Nearly $2 million in FedNor investments are on the way to help Northern Ontario’s agri-food sector innovate, grow and create jobs.
Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan, who is Parliamentary Secretary to Melanie Joly, the Minister responsible for FedNor, made the announcement today.
As part of this investment, Penokean Hills Farms will benefit from a repayable contribution of more than $1.4 million to build and equip a state-of-the-art abattoir, meat processing plant and retail butcher shop in Bruce Mines.
This new 13,000 square-foot facility will include a commercial smoker, curing section and high-volume hanging and freezing facilities.
Once complete, this priority project will allow the organization to increase sales and profitability by up to 65 percent, while helping to create and maintain 15 local jobs.
“Our new state-of-the-art facility will allow us to increase sales, services and capacity to meet the immediate and long-term needs of our agriculture community,” says Chris Gordon, Owner and Manager of Penokean Hills Farms.
The remaining $588,744 will allow Bioenterprise Corporation to create a Northern Ontario tech-hub to support the growth of agri-food businesses.
“We are thrilled to help bridge the gap in the agricultural innovation ecosystem by connecting agriculture and food-tech businesses with services and investors to accelerate business growth in Northern Ontario,” says Dave Smardon, President and CEO of Bioenterprise Corporation.
Sheehan says today’s funding announcements will prepare Northern Ontario’s agricultural sector for growth.
“It will provide our producers with access to state-of-the-art processing facilities and create opportunities for entrepreneurs to pursue a future in agriculture,” says Sheehan. “I am pleased that our government is stepping up support for this important sector by helping agri-food businesses start-up, scale-up, innovate, access new markets and create high-quality jobs across the region.”