Food Centre launches new business development program for women entrepreneurs and women business owners in the food processing industry

-- posted December 4, 2019 --

AWESOME logoLR

The Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc. (Food Centre) is very pleased to announce AWESOME, a new programming initiative that focuses on the business development needs of women entrepreneurs in the food and agri-food processing sectors.

Women entrepreneurs make a significant impact on Canada’s economy however it could be far greater! Today, approximately 16% of Canadian businesses are owned or led by women. Research shows that women, who are under-represented in many sectors of the nation’s business economy, have the potential to add billions of dollars to the GDP. One area where women are under-represented is in food and agri-food processing. In response to this circumstance, the Saskatchewan Food Centre has taken a proactive outlook and has developed a program that focuses on the potential of women entrepreneurs.

AWESOME (Advancing Women Entrepreneurs through Skill Development, Opportunity identification, Manufacturing support and Export marketing) is designed for women entrepreneurs at all levels of their business development; from start-up to expansion; from processing to packaging; and from local markets to international export ventures. AWESOME will offer customized business development consulting, skill development training, coaching and networking for women entrepreneurs located in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. The AWESOME program will work collaboratively with other like-minded organizations and agencies in order to enrich and expand the current network of services that are available for women in business across the prairies.

The AWESOME Program, which is housed and managed by the Food Centre, welcomes Kim Sanderson as the Agri-Food Business Consultant who will work directly with women business owners as they build, grow and expand their food processing business ventures. Kim Sanderson comes to the AWESOME Program with a background in agri-food industry consumer marketing and with many years of experience in business consulting.

The AWESOME Program is made possible by Western Economic Diversification Canada through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund. The Alberta Food Processing Development Centre and the Manitoba Food Development Centre are partners in the implementation of the AWESOME program.

More information on the AWESOME Program is available at www.BeAwesome.ca.

For more information, contact:

Shannon Hood-Niefer
VP Innovation and Technology
Saskatchewan Food Centre
Phone (306) 964-1819

Kim Sanderson
Agri-Food Business Consultant
Saskatchewan Food Centre
Phone (306) 221-4493


acknowledgment logo

FCL invests $500K to help bring Sask. food to Western Canadian market

-- posted October 5, 2019 --

A media event was held at the Food Centre on October 4th to announce the $500K from Federated Co-operatives Ltimited towards the Food Centre's expansion project, which has a current value of $7.5 million.  The expansion will include construction of over 16,000 sq. ft of processing space and new processing equipment.  FCL's investment is part of a $1Million industry contribution to the expansion and is a major contribution towards the foundational funding. 

FCL's funding will benefit local suppliers of products to FCL and provide increased capacity to address market growth for local products.  Our expansion project includes a new bottling line and pasteurization system for canning low-acid foods and was demonstrated at the media event. 

“FCL’s contribution will help provide collaboration opportunities with local producers and will result in the expansion of agricultural production, and food processing labour and revenue in the province,” said Food Centre President Dan Prefontaine. “The partnership is part of a value-chain project connecting growers to manufacturing to retailers, with long-term benefits to the fruit and vegetable industry.”  -- Dan Prefontaine, President of the Food Centre.

The fruit and vegetable industry is largely on a growth curve that supports fresh product sales and minimal value added processing.  This project, with ties to the retailer, supports the long-term strategy of increasing the value added processing activity through established marketing co-ops and producer groups.  The project will open the door for product diversity and allow for the incubation of new value added processing opportunities and growth of the production side of the fruit and vegetable industry.  It will directly increase utilization of all vegetable products to be converted to value added food products and in- turn support the locally grown movement within western Canada.  This will contribute to the target growth of the agri-food processing sector in Saskatchewan and lead to other opportunities in fresh, frozen and processed Saskatchewan grown ingredients for export markets.

FCL NEWS RELEASE: https://www.fcl.crs/news-reports/news/article/FCL-invests-in-Food-Centre-expansion

 

Food Centre receives federal funding for two initiatives

-- posted July 26, 2019 --

The Food Centre received $3.5 million through the Regional Innovation Ecosystems program to expand its facilities and install equipment to develop and manufacture new products from plant-based ingredients.  The project directly supports Saskatchewan’s value-added food processing industry.  It is expected to assist 30 small- to medium-sized businesses in its first 18 months of operations.

NEWS RELEASE: https://www.canada.ca/en/western-economic-diversification/news/2019/07/innovative-saskatchewan-employers-receive-federal-support-to-create-hundreds-of-new-jobs-and-opportunities.html

The Food Centre received $1M to provide business support to women entrepreneurs in the food processing sector.  The Food Centre has launched its AWESOME program under this funding to grow and advance women-owned businesses in the food processing sector through specific business development services.  Stay tuned on our website for more information on this programming.

NEWS RELEASE: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2019/07/minister-goodale-announces-women-entrepreneurship-strategy-investments.html

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

-- posted January 23, 2019 --

Congratulations to Dan Prefontaine 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 Dan'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 Food Centre has expanded 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.   

Dan spearheaded the development and construction of the new facility to increase 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 will help drive innovation in the agri-food sector and encourage expansion of the food and agricultural processing industry in Saskatchewan. 

Under Dan'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.  

Dan's contributions to Saskatchewan's agriculture industry is extensive and significant.  The Food Centre is very proud.  Congratulations Dan!

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