Agri-processing – Why invest in Alberta

Alberta offers a competitive tax system, and strong agriculture and agri-processing sector, global market access and R&D infrastructure.

Competitive tax system

Alberta offers investors one of North America’s most competitive business tax systems. Alberta has:

  • no provincial sales tax
  • no provincial capital taxes
  • no payroll taxes
  • Alberta’s tax advantage is an estimate of the total additional provincial taxes individuals and businesses would pay if Alberta had the same tax system as other provinces.
  • Alberta’s tax advantage is $19.7 billion in 2023-24.
  • Albertans and Alberta businesses continue to pay the lowest overall taxes compared to other provinces

Figure 1. Alberta's tax advantage (2023-24) in comparison to other provincial tax systems (in billions)

Chart showing Alberta tax advantage - breakdown of taxes across Canada

Source: Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Lowest Corporate Tax Rates in Canada

Alberta has the lowest corporate tax rate in Canada at 8%. Alberta has one of the lowest combined federal and provincial corporate tax rates in North America at 23%.

For more information on Alberta’s competitive tax system, visit

Image of a North American map

Source: Government of Alberta, Canada Revenue Agency, US Tax Foundation

Figure 2. Comparison of corporate tax rates across North America

View larger image

Global connectivity

Canada is home to reliable and efficient transportation systems, including road, air, rail, and sea. This gives Canadian businesses effective participation in global supply chains. In addition, Alberta has excellent access to and from Pacific ports and acts as a distribution hub in Western Canada.

Alberta’s Logistics and Accessibility Advantages

Alberta offers competitive access to the Port of Prince Rupert and Port of Vancouver. The Port of Prince Rupert is North America’s closest port to key Asian markets by up to three days. This enables Alberta’s businesses to share in the benefits of the global supply chain.

Export Trade Agreements

Canada has 15 Free Trade Agreements that allow Alberta access to 51 foreign countries and 1.5 billion potential consumers.

These trade agreements include:

     For more information on Alberta’s global connectivity, visit

Large talent pool

Alberta boasts a diverse, young, highly-educated and growing workforce. Two of the top 10 universities in Canada are in Alberta – the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. These 2, plus the numerous other excellent post-secondary institutions that call Alberta home, attract thousands of students from around the globe every year. As a result, Alberta has one of the most highly educated workforces among other jurisdictions in Canada, with half its population aged 25 to 64 having attained post-secondary education.

For more information on Alberta’s large talent pool, visit

Research and Development

As of March 2023, Alberta has over 22 research and innovation facilities that cover areas such as plant based-food development and formulation, crops, cereals, agronomy, biomaterials, and food safety. Some of the research and innovation facilities are:

  • Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator – a multi-tenant facility that provides the infrastructure and services to support the establishment and growth of new companies and new business ventures in Alberta. The Incubator meets federal food-regulation requirements, enabling resident companies to market their products nationally and internationally.
  • Alberta Innovates – ignites technology through over $200 million of annual investment into 72 technology programs.
  • Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute – Canada’s premier centre for bridging world-leading artificial intelligence for adoption in the industry.
  • Bio Processing Innovation Centre – provides essential development and scale-up support for bio-industrial processors. This centre has a suite of facilities, lab – and pilot-scale production equipment, and expertise to help companies succeed.
  • Food Processing Development Centre – offers expertise, knowledge, and facility space as companies strive to develop and introduce new value-added products to the market. InnoTech Alberta - a foremost bio-industrial technology facility with an agricultural research farmland-controlled environment centre.
  • Olds College Smart Farm – commercial-scale applied research venue to accelerate agtech and agri-food development farming operations aimed at improving productivity and sustainability.
  • Result Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) – enables Alberta producers to determine and lead agriculture research. RDAR collaborates with scientists and researchers to tap into talents and fund ideas generated by innovators to push the boundaries of Alberta’s potent.

Strong agriculture industry

Alberta’s abundance of arable land, well-established primary production industry, in addition to a business-friendly environment and an exceptional workforce, has positioned its agriculture and agri-food sector as one of the strongest in North America. Alberta’s major exports include wheat, beef, canola seed, live cattle, crude canola oil, and pork. In 2021, Alberta produced 22.0 million metric tonnes (MT) of different crops and forage.

Figure 3. Alberta Top Crop Production – Million Tonnes (2021)

Image of a bar graph of the top crop production chart

Source: Statistics Canada

Alberta has an international reputation as a reliable source of agriculture and food products. Alberta’s native prairie grasslands provide excellent water sources, a favourable climate, and efficient production systems for livestock production. Alberta is the largest cattle-producing province in Canada – with approximately 4.4 million head of cattle as of January 1, 2022. Alberta also has 1.6 million hogs and 148,000 head of sheep and lambs.

Irrigation infrastructure

Alberta has the largest irrigated area in Canada with nearly 680,000 hectares of irrigated land. More than 80% of this area is located in 13 irrigation districts. Within Alberta's irrigation districts, there are more than 55 reservoirs and approximately 8,000 km of conveyance works, including canals and pipeline which carry nearly 2 billion m3 of water per year.


The Export and Investment Branch offers a concierge service approach to investors. Our concierge services help investors navigate various regulations and procedures to make business set-up and investment happen smoothly and quickly. The concierge services cover 3 main categories: business facilitation support, funding programs and business incorporation.

  • Business facilitation support

    The Export and Investment Branch of Agriculture and Irrigation, introduces potential investors to partners here in Alberta. They have a core responsibility to help organize tailored business meetings between potential investors and partners. Over the years, clients have enjoyed the team's significant expertise in strategically connecting businesses with one another.

    Regulatory pathfinding

    Jurisdictional red tape is a significant concern for most investors. The government of Alberta has identified this challenge and has come up with Alberta’s Red Tape Reduction Act. One of the specialties of the Investment Attraction team is helping investors navigate regulations and liaise with various government agencies to receive the necessary approvals to get their operations started.

    The Investment Attraction team helps potential investors with environmental regulations, immigration requirements, sector-specific advisory services, and workforce recruitment.

    Site selection assistance

    The Investment Attraction team helps clients find the right site for business setup and expansion. The team connects potential investors with municipalities, real estate agents, utility providers, developers, contractors and other professionals that will meet the potential client’s needs in finding the right site location. 

    Investors concerned about the supply chain, infrastructure, transportation, and logistics can contact the Investment Attraction team for further information and troubleshooting. 

    Introduction to service providers

    Investors often have challenges locating service providers in a new environment. The Investment Attraction team connects investors to various service providers and other investment stakeholders, especially in the site selection process. They dedicate their time to ensuring investors have a smooth business set-up by accessing needed services. The team also works with various municipalities across Alberta to help coordinate access to the services your business needs.

  • Funding programs

    Government of Alberta

    The Government of Alberta offers a wide range of grant support and connections with venture companies and financial institutions. Some of the funding programs available are:

    • The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a federal-provincial investment of $406 million in strategic programs and initiatives for the agricultural sector. In consultation with stakeholders, programs were developed under 5 themes: Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change; Products, Market Growth, and Diversification; Science and Research; Risk Management; and Public Trust.
    • Alberta Innovates supports innovation in Alberta through grant funding, coaching, innovation community development, and capital facilitation to help Alberta businesses commercialize new technology and grow the province’s economy. 
    • Emissions Reduction Alberta has two funding streams to help Alberta prosper while reducing emissions. They fund innovative technology projects, as well as infrastructure upgrades for your business.
    • Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) provides Alberta’s agribusinesses and agricultural producers with loans, crop insurance, and farm disaster assistance.

    Federal programs

    • Protein Industries Canada will work with industry partners to create co-investment projects that have the potential to transform the agriculture and food production sector, allowing Canada to secure its position as a global leader in the production of plant-based products and co-products.
    • Business Scale-up and Productivity Program supports businesses at various stages of development, including high-growth firms, wanting to accelerate their growth, scale up, and be more productive and competitive in domestic and global markets. It offers interest-free funding to western Canadian companies.
    • AgriInnovate Program provides repayable contributions for projects that aim to accelerate the commercialization, adoption, and/or demonstration of innovative products, technologies, processes, or services that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability.
    • Strategic Innovation Fund makes sure Canada is a top destination for businesses to invest, grow and create jobs and prosperity for Canadians. The program’s objective is to spur innovation for a better Canada by providing funding for large projects and national innovation ecosystems.
    • Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program encourages businesses of all sizes to conduct research and development in Canada.
    • Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is Canada’s largest agricultural lender. It provides customized financial and business solutions to agri-businesses in Canada.
  • Business incorporation

    The Export and Investment Branch helps potential investors with the relevant information they need for business incorporation procedures and business licenses. Companies across various sectors need different licenses to operate in Alberta; this is where  the team comes in.

    Contact the Agriculture Investment Attraction Section to access the services above.

    How to incorporate a business

    For information on how to incorporate your company in Canada or Alberta, visit:

    The New Western Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) makes it easier for corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships and cooperatives to operate across provincial borders in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Registration and reporting requirements have been simplified or eliminated.


To find out how we can support your agri-business:

Connect with Agriculture Investment Attraction Section