Food Centre President, Dan Prefontaine, inducted to the 2019 Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame

-- posted January 11, 2019 --

Congratulations to Dan on being inducted to the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of FAme.  This award recognizes agricultural leaders who are making significant contributions to the welfare and improvement of Saskatchewan agriculture.  Dan has been a strong advocate for the value added sector.  He strongly believes in the potential of our agriculture industry in Saskatchewan and has shown this by supporting entrepreneurship and commercialization of food product ideas in his 35 plus years in the food industry.

https://www.cjwwradio.com/2019/01/10/sask-agricultural-hall-of-fame-welcomes-six-new-members

https://sahf.ca/inductees/pdf/SAHFNewsReleaseJanuary2019.pdf

Dan has been leading the Food Centre since 2000.  The Food Centre provides vital services, expertise and facility for Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry to add more value to what they grow.   Under Mr. Prefontaine’s leadership, the Food Centre has assisted over 300 companies in the development and processing of new food products, with over 800 new products utilizing Saskatchewan based agricultural inputs. 

The growth of the Food Centre, since Mr. Prefontaine took over, has been phenomenal.  He led the growth of the Food Centre from a 10,000 square ft processing facility that primarily focused on meat processing to a 43,000 sq ft facility called the Agri-Food Innovation Centre, which can accommodate a wide variety of agricultural products: food, fibre, cereal and pulse processing, fruit and vegetable processing, etc.   

Mr. Prefontaine spearheaded the development and construction of the new facility to expand and enhance the Food Centre’s capabilities to support agribusinesses, entrepreneurship, and commercialization of Saskatchewan food products.  He worked tirelessly to secure financial assistance from funding agencies and private companies in the construction of the new facility.  This new milestone, led by Mr. Prefontaine, will help drive innovation in the agri-food sector and encourage expansion of the food and agricultural processing industry in Saskatchewan. 

Under Mr. Prefontaine’s leadership, the Food Centre has become a reputable organization to attract companies in doing business in Saskatchewan.  For example, the opening of Verdient Foods in Vanscoy, SK which is backed by movie director, James Cameron.  The Food Centre is working with Verdient Foods to develop value added food products utilizing pea starch and protein.

Under Mr. Prefontaine’ s leadership, the Centre’s reputation has grown exponentially not just locally but internationally.The Food Centre has fast become the place to visit for international agribusinesses, government leaders, and trade missions.  The Centre hosts over 50 tours and visits annually by international organizations, companies and institutions; and they see the direct involvement of the Food Centre in the agriculture industry and our respected role in value added opportunities.  In turn, many large multinational corporations have solicited the services of the Food Centre to develop food products using Saskatchewan grown ingredients that they may not have considered.  

In addition, Mr. Prefontaine has secured funding for many programs and processing technologies to assist agribusiness in food product development, processing and packaging.  Programs include:

• Research and development programs to assist processors to overcome technical challenges, develop new food products, new ingredient exploration, and many more.

• Food Industry Training programs – initiating food safety and skills development training programs for agribusiness to ensure product safety, employee food safety training, and good manufacturing practices.  Saskatchewan’s first online HACCP training and Good Manufacturing Practices, to reach rural agribusinesses, was launched in 2008.  Both programs have allowed rural processors to train their staff at their own time.

• Most notable, securing new technologies to assist agribusinesses to capture new market opportunities – extrusion technology, bar forming and packaging line, fermentation, fruit and vegetable processing equipment, and many more. 

Food Centre to develop value added food products for James and Suzy Amis Cameron's Verdient Foods company

-- posted September 19, 2017 --

The Food Centre is pleased to announce that we will be working with Verdient Foods in Vanscoy, SK in the development of value added food products utilizing pea starch and protein. 

Verdient Foods recently opened their processing facitilty,an investment made by film director James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron.  The famous film director and Honourable Premier Brad Wall were on hand on September 18th in Vanscoy to officially open the processing facility. 

 Verdient photo3w 

See link for news release: http://www.verdientfoodsinc.com/media-release-september-2017

Health Canada announces food labelling changes

-- posted December 16, 2016 --

Health Canada announced December 14, 2016 changes to Canada's food labelling.  The changes approved aims to make the information easier to understand for consumers in order to make healthy food choices.    The food industry has a transition period of 5 years to make these changes.  Among these changes include:

  • nutrition facts table look will change
  • new health claim allowed on fruits and vegetables
  • potassium added to nutrition information
  • list of ingredients and allergen information
  • serving size
  • foods in single serving containers
  • and more...

Learn more about these upcoming changes at: http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/label-etiquetage/changes-modifications-eng.php 

Government of Canada News Release

The Food Centre has helped many food processors navigate food labelling regulations.  Give us a call at 306-933-7555 if you have any questions. 


Food Centre pleased to announce SaskCanola's $550,000 investment in future of food product development

-- posted February 24, 2016 --

The Food Centre's mission to grow Saskatchewan's value added industry has just been given a boost! We are pleased to announce SaskCanola's $550,000 commitment towards the new Agri-Food Innovation Centre. Their financial contribution will support new activities in development, processing technologies and help build a greatly needed operational facility that will be 3 times the size of the Food Centre's current facility.

“Canola oil has a unique blend of fats that offers nutritional benefits for everyday consumers, as well as people at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. We are confident that our investment in the Food Centre will continue to support and elevate canola oil utilization in food product development.”
-- Janice Tranberg, Executive Director with SaskCanola

"SaskCanola’s contribution will expand the Food Centre’s capabilities to utilize canola in a variety of innovative food products and ingredient applications for local and export markets. Their support will strengthen our resources and support commercialization of new agricultural products for both food and non-food usage."
-- Dan Prefontaine, President of the Food Centre

SaskCanola's Full News Release

The Food Centre currently provides full service assistance to food processors to develop and commercialize value-added products for domestic and/or international markets.

For more information on the Food Centre's new Agri-Food Innovation Centre and how you can be part of our mission to grow Saskatchewan's value-added industry, please contact:

Carmen Ly
Communications Director
tel: 306-933-7556
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More info on the new Agri-Food Innovation Centre


Food Centre launches fundraising campaign with $750,000 commitment from Saskatchewan Pulse Growers

It was a start of a new vision for the expansion of Saskatchewan's food and ingredient processing sector when the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan invested more than $13 million for the Food Centre in early 2015, to build and equip a new innovative facility.  The Food Centre is proud to continue to take on this leadership role to grow Saskatchewan's value-added sector.

The wheels are in motion and full speed ahead.  The Food Centre's new Agri-Food Innovation Centre is located in Saskatoon and will be approximately 35,000 square feet, 3x our current size.  The Agri-Food Innovation Centre will play an essential role in the growth of Saskatchewan's agri-food industry with direct impact to Saskatchewan's agriculture, economy and labour force.

The total cost of the project is expected to be about $16 million.  Nine million of the funding is provided under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial Initiative and $4.3 million will come from Western Economic Diversification Canada.  The remaining funds, approximately $2.5 million, nees to come from industry investment into the Food Centre and from the Food Centre's capital replacement fund.

Thank you Saskatchewan Pulse Growers for your $750,000 commitment to spearhead our campaign.  

The Food Centre needs YOU to be part of the community in supporting sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship and innovation in Saskatchewan.  Support the new Agri-Food Innovation Centre.

SPG logo news releaseSaskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) has committed $750,000 to expanding the Food Centre's capacity to support pulse food product development.  

“We are pleased to make a investment to the Food Centre that we believe will support pulses becoming a mainstream food ingredient.  SPG’s funding will provide more capacity and resources for the Food Centre to work directly with food and ingredient companies to develop and launch new products.”
-- Carl Potts, Executive Director with SPG

“SPG’s financial contribution will support activity on multiple front.  The funding will support new and innovative work in the application of pulses into a variety of food products, and will help to build a greatly needed new operational facility, the Agri-Food Innovation Centre, that is more than three times the size of our current facility.”
-- Dan Prefontaine, President of the Food Centre

More details in Saskatchewan Pulse Growers News Release

For more information on the Food Centre's new Agri-Food Innovation Centre and how you can be part of our mission to grow Saskatchewan's value-added industry, please contact:
Carmen Ly
Communications Director
tel: 306-933-7556
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.