Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 22, 2012 11:01 ET

Harper Government Helps Processor Boost Export Opportunities and Drive Economy

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2012) - A Canadian food processor will be better positioned to supply healthy snack foods in international markets with an investment from the Harper Government. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges-Markham), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment of $1 million to Shandiz Natural Foods to help increase its processing capabilities and meet growing export opportunities.

"Canada's food processing sector is an important driver of our economy, which is why our Government continues to invest in its future," said Member of Parliament Paul Calandra. "This investment will help Shandiz Natural Foods improve its manufacturing, which in turn will boost its purchases of Canadian produce and supply the increasing demand for healthy snack foods."

The company's new manufacturing and packaging equipment will allow it to automate processes, increase operational efficiency, and enhance product quality. This will help Shandiz Natural Foods develop and introduce new products and increase export sales.

"This investment has allowed us to fast-track our expansion plans to an extent where we have doubled our plant size and created a total of 12 new full-time and part-time jobs. With these funds, we installed new technologies and increased the efficiencies of our manufacturing operations," said Nima Fotovat, Shandiz's General Manager.

This repayable contribution is being delivered by the Agricultural Flexibility Fund (AgriFlexibility) through the AgriProcessing Initiative, a five-year, up to $50-million initiative designed to enhance the competitiveness of the agri-processing sector in Canada. It provides support to existing companies for projects that involve the adoption of innovative and new-to-company manufacturing technologies and processes that are essential to sustaining and improving the sector's position in today's global marketplace. For more information on this program, visit www.agr.gc.ca/api.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan (EAP), the Government of Canada is helping farmers find new markets, adapt to current economic challenges, and make their businesses more efficient and environmentally sustainable. The Next Phase of Canada's EAP will remain focused on strengthening the economy, while working towards returning to balanced budgets and securing Canada's economic future. For more information on Canada's EAP, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059