SEAFORTH, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Canadian government announced on Oct. 2 an investment to Everspring Farms Ltd. for the production of flour and sprouted seed products ingrained with DHA/EPA omega 3.

"This is a great example of how innovation is helping our producers stay competitive," said Member of Parliament  Ben Lobb. "Fortifying grains with essential fatty acids provides Canadians with a product that meets their health and wellness concerns, while boosting the bottom line of farmers through an increased demand for agricultural commodities."

Everspring Farms has worked with Sharp Ingrained Functional Foods to develop a technology to fortify grains and seeds with essential fatty acids DHA and EPA under the brand Smartgrain Complete Omega 3. This technology is the first process to commercialize ingrained omega 3 DHA/EPA grain products in North America.

This investment of over C$155,000 under the AgriInnovation Program (AIP) helped Everspring Farms improve their manufacturing facility and purchase new equipment to produce DHA/EPA omega 3-enhanced ingrained flour and sprouted seed products such as flax, wheat, oats, rice and barley. These improvements are helping the company increase production capacity and sales, support the creation of new jobs and meet growing market demands overall. The project will also increase the demand for Canadian-sourced agricultural products, supporting local farmers.

"The value of AIP funding to our business is two-fold," said Dale Donaldson, president of Everspring Farms. "Firstly, as a repayable interest free loan it removes the uncertainty of that cost. Secondly and most importantly, it allows our company to secure financing for projects that would have difficulty receiving funding from traditional banking models. We also support the concept that it is a repayable loan, which ensures good value for the taxpayers investment assuming our project has long-term success."  

This project is supported through the AIP, a C$50-million initiative announced under Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011. This program was part of the government's commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology. 

The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which took effect on April 1, includes a new AIP valued at up to C$698 million over five years, designed to serve as a catalyst for innovation by supporting research, development and commercialization of new ideas that result in new products and technologies.