MRO Magazine

Dawn of the F&B digital transformation

July 4, 2023 | By Mario Cywinski

Photo: Alexander Raths / adobe stock

Photo: Alexander Raths / adobe stock

Advanced manufacturing and the digital transformation is here, and companies in the food and beverage sector are at the forefront. It includes artificial intelligence (AI), automation, robots, computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), sensors, and just about anything that used to be done manually, that is now digital.

The Government of Canada and Government of Ontario are seeing this, and have been investing in a variety of companies to help them with advanced manufacturing capabilities.

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, through its Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF), has invested many millions so far in 2023.

A few examples are:


A Friendlier Company Inc. received a $500,000 investment to standardize its reusable takeout packaging system through a network of businesses across Canada.

Unified Flex Packaging Technologies was given a $4-million investment, which will enhance production capacity at its new Woodstock facility, to increase manufacturing of its recyclable films.

Omnia Packaging received over $3.7- million to help it purchase new equipment.

Cedar Valley Selections Inc., in Oldcastle, Ontario, got a $375,000 investment to buy new equipment to improve its production capacity and meet the demand for its ready-to-make foods.

Stanpac Inc. was given a $5 million investment toward the purchase of advanced manufacturing equipment to help expedite it’s transition to sustainable packaging. The new machinery produces fully recyclable and compostable products, including a new paper-based bulk ice cream container.

Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee, a coffee and tea manufacturer in Mississauga, invested $33.4 million to help boost local manufacturing and create jobs in the community. With the Government of Ontario providing $5 million through the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream of the province’s Regional Development Program.

Also, the Ontario government is giving $100,000 to the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) to study, assess and grow the network of agri-food producers, processors, distributors, procurers, and consumers in Northern Ontario.

This is just a small sample of the investments that have been made over the last few months. More are sure to come in the future, as the industry is “going full steam ahead” into a digital transformation.


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