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Harper Government Invests to Create Value from Waste

Posted on July 18, 2012

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada — Flax and hemp producers could soon benefit from a major increase in value per acre. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that Advanced Foods and Materials (AFM) Canada is receiving an important investment to turn by-products of flax and hemp into high-quality fiber.

“This technology will create a new revenue stream for farmers by using what were essentially waste products and getting value for them back at the farm gate,” said Minister Ritz. “Our government strongly supports this kind of innovation, which will keep Canada’s agricultural sector sustainable and our economy strong.”

AFM will use this $500,000 investment to increase production capabilities of the technology developed by Blue Goose Biorefineries.

The development of this technology will substantially increase the value per acre of hemp and flax crops by finding uses for parts of plants that are currently considered waste. The increased production and availability of high-value cellulose products will create jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and research and development, to the benefit of the agricultural sector and Canada’s economy as a whole. The technology also benefits the environment by expanding biorefining capabilities.

“We are pleased to lead the scale-up of this technology and are looking forward to working with Blue Goose, POS Bio-Sciences, and the University of Saskatchewan,” said Perry Lidster, AFM Canada Managing Director. “The project will have a positive impact on the value of Canadian crops and will create new opportunities for innovation and competitiveness with the end products that are produced.”

“The Blue Goose Biorefineries project is a prime example of how collaboration can work synergistically among academia, industry, and government in matching research activities with strategic industrial needs for the betterment of the socio-economic welfare of the agri-food sector in Canada,” added Rickey Yada, AFM Canada Scientific Director.

AFM is a national non-profit organization in the research, development, and commercialization service for innovations in the biomaterials, food, and health sectors. For more information, please visit

This project is funded under the Agricultural Innovation Program — a $50-million initiative announced as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2011 and part of the Government’s commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology. The Program boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies, and processes for the agricultural sector. For more information about this and other Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programs, please visit

For more information, contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Meagan Murdoch
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz