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Local agri-food sector receives $951K in FedNor funding

Rural Agri-Innovation Network to receive $721,530 and Penokean Hills Co-operative will get $230,000
2022-08-05 - FedNor Announcement
(l-r): Richard Palarchio, Owner/Operator of Rico’s Good Old Dad Foods and MP Terry Sheehan.

Two local agri-food businesses are receiving a boost thanks to $951,530 in FedNor funding, Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan announced in a news release issued today. 

The Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN), a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), will receive a non-repayable contribution of $721,530 to create and deliver a Responsive Advancement for Meat Processing (RAMP) program that would provide productivity assessments and management training to abattoirs and meat plants throughout Northern Ontario. As a direct result of this investment, RAIN expects to create 10 full-time jobs and to help maintain 35 more.

Penokean Hills Co-operative (PHC), will also receive $230,000 to undertake infrastructure expansion aimed at improving operational efficiency and capacity at the feed yard. This project is anticipated to create one permanent and two temporary jobs while also increasing revenue for local stock farmers and local crop farmers providing feed.

 “The FedNor funds announced today will help good, locally produced food remain available while also supporting growth and diversification in the critical agri-food sector supply chain," Sheehan said in the release. "We are proud to support our local farmers and producers with these projects that will help foster partnerships and create new growth and new opportunities for Northern Ontario.”

For more information, see the full release below. 

Strong food supply chains are necessary to meet the needs of Canadians everywhere. Accordingly, the agri-food sector represents a critical means of creating both economic growth and supply chain improvements. Investments in the agri-food sector help create sustainable communities with strong, diverse economies across Canada.

Today, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, announced a FedNor investment of $951,530 in two projects designed to fuel growth and diversification in the agri-food sector of Northern Ontario. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor.

The Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN), a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), will receive a non-repayable contribution of $721,530 to create and deliver a Responsive Advancement for Meat Processing (RAMP) program that would provide productivity assessments and management training to abattoirs and meat plants throughout Northern Ontario. The goal of the project is to expand and diversify the meat supply chain, critical to the agri-food sector in the region in response to the continuing high demand from consumers and farmers for locally-sourced meat products. As a direct result of this investment, RAIN expects to create 10 full-time jobs and to help maintain 35 more.

As part of the announcement, Penokean Hills Co-operative (PHC), will also receive $230,000 to undertake infrastructure expansion aimed at improving operational efficiency and capacity at the feed yard. The improvements achieved through this project will allow PHC to increase the growth and daily gains of the cattle, and to increase the overall number of finished cattle in the value chain. This project is anticipated to create one permanent and two temporary jobs while also increasing revenue for local stock farmers and local crop farmers providing feed.

Quotes

“Northern Ontario’s farmers and agri-food producers feed families across the nation. Today’s funding from FedNor of $951,530 will directly support the Rural Agri-Innovation Network and the Penokean Hills Co-operative in Saulte Ste. Marie as they work to expand and diversify production. Not only will this strengthen Canadian supply chains, but it will also help create and maintain good, local jobs.”

  • The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

 “The FedNor funds announced today will help good, locally produced food remain available while also supporting growth and diversification in the critical agri-food sector supply chain. We are proud to support our local farmers and producers with these projects that will help foster partnerships and create new growth and new opportunities for Northern Ontario.”

  • Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour

 “This investment represents an important step toward building a resilient farm and food sector in Northern Ontario. FedNor is helping support farmers and communities to enhance the agri-food sector in Algoma region through these funds, and in doing so is helping our region meet its economic potential.”

  • David Thompson, manager of the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN)

 “We are happy that FedNor is supporting this infrastructure expansion, which will allow us to not only continue to create high-end, consistent products for market, but to increase our production. These improvements will benefit the farming community, our customers, and support many more restaurants, butcher shops, and other businesses across Ontario.”

  • Chris Gordon, Owner and General Manager at Penokean Hills Farms