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Innovations in gluten-free food products will bring new choices for consumers and new opportunities for farmers. The Honourable Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Centre, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment in Kinnikinnick Foods Inc. (Kinnikinnick) to help them meet growing consumer demand for the next generation of gluten-free products.
"The Harper Government's top priority remains the economy, and Canada’s agriculture industry plays an important role in creating jobs and keeping our economy strong," said MP Hawn. "This project will give farmers a new market for their eggs and flax and other key baking ingredients and help Kinnikinnick promote their innovative new products to consumers with special dietary needs at home and abroad."
This investment of more than $1 million will help Kinnikinnick purchase and install new equipment required to manufacture a new line of gluten-free bakery products. This new line will allow Kinnikinnick to differentiate their products from the competition by offering breads and buns that cook and taste more like traditional products. They will also have twice the shelf-life of existing gluten-free products.
As the President of the company, Jerry Bigam stated, "for any new product introductions you always try to hit a "home run" and we are confident that these new products will accomplish this by setting the highest possible standards for taste, texture, and nutrition at the lowest possible price in the industry in North America. Also, because of our dedicated production facilities and lab testing programs, these products will be the safest foods in the gluten free industry."
Canadian farmers will get a boost to their bottom lines as Kinnikinnick increases their purchase of Canadian-sourced ingredients including eggs, canola, potato starch, and flax. The project will create 35 new positions at Kinnikinnick, ranging from sales and management through production and science.
This project is receiving a repayable contribution from the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) – a $50 million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011. AIP is part of the Government's commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting edge science and technology. AIP boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies and processes for the agricultural sector.
In September 2012, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture reached agreement on the five-year Growing Forward 2 policy framework. The new agreement will continue to drive innovation and long-term economic growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness and market development.
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