Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced $6.3 million to help 14 companies increase productivity, competitiveness and efficiency. Funding will be provided over two years through the Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM) program.
“Achieving greater efficiencies is critical to a business’ success,” said Minister Ritz. “When agri-business processors achieve greater efficiencies, they improve not only their businesses, but also the bottom line of our farmers and the long-term prosperity for the Canadian economy.”
“Improving processes and adopting new technologies helps agri-businesses increase productivity and remain competitive,” Stewart said. “Increasing value-added production is a priority for our government and a goal set out in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth. This funding will help us achieve that goal.”
The SLIM program provides funding to help processors adopt best practices, new technologies and state-of-the-art processes that lead to improvements in productivity and efficiency. These improvements help companies that operate in Saskatchewan to increase output using existing resources.
The federal-provincial funding of $6.3 million will be augmented by the applicants’ planned contribution of more than $25.5 million, leading to a total investment of more than $31.8 million.
“This program will help our organization identify inefficiencies, implement process changes, purchase new equipment and create process improvements that lets us increase capacity and be more competitive,” President of InfraReady Products Ltd. Mark Pickard said.
The SLIM Program is part of the Growing Forward 2 framework, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative with a five-year investment of $388 million in Saskatchewan for strategic initiatives.