(SASKATOON, SK) Each year the Province of Saskatchewan designates October as Agriculture Month. The objective is to raise awareness and appreciation of the food produced by Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers and to encourage consumers to think about and share their connection to food and agriculture.
This year’s Ag Month activities kicked off today with a press conference in Saskatoon. The Honourable David Marit, Minister of Agriculture, opened Agriculture Month and encouraged industry to get involved and share their stories this October. “Agriculture Month is an opportunity to highlight the dedication our producers have for producing sustainable, healthy and affordable food,” Marit said. “It’s important that consumers understand what we do in modern agriculture, and why we do it, so they feel confident in the quality ingredients that arrive on their plates.”
Agriculture Month activities are led by Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan (FFC SK), a non-profit coalition of farm families, food businesses and individuals that works to build public trust in farming and food. “Agriculture is really the backbone of Saskatchewan, so having an opportunity to celebrate the people and the industry that brings safe and affordable food to our plates is always exciting,” said Clinton Monchuk, FFC SK Executive Director.
The Ag Month launch was held at the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre (Food Centre) and showcased new capabilities to increase the level of value-added manufacturing in the province.
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) announced today a $500,000 financial support for this project. Their contribution will provide collaboration opportunities with local producers and will result in the expansion of agricultural production, and food processing labour and revenue in the province.
Attendees saw a demonstration of the new bottling and canning line, a newly acquired technology to provide increased capacity to address market growth for local products. “The partnership is part of a value chain project connecting growers to manufacturing to retailers, with long term benefits to the fruit and vegetable industry,” explained Dan Prefontaine, Food Centre President.
“Co-op has built strong relationships with ag producers and food production companies, working directly with them every day to deliver the local products that are valued by co-op members and customers,” said Ron Healey, FCL’s Vice-President of Ag and Consumer Business.
“We’re unique because we’re involved in the food production industry from start to finish, from farm to fork. With investments like the one today, we’re helping create economic growth and delivering Saskatchewan products to co-op members and customers right across Western Canada.”
The $500,000 will be part of a $1 million industry contribution to the project and is a large portion of the foundational funding.
Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan encourages consumers to connect with the agriculture industry this month. People are encouraged to ask questions about where their food comes from and to thank the hardworking men and women who bring it from the fields to the tables. Saskatchewan residents can use #OurFoodHasAStory on social media to be entered to win a $250 Co-op gift card.
For a list of upcoming Agriculture Month events visit www.ourfoodhasastory.ca.
For more information, contact:
Executive Director, Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan
firstname.lastname@example.org Direct: (306) 341-4750
Director, Communications Branch, Ministry of Agriculture
email@example.com Direct: (306) 787-1077
Communications Director, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre
firstname.lastname@example.org Direct: (306) 933-7556Daniel Jungwirth Senior Communications Advisor, Marketing and Communications, Federated Co-operatives Limited email@example.com Direct: (306) 649-5214
Backgrounder on Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan
Today, less than 3% of Canadians have a direct connection to the farm, which is one reason why so many have questions about how their food is produced. Farm & Food Care works to address consumer questions and inspire more confidence in our farmers and in Saskatchewan-grown foods. To learn more, follow us @FarmFoodCareSK on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or visit farmfoodcaresk.org. Or let us put you in touch with a farmer so you can ask them directly about the food on your table!
Backgrounder on Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
October has been proclaimed as Agriculture Month in Saskatchewan. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan are collaborating to engage industry throughout the month to encourage people to learn more about Saskatchewan agriculture and get involved in the conversation about modern food production. The theme is “Our Food Has a Story” focusing on health and nutrition, affordability, food safety, and sustainability. People are invited to share their unique food story to build a connection between how our food is produced and ends up on our plates. More information at OurFoodHasAStory.ca.
Backgrounder on Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre (Food Centre)
The Food Centre provides expertise and resources to assist agri-businesses in bringing food innovations to commercialization, including unique food and process development, interim processing and incubation, pulse innovation, extrusion, food safety training, and path finding. The Food Centre specializes in novel ingredient development and applications, with experience in fruits, dairy, pulses and cereals. Since inception, the Food Centre has developed and processed over 850 products for clients, with an estimated 50% introduced into the market.
Backgrounder on Federated Cooperatives Limited and the Co-operative Retailing System
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) is the 54th largest company in Canada and the largest non-financial co-operative in Canada. FCL is a unique wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative co-operative owned by more than 170 autonomous retail co-operatives across Western Canada. Together FCL and those local retail co-operatives form the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS). Our total workforce of 25,000 employees serves 1.9 million active individual members and many more non-member customers at 1,500 retail locations in almost 600 communities. More information is available at www.fcl.crs.