Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

April 18, 2012 12:27 ET

Minister Yelich Announces Investment to Increase Provincial Fruit Processing Capacity

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - April 18, 2012) - Today, the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced federal support for new equipment that will offer additional processing options for fruit growers and clients of the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre.

An investment of $200,000 will expand the Food Centre's capacity to process small fruit and extract juice from raw mash. Local fruit processors and food producers will now be able to cost-effectively develop new product lines from this refining process.

"Our Government's first priority is job creation and this investment will increase employment opportunities in Saskatchewan's food processing industry," said Minister Yelich. "Developing new markets for locally grown fruit diversifies our agriculture sector and leads to long term economic growth."

Saskatchewan's fruit growers have reached production capacity on current product lines (jams, pies and syrups). This new equipment will allow fruit processors to affordably produce condensed liquid in volume for commercial use and develop snacks and/or juices.

"This investment will allow the Food Centre to purchase equipment to commercially extract and purify juice from Saskatchewan grown fruits. The equipment includes a Bucher Vasilin juice press and auxiliary equipment to purify the juice for use in value added products," said Muriel Garven, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre. "There is identified demand for juice, concentrates and powders derived from Saskatchewan fruits. Fruit growers and processors will benefit from the Food Centre's increased capacity to assist in exploring new opportunities in the ingredient and health markets."

Western Economic Diversification Canada in partnership with the provinces, industry associations and communities promotes the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.

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