Patates Dolbec’s potato packaging facility in Saint-Ubalde, Que., yesterday received a federal government investment of $4.5 million to offset its recent expansion and modernization project.
The money is earmarked for the purchase and installation of new robotic equipment that will sort, grade and pack more fresh potatoes in less time, enabling the company to improve their product quality, lower operational costs and develop new markets in the United States.
Canada’s food processing industry is an important driver of economic growth, producing a wide range of healthy, high-quality foods for consumers at home and around the world. According to a news release, supporting the growth of the food processing sector, with sales of $114 billion and reaching over $35 billion in export sales each year, remains a key priority for the Government of Canada.
“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the food processing sector, helping to grow the economy and create well-paying jobs for middle class families,” says Jean Claude Poissant, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay. “Investing in innovation will enable Patates Dolbec to grow sales and demand for Quebec-grown potatoes all around the world, helping to build a strong and prosperous agriculture and agri-food sector.”
Patates Dolbec, a family business created in 1967, is now the biggest potato producer in Eastern Canada. With 10,000 acres of land, the company produces close to 40,000 tons of potato per year and employs over 125 people.
“Our new 4.0 plant gives us superb flexibility, enhances our ability to serve our customers, allows us to track all our data in real time for better decision making and, of course, enables us to provide a stimulating, well-organized workplace,” says Josée Petitclerc, director, marketing and continuous improvement, Patates Dolbec.