Inkerman, Ontario, June 4, 2012 – Sevita International is pleased to announce it has received a loan for expansion and automation of its food grade soybean processing technology. A repayable contribution of $1.7 million was received from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Innovation Program.
David Hendrick, President of Sevita International said "the loan assistance from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will lead to new opportunities for Canadian soybean growers, new jobs and increased Canadian exports."
The investment will go towards new equipment and technology that will allow Sevita to process a greater variety of soybeans. The company receives, cleans, sorts and packages soybeans, according to internationally recognized systems. The new equipment will enhance traceability, improve safety and quality and introduce new soybean varieties into the marketplace. The demand for specialty soybeans is growing, especially in Asian and European markets. Increasing their production capabilities will help Sevita become more competitive and bring Canadian soybeans into global markets. Sevita contracts the production of specialty non-GMO soybean varieties from more than 250 growers with farms in PEI, Quebec, and Ontario.
Sevita CEO James dePater noted "the loan from the Agricultural Innovation Program will allow Sevita to invest in automation of its processes and into increased segregation and food traceability capacity. This will facilitate introduction of new soybean varieties being developed by Sevita and will open new markets for Canadian Non GMO soybean growers"
Sevita operates a soybean research and breeding program that includes genomics research, gene maker development, trait selection, conventional plant breeding and research trials. Research in conducted in Ontario and PEI where Sevita has recently established a research farm and genomics laboratory. As new varieties are developed, registered and released, they must be produced by growers, received, stored, processed and exported to overseas manufactures in a completely segregated fashion to maintain purity and integrity.
MP Guy Lauzon made the formal announcement on May 25th at the Sevita processing facility in Inkerman. "Our Government remains committed to creating jobs and economic prosperity for our vital agriculture sector," said MP Lauzon. "This investment will help Sevita International to process more of what our farmers grow and allow farmers to boost their bottom lines by meeting increasing demand for soybeans in global markets."
Local farmers will also benefit from this project. The new equipment will be installed in all three of their processing facilities – Inkerman, Ontario; Woodstock, Ontario; and PEI – which will increase demand for local produce and create opportunities in new niche markets.
This project is supported through the Agricultural Innovation Program – a $50 million initiative announced as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2011. AIP is part of the Government’s commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting edge science and technology. AIP boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies and processes for the agricultural sector. For more information about the Agricultural Innovation Program and other AAFC programs please visit www.agr.gc.ca.