

Government of Saskatchewan Announces New Immigration Pilot Program

The Government of Saskatchewan announced November 25 a new pilot program for the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) for hard-to-fill positions.

The pilot will allow local employers to recruit employees into jobs with “significant recruitment challenges,” including entry-level roles that may require additional training. Industries able to access the program include health, manufacturing, agriculture, ag-tech, construction, hospitality and retail, which are experiencing high labour demand.

“The demand for labour in our province is strong, and it’s only going to increase with the significant economic projects recently announced in Saskatchewan,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison. “This new Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot – developed in Saskatchewan for Saskatchewan – is progress on our autonomy discussions with the federal government and is going to help provide employers with greater access to international options to recruit workers. This is in addition to record investments into training and upskilling our provincial workforce, as we enter a period of strong growth coming out of the global pandemic.”

The pilot is scheduled to launch in December.

University of Regina Joins Agtech Accelerator

The University of Regina has joined Economic Development Regina (EDR), Cultivator and Emmertech as a partner in the Agtech Accelerator announced earlier this year. The university will provide $180,000 to the program and become a full funding partner. The announcement was made this week, during Agribition in Regina.

“We are excited to be able to leverage the University of Regina’s outstanding research infrastructure and expertise in our new partnership,” said Dr. Chris Yost, University of Regina Associate Vice-President (Research). “We are ready to help Agtech Accelerator clients meet the challenges they face and to help build a world-class agtech industry hub in Saskatchewan.”

The recently created Agtech Accelerator is a venture-capital-backed accelerator to assist early-stage Canadian agtech startups.

Brandt Donates to B.C. Flood Communities

The Brandt Group of Companies will join the John Deere Foundation to support B.C. communities recently impacted by flooding in the province. The company, along with the John Deere Foundation, will donate a total of $120,000 to the Canadian Red Cross.

“Stepping up when our employees, customers and the community needs us most is part of who we are at Brandt. As a family-owned company, we are proud to support the many families in the communities that support us in this time of need,” said Shaun Semple, Brandt Group CEO.

Brandt has 13 locations in British Columbia.

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