Canadian govt funds apple processing boost
The Canadian government has announced it will provide CAD$1.5 million (US$1.48 million) in funding for Ontario-based Martin's Family Fruit Farm to build a processing line for apple crisps and cider.
A government release said 40 Ontario apple producers would benefit from the project, which is hoped will yield strong results by 2016 with increased annual demand for Canadian apples, a premium on second-grade fruit and the creation of 30 new full-time jobs.
"Our local and regional economy is driven by our hardworking farmers and producers," said agriculture minister Gerry Ritz.
"This targeted investment will create jobs and give local farmers a new market opportunity, increasing demand for their crops and boosting their profits."
The new production line will slice apples into rings with the skin left on, dehydrate the fruit package them without any additives or preservatives. The release said this type of production equipment and processing capacity does not currently exist in the sector, while the by-product from the crip line will be used for apple cider.
The funding comes through the Agricultural Innovation Program - a CAD$50 million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011, aiming to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology.