WINNIPEG – The Canadian government announced plans to invest C$120,000 ($87,729) to support the Canadian Food Innovators (CFI) science cluster in its efforts to connect food and beverage makers to resources available through research centers, universities and food technology centers. This additional funding brings the total investment with CFI to $2.6 million ($1,900,340).

CFI is an industry-led group that unites scientific research expertise in industry, academia and government in order to accelerate innovation through commercialization and adoption of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes and services. The group will be holding Food and Beverage Innovation Priority Forum sessions across the country, gathering input from Canada’s food and beverage processors regarding research needs and innovation priorities at the company level. Dates, locations, and information on how to participate in the forums will be available at the CFI website.

“We welcome this opportunity to consult with food and beverage processing businesses across the country to receive their input into research priorities that will help shape the next national food processing research cluster,” said CFI Chair David Shambrock. “Canada’s food and beverage processing sector buys and processes over 50 percent of farmers’ production across Canada into consumer-ready products that are sold across Canada and into numerous export markets. CFI is here to support innovation within companies and the competitiveness of the entire industry.”

The food and beverage processing industry accounted for the largest share (16 percent) of the total manufacturing sector GDP in 2014, according to government data.

1 Canadian dollar = 0.73 US dollars