Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Harper government invests in manufacturing innovation for Southern Ontario


April 4, 2013
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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The Harper Government is giving $1.195 million to Hagersville, Ont.-based Armstrong Milling Company for the purchase of new equipment that will help the company prolong the shelf life of its products and reach new markets worldwide.

“Our government is pleased to make targeted repayable investments that help producers use innovative technology to stay competitive in today’s markets, while keeping the sector strong and sustainable,” said Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This investment has helped Armstrong Milling Company increase their production capacity to be better equipped to meet market demand, and will also increase the bottom line for farmers.”

“The advancement of the agriculture sector is a top priority for our government,” said MPDiane Finley (Haldimand-Norfolk). “This investment is another way we are helping producers to innovate in order to stay ahead of the pack, increase their competitiveness, and strengthen our economy.”

The company used the funds to purchase advanced mixing and packaging equipment, enabling the automation of a labour-intensive process in which each ingredient is weighed. The computer-managed packaging equipment uses a gas-flushing system to remove oxygen from the packaging, extending the product shelf life from four to 18 months. This will be the first time this innovative technology will be used in the packaging of bird food in Canada, and this will allow the firm to access new global markets.

These improvements will increase the demand for agricultural products such as corn and wheat. This project will also assist the firm’s efforts to become the first and only bird food manufacturer in North America to achieve Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 certification. This is a globally recognized certification that can be displayed on product offerings, which enhances consumer confidence and product marketability. Achieving SQF Level 3 will provide Armstrong Milling Company with access to new retailers who require this certification.