Martin C. Barry
Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif has announced that Bio-K Plus International Inc. has been approved for a grant of up to $50,000 to allow the company to reach new markets in the United States with their probiotic capsules and beverages.
According to Nassif, who made the announcement on April 24 at Bio-K’s headquarters on Armand Frappier Blvd. in Laval, the funding will be used to help raise consumers’ awareness about the health benefits of probiotic products, while increasing Bio-K Plus exports to the United States.
Rising awareness of product
With well-targeted promotional activities such as product demonstrations and tradeshow exhibits, the company hopes to increase demand for their products in all regions of the U.S. Probiotics are microorganisms which are believed to provide health benefits when taken orally. Since the late 1990s, the market for consumable probiotic products has grown as the public’s awareness of their benefits has also become greater.
The funding is being provided through the federal government’s Growing Forward 2 AgriMarketing program. Nassif said the Liberal government is committed to helping farmers and food processors grow their businesses, expand existing markets at home and abroad and create jobs to benefit the sector and all Canadians.
Expanding into global market
“Advances in innovation, such as this line of probiotics, help to keep Canada on the cutting edge,” said Nassif. “The government of Canada proudly contributes to expanding markets globally, which improves agricultural business competitiveness, creating jobs, helping grow the middle class and fostering long-term growth for the sector in Vimy and all across the country.”
Nassif praised the company for the progress it has made over the past two decades. “In 20 or so years, you have built a world-class business, while introducing consumers throughout the world to your products,” she said, while noting that Bio-K grew from 10 employees in the beginning to 100 now.
Company creates jobs
Nassif said the company is an example of the ability of small and medium-sized enterprises to create employment in the Canadian economy, and that Bio-K is considered a pioneer in its domain through the development of cutting-edge and scientifically-based production methods. “If Canada remains at the forefront, it’s thanks to your advances in innovation – your range of probiotics being a good example. I have a lot of respect for everything you do.”
“This financial assistance will help with our development in the United States,” said Isabèle Chevalier who is co-president of Bio-K Plus International along with her brother François-Pierre. “The funding will be used, among other things, to hire a resource in the U.S. territory and to develop our worldwide innovation, which is recognized by Health Canada for the primary prevention of Clostridium difficile infections in order to reduce infections and alleviate the suffering of patients in hospitals,” she added.