Feds “give” $10.1 million to two entities in Ontario food & bev industry
By Canadian Packaging staffGeneral FedDev Ontario Furlani's Food Corporation George Brown College Investing in Business Growth and Productivity Investing in Commercialization Partnerships
The Federal Development Agency provides big bucks to George Brown College and Furlani's Food to help grow their respective enterprises in the southern Ontario's manufacturing sector.
On July 22, 2015, Canada’s federal government announced it will provide up to $10.1-million to strengthen the food and beverage sectors in southern Ontario.
The announcement includes an investment of up to $3.1 million for Furlani’s Food Corporation to improve efficiency, productivity and boost its production capacity of specialty food products.
This repayable contribution is through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Growth and Productivity initiative.
Furlani’s is a privately-owned manufacturer of specialty garlic bread products, such as garlic toast, breadsticks and loaves. The company will be investing in advanced production equipment and a building expansion to add 21,900-square feet of freezer space.
In addition to increasing production capacity, the adoption of new technologies will allow the company to develop a new line of breadstick products and expand its existing line of products, which will enhance the company’s competitiveness in global markets.
This project is expected to create up to 74 full-time equivalent jobs by 2017 and an additional 34 full-time equivalent jobs in the two years after this project’s completion. It will leverage close to $8.8 million through private sector investments.
Says Furlani chief operating officer Jonathan Kawaja: “Furlani’s has grown to become one of the strongest competitors in frozen specialty bread production, through its dedicated employees, emphasis on continuous improvement and innovation, and willingness to invest to grow. We are grateful and honored to receive this financing from FedDev Ontario. It is a great support to our company and allows us to expand our capabilities, improve our competitive position, and continue to grow.”
In addition, George Brown College, through its Office of Research and Innovation, is receiving funding of up to $7,001,072 to expand its Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt) and establish new labs for research and development to support product and process improvement for the food and beverage industry. This $14-million project will include a Bake and Large Quantity Lab; a Beverage Research Lab, a Culinary and Large Quantity Lab and a new Industry Engagement and Interaction facility, to support the introduction and launch of new food products and services.
This project will create up to 76 jobs by the project’s completion plus an additional 54 jobs in the three years after the project.
George Brown College president Anne Sado states, “George Brown College is proud of the role we play in supporting job creation and business growth. Our increased capabilities in applied research, made possible by FedDev Ontario and by donor and industry support, will result in new and enhanced partnerships within the food and beverage industry. This will drive product and business innovation while providing our students with hands-on experience as they prepare for their future careers.”
This investment, funded through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative, will also assist small- and medium-sized companies to access the necessary equipment, testing and development space and networking opportunities needed to bring new products and services to market.
Ontario has the largest food and beverage processing industry in Canada and accounted for 14.7 percent of manufacturing jobs in 2013.
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