CAP’s AgriInnovate: $10M for Ontario Pork Producer

Founded in 1982, Breslau’s Conestoga Meat Packers is one of Ontario’s largest pork producers. As a vertically integrated, farmer-owned co-operative, Conestoga Meats sources its hog supply from local southwestern Ontario farms – where they are raised in accordance with strict Canadian Quality Assurance (CQA) standards – to deliver premium pork throughout Canada and many international markets. Now, with the support of Canadian government funding, the company is implementing new technologies to increase production and expand export reach.

Conestoga Meat Packers is the recipient of $10M in repayable agri-sector innovation funding from the AgriInnovate Program.

The AgriInnovate Program is a stream of funding provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) and is specifically designed to help businesses commercialize and/or adopt innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes, or services. The program’s support of Conestoga Meats’ expansion project will help strengthen the overall competitiveness and sustainability of the domestic agri-sector.

Funding for Agriculture Technology: $10M for Conestoga Meat Packers

Conestoga Meats contributes to the over 950,000 tonnes of fresh, frozen, or chilled Canadian pork products exported annually at a value of more than $3.1 billion. The pork producer has identified an opportunity to increase its exports to Japan, where the recently implemented Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade agreement is opening up greater access for the Canadian pork industry.

$10M in Canadian government funding will help Conestoga Meats adopt an advanced cooling system that will allow the company to capture new export opportunities in Asia.

The federal investment made through the AgriInnovate Program is contributing to Conestoga Meats’ multi-year, multi-million-dollar production expansion project in Breslau, ON. In addition to upgrading its facility, the company will install a state-of-the-art cooling system developed at the University of Guelph. The system extends the shelf life of Conestoga Meats’ pork products and will allow the company to more than double its exports to Japan. Increased production made possible through the project will also create 200 new jobs, adding to the company’s retained workforce of over 1,000.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership: AgriInnovate

AgriInnovate is one of several federal programs administered by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year framework to support Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector. The AgriInnovate Program seeks to accelerate the commercialization, adoption, and/or demonstration of agri-innovations (including products, technologies, processes, or services) that strengthen the broader sector.

AgriInnovate supports up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $10 million in repayable innovation funding. Program contributions must be repaid over a period of up to 10 years following project completion.

Eligible applicants (for-profit organizations incorporated in Canada, including businesses/corporations and co-operatives) must demonstrate how their proposed project will demonstrate and/or commercialize an innovation new to the sector or country. In addition to this requirement, the program also prioritizes projects that:

  • Adopt new or world-leading clean technology;
  • Increase productivity through advanced manufacturing, automation, or robotics;
  • Strengthen Canada’s value-added agri-sectors; and/or
  • Secure or expand new export markets.

AgriInnovate applications are accepted on a continuous basis until March 31, 2023 (or until funding has been fully committed).

If your business is interested in learning more about AgriInnovate or other programs available under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Mentor Works invites you to register for an upcoming Agriculture and Agri-Food Funding webinar.

Canadian Government Funding Events for Small Business

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After graduating from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, Michelle began her career in public relations and corporate communications. She subsequently established a successful freelance business providing writing, editing and project management services to clients in hospitality and municipal government. Today, Michelle is a Certified Structural Editor who loves assisting clients of Mentor Works in communicating their development plans and growth potential.

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