Canada invests in innovation to grow food processing industry in Ontario

From: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

April 26, 2019 – Vaughan, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, 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 repayble contribution of up to $8.5 million to Riverside Natural Foods Ltd. for the modernization of their MadeGoodTM Foods line of products.

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. 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.”

– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“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.”

– Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge

“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. MadeGood is focused on becoming a Canadian role model and leader in successful triple bottom line business management.”

– Nima Fotovat, President, Riverside Natural Foods Ltd.

Quick facts

  • In 2017, the Ontario food processing industry had sales of $45 billion and generated $10 billion in export value.

  • 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 MadeGoodTM label, with approximately 200 employees. It is well established in the market with $50 million in sales for 2017 in over 30 countries worldwide.

  • This contribution was made under the AgriInnovate Program, a five-year (2018-2023), up to $128 million initiative under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that aims to accelerate commercialization, adoption and/or demonstration of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes or services that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability.

  • Riverside Natural Foods previously received funding of up to $782,000 under the AgriInnovation Program to purchase equipment to manufacture a line of innovative, healthy organic bars without the use of sugar binders.

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