The $17.5-million Agri-Food Innovation Centre will be the primary spot to develop and commercialize new food products for Saskatchewan's food industry
Saskatoon, Sask. – The new $17.5-million Agri-Food Innovation Centre (AFIC) officially opened its doors.
In a statement, the provincial government says the new 43,000-sq.-ft. facility will “diversify the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre’s (Food Centre) capacity to develop and process products from concept to commercialization.”
The statement explains that the Food Centre is the primary source of food product development and commercialization for the province’s food industry.
AFIC was created to support the “expansion of Saskatchewan’s agri-food processing sector and introduces a dedicated multi-tenant food processing incubator, extrusion line, expanded drying capabilities and fermentation technologies.”
AFIC also has:
• new labs;
• a pilot plant for product and process development; and
• expanded capacity for pulse and cereal processing.
The provincial government says the Food Centre will continue to operate the federally inspected pilot plant housed on the University of Saskatchewan campus.
In the statement, Dan Prefontaine, president of the Food Centre, says AFIC will mean more “opportunities” for Saskatchewan’s food sector. “It will assist Saskatchewan producers and processors to bridge the gap from development to commercialization and introduce higher value-added agricultural products into the global marketplace. With support from our industry and these enhanced services, the Agri-Food Innovation Centre will position our industry to be strong leaders in innovation and technology for the food processing sector.”
The statement adds that Saskatchewan’s value-added food processing sector has grown and now includes 300 companies that export $4 billion worth of goods annually and employ 5,000 people.