WINNIPEG, MB, March 11, 2021 /CNW/ - It is with mixed emotion that we announce the retirement of Larry McIntosh after 27 years as Peak of the Market's President and CEO.

"Larry's commitment, dedication and extreme passion to the produce industry and to Peak of the Market will not be forgotten, stated Peter Loewen, Chair of Peak of the Market. We are grateful for his contributions and wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Beth Connery, Vice Chair of Peak of the Market said, "Today, we are celebrating Larry's many years and accomplishments with Peak of the Market.  The Board of Directors will be starting a search for a new CEO shortly.  We are thankful that Larry has agreed to stay on as long as needed to ensure a smooth transition."

Larry McIntosh stated "I am very proud of the entire Team at Peak of the Market.  Together, over the years, we have grown the Company and have accomplished so many major milestones. The Team's dedication to Growers, Customers, Suppliers and to each other says so much about the Company.  Peak of the Market will continue to be a leader in the produce industry and has a solid foundation to have strong growth well into the future."

Larry will continue to be with Peak of the Market until at least June.  He plans to continue his volunteer work as a Director on the Canadian Red Cross, a Past Chair of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and on his recently appointed position to the new Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council. 

Peak of the Market has a grower elected Board of Directors.  It has Offices and Distribution Centres in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Calgary, Alberta.  Founded in 1942, Peak has been selling Manitoba and Canadian fresh vegetables for over 79 years and ships across Canada and throughout United States.


A broad line of over 1,000 stainless steel shaft collars, couplings, and mounting components for applications requiring frequent wash-down has been introduced by Stafford Manufacturing Corp. of Wilmington, Massachusetts.


Stafford Shaft Collars, Couplings & Mounting Components are machined from FDA- and USDA-approved 303 and 316 stainless steel and are fully corrosion-resistant.  Ideal for building food processing equipment, conveyors, and packaging systems requiring frequent wash-down, they are offered in 1-pc, 2-pc, hinged, set-screw, and flanged styles with various bore configurations and special features including keyways and special mounting modifications.


Suitable for use as stops, spacers, and mounting devices, Stafford Shaft Collars & Mounting Components come in 0.25” to 10” standard I.D. sizes and the couplings come in 0.25” to 3” I.D. sizes with standard metric sizes also offered in both.  Specials can include threads, keyways, and other bore modifications and external flats, tapped holes, and knurls.


Stafford Shaft Collars, Couplings & Mounting Components are priced according to style, size, and quantity.


ALEXANDRIA, MN. (March 4, 2021) – Douglas is excited to introduce OPTX Shrink Wrap Systems, packaging solutions that maximize productivity through simplicity, performance and package quality. OPTX provides simple operation and low maintenance to help address workforce issues and skills gap. From ergonomic clear view guard doors, to high performance metering systems and built-in reliability features, OPTX meets all facets of today’s accelerated production challenges with enhanced productivity and simplicity.


FMCG manufacturers face high expectations. Consumers want products which are as sustainably made as possible, at a good price, while retailers and distributors are quick to issue fines for poorly coded items which jeopardize traceability, data collection and/or automation. The ink launched today delivers on all these objectives by enabling better performance and sustainability, with no overall cost increase. Paired with the company’s flagship 9450 coder, the EB588 ink sets the new standard for FMCG inkjet coding.


MEK-based inks generate Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions, contributors to greenhouse gases. This new MEK-free alternative, made of Methyl Isopropyl Ketone (MIPK), supports product sustainability by generating 40% fewer VOCs under comparable operating conditions at 20 0 C. It also promotes a safer work environment for workers.


Designed for use in Markem-Imaje’s 9450 continuous inkjet (CIJ) coder, one of the market’s leading inkjet printers, the ink also streamlines inventory and reduces waste.


The multi-purpose, black ink codes many different packaging types including metal, glass, cardboard and several types of plastic. Ordering, logistics and stock management are thus easier as there are fewer items to store and oversee.


Furthermore, as MEK-free inks use fewer consumables than MEK-based inks, manufacturers will have 40% fewer bottles and cartridges to throw away.


Waste is further minimized, as is rework, through the ink’s smart consumable management system which enables quick, mistake-free coding. There is no longer any risk of inserting an unsuitable ink which generates a poor-quality code, or worse, seems to code an item, only for the code to disappear hours later, or be easily rubbed off in the marketplace.


All operators need to do is insert the EB588 ink cartridge, something which can be done with the line running to avoid downtime. The coder takes it from there to check and set up parameters automatically, no further human intervention required.

For even greater efficiency and productivity, all consumable-related operations can be directly monitored on the user interface. Touch screen menus provide access to previous maintenance and production history, including data on availability rates and consumption. An accurate, consumable level display, bolstered by real-time warnings, lets users know the precise quantity of prints remaining, so production time is not lost due to the ink or additive running out.


This is in addition to the marketing and quality-enhancing capabilities already available through the 9450 coder itself. For example, Markem-Imaje is currently the only major supplier to offer built-in promotional coding, serialization and ‘mark & read’ code checking in a CIJ printer. And, with a large graphical printing capacity, QR code printing is easy and efficient. Production sites can thus better meet the demands of brand teams to use complex codes to support a wide range of marketing objectives, all with full confidence in code quality and accuracy.

Even better, the above benefits are available for the same TCO as other comparable MEK-based ink and printer combinations. This enables manufacturers to improve their sustainability credentials without negatively affecting their profitability – a win-win situation for consumers, retailers, distributors, manufacturers and the environment.

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SASKATOON – The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will invest $3.2 million in a unique biomanufacturing facility at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) that will use cutting-edge “engineering biology” technologies to accelerate agri-food innovation and help address food security needs.


Developing canola varieties more resistant to climate change, flavourings for the plant-based meat industry, and non-animal enzyme alternatives for the dairy industry are a sample of the innovations to be advanced by the new Engineering Biology Agri-food Innovation Centre within the university’s Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS).


“This new centre will establish the University of Saskatchewan as the national node for engineering biology applications in agriculture and food that will accelerate science and innovation,” said USask Vice-President Research Dr. Baljit Singh. “Using automation and other emerging technologies, our researchers will harness the power of biology to design more nutritious and sustainable crop varieties and food products.”


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced more than $518 million to support the infrastructure needs of universities and research institutions across the country.


Engineering biology is an exploding new field that combines genomics and molecular biology with high-performance computing, automation, and artificial intelligence, potentially transforming what we eat, medicines we take, and fuels we use. A May 2020 report from the McKinsey Global Institute estimates engineering biology could have a global economic impact of up to $4 trillion in the next 10 to 20 years, with more than a third of this direct annual impact in the agri-food area.


“Essentially, engineering biology uses biological machinery of cells to make useful tools and products,” said GIFS Executive Director and CEO Steve Webb, who is also a member of the National Engineering Biology Steering Committee.

An example is flavourings added to pea-based proteins (such as myoglobin and hemoglobin) to make plant-based burgers taste like a regular meat-based burger. The iron-containing molecule heme is highly concentrated in red meat but can also be found in plants.


The CFI funding, made through its Innovation Fund, will be used for critical infrastructure including robots, computers, cell culture systems, and other equipment for the centre. Another $5 million is being sought from private and public sources.


“Engineering biology integrates automation, biology and computation—the ‘ABC’ approach—to advance research and new product development by accelerating the design-build-test-and-learn cycle. This technology platform provides the capacity for research and development that is beyond the reach of traditional approaches,” Webb said.


“This will help us develop new plant varieties that can withstand climate change, as well as nutritious food products and natural products with medical benefits such as specialized proteins that kill bacteria.”


Webb said researchers in academe and industry will be able to order from the centre’s bio-manufacturing facility or “biofoundry” the DNA, RNA, peptides, and other proteins needed for their studies.


As the recent McKinsey study notes, the first wave of genetically engineered crops in the 1990s has been referred to as GMOs—organisms with foreign (transgenic) genetic material introduced. Today, with marker-assisted breeding and other advances in genetic engineering such as gene editing, breeders can use DNA markers linked to desirable traits to select these traits without using transgenic approaches.


USask plant scientist Tim Sharbel, lead researcher on the team, said engineering biology will enable the team to take the next step in the application of genomics to agriculture.

“We can now identify important genes but translating this into something that’s useful to industry and beneficial to society is a gap that’s been very difficult until now,” said Sharbel.


Marrying biological science with the power of automation and computers will enable scientists to run many tests in parallel, rather than manually conducting them one at a time, enabling the rapid production and testing of thousands of gene and protein variants for development of new products and plant varieties.


More than 20 researchers across campus are part of the user team that will employ the new platform for crop improvement and health applications, including food, nutrition and pharmaceuticals. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to apply engineering biology to address real-world problems in agriculture and food production.


For instance, USask pharmacy researcher Jane Alcorn will use the platform to create compounds for discovering new drug candidates. USask nutrition researcher Carol Henry will use new protein variants produced at the facility to improve the nutritional quality of foods. Agricultural researcher Bobbi Helgason will use the facility to enhance plant-microbial interactions that help plants with stress tolerance. Key researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the National Research Council, and the private sector will also use the platform.


The centre’s technology platform—which will comprise separate “suites” for engineering biology, proteomics and genomics, and metabolomics (the study of small molecules in an organism)—will be integrated into the workflow of GIFS’s existing technology platforms, which include the Omics and Precision Agriculture Laboratory (OPAL), Data Management and Analytics, and Cell Biology.


With its focus on agriculture and food, the new centre will be an important node within the Canadian Engineering Biology Network which includes other universities, research organizations and companies in Canada. The centre will enable collaboration with other Canadian universities that have biofoundries, as well as with industry and international partners such as the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Singapore.


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