AgriInnovate fund boosts Canadian food industries

Bakers Journal
April 30, 2019
Written by Bakers Journal
Francesco Sorbara (Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge), Nima Fotovat (President, Riverside Natural Foods), Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food) and Deborah Schulte (Member of Parliament for King-Vaughan) at the announcement.
Francesco Sorbara (Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge), Nima Fotovat (President, Riverside Natural Foods), Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food) and Deborah Schulte (Member of Parliament for King-Vaughan) at the announcement. Image courtesy of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
While visiting a manufacturing facility in Southern Ontario, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, along with Member of Parliament (Vaughan-Woodbridge) Francesco Sorbara announced a repayable contribution of up to $8.5 million to Riverside Natural Foods Ltd. for the modernization of their MadeGood™ Foods line of products.

Riverside Natural Foods is a family business incorporated in 2013, based in Vaughan, Ontario, specializing in organic, allergen-free and non-GMO granola bars, squares, and cereals under the MadeGood™ label, with approximately 200 employees.

The fund is aimed at supporting small businesses in Canada. “This is a small business-friendly government that is working hard to help businesses, like Riverside Natural Foods, start up, scale up, and access new markets. Today’s contribution will help create good jobs in the York region, innovate our agri-food sector, and strengthen Canada’s economy,” said MP Sorbara.

“The government support has been a tremendous boost to our company, allowing us to invest in sophisticated, best in class production equipment that will allow the MadeGood brand to compete on a global scale. We will continue to produce nutritious foods using Canadian organic agricultural products, provide employment for a skilled and ethnically diverse workforce and generously give back to our community,” said Nima Fotovat, President, Riverside Natural Foods Ltd in a press release.
 
“MadeGood is focused on becoming a Canadian role model and leader in successful triple bottom line business management.” In 2017, the Ontario food processing industry had sales of $45 billion and generated $10 billion in export value.

This project, funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriInnovate Program, will enable the company to purchase and install first-in-Canada robotic equipment, customize and automate their granola bar production and create exciting new production lines for allergen-free healthy snacks. With this contribution, Riverside Natural Foods is expected to increase production, inputs and exports sales, while introducing new products to the market and creating well paying jobs to benefit all Canadians.
 
“This funding will help Riverside Natural Foods stay on the cutting edge through the latest in new technologies, allowing them to grow production and launch innovative, new high-quality products to customers in Canada and around the world,” added Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “The government is proud to contribute to projects like this, which will help keep Ontario’s agri-food sector strong and growing, increase Canada’s competitiveness and create jobs for our middle class.”

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