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Manitoba to back new food products

The Manitoba government has released a new suite of support programs to help entrepreneurs wanting to launch new food products.

“These new programs are designed
to provide assistance to food entrepreneurs across each stage of
making a business succeed, from product development to
certification,” Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said in a release Thursday.

Many small enterprises direct most of their
investment to product development and business startup and may
not have the capital to finance other pre-production
activities such as recipe research and expansion, she said.

The new four-part
business support program, called the Manitoba Agri-innovation Suite or MAIS, will offer help to entrepreneurs at four stages: agri-product development,
commercialization, marketing and certification.

Many of the services to be offered through MAIS are available to
entrepreneurs at the Food Development Centre in Portage la
Prairie, the province said.

The program’s four components include:

  • contribution of up to 50 per cent of project costs to help with the agri-product development stage to a maximum $10,000 per phase, including technical feasibility, product and process development, trial production and test marketing;
  • up to 50 per cent cost-shared funding to a maximum $250,000 to help with agri-product commercialization to support enterprises that finalize the testing stages of an agri-product or concept prior to the commercial production stage;
  • 50 per cent of the cost to a maximum of $30,000 to prepare a product for commercialization, including costs such as consumer analysis, market testing, nutritional analysis, label design, package design and business development; and
  • for small- and medium-sized businesses, cost-shared funding of up to 50 per cent to a maximum $15,000, toward agri-product and plant certification programs such as ISO 9000, the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety regulations or other certification required by regulators such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or Organic Producers of Manitoba (OPAM).

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