The food manufacturing industry is one of the largest economic drivers in Atlantic Canada and one that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovation and the integration of new technologies are proving to be key assets to enable businesses in this industry remain competitive and enhance their productivity, according to a press release issued yesterday by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in Canada’s New Brunswick province.
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, together with the Honourable Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick and McCain Foods Limited officials, yesterday announced $5 million to support the implementation of a high-speed potato specialty line at the McCain’s Grand Falls facility, creating 80 new jobs.
ACOA is providing a repayable contribution of $3.5 million for the advanced manufacturing equipment while Opportunities NB is investing up to $1.5 million in payroll rebates over a period of three years. McCain, for its part, has invested $80 million to expand production capacity at the site as part of this project.
The new state-of-the-art manufacturing line incorporates the latest technology for process efficiency and quality, including best practices for water and energy use. This project allows the company to expand its local supply chain and create spinoffs for the region’s small and medium-sized businesses as part of its growth strategy in Grand Falls.
Minister LeBlanc made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
The announcement is said to demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to support the Canadian food and beverage industry. Investments like this one help to create jobs and ensure that businesses will not only survive this crisis but also succeed in the economic recovery.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA said the Canadian government “proudly support McCain Foods Limited as it works to expand its production capacity, meet market demand and create new jobs. Our government is making investments that will enable businesses in all regions of our country to scale-up and access the capital needed to succeed in the post-pandemic economy.”
The Honourable Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick pointed out that “McCain Foods is a world class company with operations globally, and we are thrilled to see this expansion, which will create jobs, help grow the economy, all while contributing to our province’s food sustainability, which is a strong focus for our government. This significant investment into the Grand Falls facility will ensure that NB operations remain competitive and productive.”
“As part of our ongoing global investment program, we’re proud to continue to grow and strengthen our business in our home of New Brunswick, Canada,” according to Max Koeune, President & CEO McCain Foods. “We’re grateful to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Opportunities NB for their support in this flagship project that will see the creation of jobs while boosting the local economy at large.”
Source: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)