R & D in the agri-food sector: fueling innovation

Research and development in the Canadian agri-food sector can continue to flourish with the creation of a second science cluster. Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Wednesday at Bonduelle in Bedford, a maximum funding of $ 4.6 million over five years.
C ette second cluster of innovation in food and beverages is enhanced to 1.6 million compared to the previous, in addition to investments totaling two million dollars from the industry.

In Quebec, food processors are essential, “said Minister Bibeau. “This industry has sales of more than $ 26 billion a year, seven of which are exports. It has more than 60,000 jobs, which is more than any other manufacturing sector in Canada. ”

The network will invest in automation, artificial intelligence and digital, all to reduce food waste, in processing, retail and food services, she added.

Doing well, from field to plate

Research and development makes the industry more profitable and competitive, said Minister Bibeau, who reminded that Bonduelle is a leader in the processing of vegetables, but also in the production of vegetable pasta and its ecological packaging.

Through the cluster, the company will be able to work on two innovative projects, including the elimination of certain bacteria found in foods using pulsed light, and the modification of food biofilms to extend the shelf life of the product. food.

“In the first project, it is an extra security measure. In the second, we take a preventive rather than corrective approach that will allow us to limit the use of chemicals, “said Louis Falardeau, Director of Research and Development at Bonduelle.

“Supporting science and innovation to strengthen the food sector underscores the Government of Canada’s commitment to collaboration and the search for innovative solutions for the benefit of consumers,” said Mark McNeil, Executive Director. of Bonduelle.

“At Bonduelle, research and development are at the heart of our vision, which is to create a future vegetable food and meet the needs of the population,” he added. As a company in more than 100 countries, we have a responsibility to get it right, from field to plate. It allows us to offer healthy, tasty foods that meet the highest quality standards in the industry. ”

Unity is strength

This second research cluster will enable companies such as its employer to do more, particularly because it promotes the development of expertise through partnership.

“The innovation sector was very fragmented, and before the creation of the first cluster in 2013, there was very little synergy among the different players,” says David Shambrock, executive director of Canadian Food Innovators. who will oversee the research cluster. Now, he continues, companies and scientists are working together. ”

These alliances help Canadian agri-food companies meet the challenges of global population growth. “We need to provide healthy, high-quality, affordable food,” he says, adding that the agriculture and agri-food sectors are among the most important growth drivers in the economy. Canadian economy.

Other initiatives such as the development of products and technologies in the cereals, oats, pulses and new natural preservatives sectors will also be supported by the research cluster.

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