The provincial and federal governments are supporting Ontario’s food and beverage processing sector by helping local businesses expand production, meet consumer demand and create good jobs.
Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal made the announcement last week at Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, in Vankleek Hill, along with Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin, on behalf of Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay. This support has allowed the craft brewer to upgrade its automated bottling line, increasing productivity and growing the business, which helped create new jobs.
Beau’s is one of 223 Growing Forward 2 recipients across Ontario. The program helps to achieve the federal government’s goal to create good jobs in food processing and help food processors develop products that reflect changing market tastes and new opportunities. The food and beverage processing industry employs 246,000 Canadians – the largest manufacturing employer in Canada. The provincial and federal governments are investing approximately $11.7 million towards 223 projects across the province.
Approximately $632,000 has been invested in nine projects across Eastern Ontario. Beau’s received $96,659 through Growing Forward 2 to support the implementation of an automated bottling line. Growing Forward 2 was launched in 2013 and is a five-year commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada’s agri-food and agri-based products sector.
Beau’s All Natural Brewery Co. is also guiding an effort in Rwanda to establish a brewery that will be owned and operated by women, to be dedicated to empowerment and local social benefit.
Steve Beauchesne, co-founder of Beau’s, explained the difference this government investment will make to the company. “Our reality is that we have the growth rate of a high-tech firm, but the capital requirements of a manufacturing operation. This assistance has allowed us to grow faster, and that growth has led to dozens of new employees at our family run, employee-owned brewery.”