CANADA - The Canadian and Manitoba governments have awarded a C$1.5-million grant to poultry processor Dunn-Rite Food Products to put state-of-the-art technology in place to minimise water use and reduce the company's overall environmental footprint.
The new equipment will allow the company to reduce water use in its processing operations by minimum of 10 per cent and ensure it exceeds municipal standards for wastewater.
This will reduce the company's operating costs and improve environmental performance, which are important to their long-term success.
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn (pictured) said: "This new investment will have environmental and economic benefits across Manitoba.
"The Dunn-Rite facility is an important market for Manitoba farmers and its long-term success supports many other jobs in the provincial economy."
Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre said: "Our government supports innovative projects like this that create new opportunities for Canadian farmers to grow and prosper.
"This new technology will boost the competitiveness of the poultry sector and benefit the environment by reducing overall water consumption."
The total cost of the waste and water treatment equipment is approximately C$4.5 million, part of Dunn-Rite Food Products' ongoing C$26 million renovation and expansion project.
The company currently employs over 300 people and processes more than 300,000 birds every week, all of which are purchased from Manitoba chicken producers.
"This investment strengthens our ability to continue operating efficient facilities and also demonstrates our commitment to exceeding standards. Our family-run business has been operating almost 70 years and this development signals a large step towards a future of sustainable, responsible food production," said Mario Bertschinger.
Dunn-Rite - a family business founded in 1940 - was recently acquired by Sunrise Farms, another family business with a long history of quality and customer service.
Minister Kostyshyn noted this investment supports the province's goal of establishing a value-added food industry worth C$5 billion by 2020.
"Investments like this show a long term commitment to Manitoba's chicken industry," said Danny Wiebe, vice-chair of Manitoba Chicken Producers.
"Environmental sustainability is important for farmers and processors alike."
This support is under Growing Forward 2's Growing Value - Transformation program. In Manitoba, the federal and provincial governments are investing C$176 million under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.
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