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.