VALLÉE-JONCTION, Quebec – Through adopting innovative technologies available thanks to an investment of more than $404,000 (US$391,376) in Industries Riopel of Vallée-Jonction, Canada's meat processing sector will remain competitive, the government claims.

"Through this investment, our government is helping develop new technology for meat processing plants across Canada, which will reduce costs and increase productivity," said Maxime Bernier, Minister of State/Small Business and Tourism. "The new equipment being developed will also reduce the volume of specified risk material [SRM] being disposed of, while at the same time ensuring compliance with Canada's regulatory requirements."

Two research and development projects at Riopel will be supported by the investment under the Slaughter Waste Innovation Program (SWIP) that will support maximizing the removal of SRM and high-risk tissues from carcasses processed by Canadian abattoirs. Currently under development, the new SRM handling equipment will reduce waste materials and disposal costs, cutting back on the SRM volume transported to landfills as well as greenhouse gas emissions associated with their transportation.

Canada’s meat-processing industry is expected to benefit from the knowledge and expertise related to SRM handling that will be uncovered from the research aspect of both projects.

"This investment under the Slaughter Waste Innovation Program recognizes the role of Industries Riopel Inc. as a leader in technological advances in the meat industry," said Rocky Lessard, the company's general manager.

As a part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, SWIP is offering up to $40 million (US$39 million) to support the study, development and adoption of technologies or processes that help decrease processing costs or generate profits through the using or eliminating SRM.