DURHAM — The food and beverage industry in Durham got a boost on Thursday, as the federal and provincial governments announced funding to four local businesses.
It's a result of Growing Forward 2, a five-year commitment launched in 2013 by both governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-based products sector.
Brad Duguid, Ontario minister of economic development, employment and infrastructure, said the provincial government is supporting the economic growth of the Durham Region while building up the province's food and beverage processing sector.
"I'm pleased to be here today to see first-hand the results of our investments, which are helping grow communities like Whitby and our province's broader agri-food sector," he said.
Duguid and Pickering-Uxbridge MP Jennifer O'Connell announced more than $435,000 between North America Milling Company Ltd. in Whitby, Halenda's Fine Foods Ltd. in Oshawa, Hela Spice Canada in Uxbridge, and Link Greenhouses Inc. in Clarington.
Sanjeev Mannan, owner and president of North America Milling Company, explained the $97,000 it received will go toward improvements to the processing facility to produce a blend of flour that is typically imported from Italy.
"Thanks to Grow Forward, North America Milling is now manufacturing Doppio Zero Flour from Canadian wheat, right here in Whitby, Ont.," he said. "This translates to jobs in Ontario, improved competitiveness for North America Milling, and improved value to our customers."
Halenda's received $99,000 to install an automated food-safe drying room for fermented sausages. Hela Spice received $190,000 to develop a process audit, standards and procedures, as well as implement and train staff in a new data management software system. Link Greenhouses Inc. will put its $50,000 toward purchasing and installing a new boiler to help reduce energy costs and make its greenhouse more efficient.