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Northern Alberta food processors upgrade, expand

Four northern Alberta food processors are growing their businesses with the help of new government investment. 

The federal and provincial governments are providing up to $1.3 million in grants through Growing Forward 2 to help northern Alberta food processors meet a growing demand for Alberta’s high-quality agricultural products.

“Agri-food and beverage processing companies play an important role in the Canadian economy. Through these investments, we are creating opportunities for Alberta’s agri-food sector to grow and prosper, and create good jobs to strengthen the middle class.”

Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

“Alberta’s food and beverage processing sector benefits farmers and agri-businesses across the province and builds on our international reputation for high-quality food products. We continue to support this sector, expand its capacity and increase efficiency.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

These investments reflect the governments’ commitment to support jobs in food processing and help value-added businesses pursue economic opportunities and respond to consumer demand.

Bunge Canada received approximately $280,000 through Growing Forward 2 to help upgrade its oilseed processing facility in Fort Saskatchewan.

“Bunge has a strong footprint in Canada. Thanks to the new equipment purchased through the Growing Forward 2 program, we made that footprint even stronger by improving the quality and efficiency of one of our plants.”

Weston Kendall, maintenance & reliability manager, Bunge Canada, Fort Saskatchewan

ADM Agri-Industries, which produces renewable products for food, animal feed and chemical and energy uses, received $546,000 towards the costs of new processing equipment.

“The Growing Forward 2 grants have helped fund investments in Lloydminster that provide an easy, accessible way for local farmers to access global markets for canola.”

Tim Cassidy, commercial manager, ADM Agri-Industries, Lloydminster

Champion Petfoods received $288,990 for equipment and systems to increase productivity and reduce energy consumption.

“We are very grateful and proud of the ongoing partnership between the Alberta government and Champion Petfoods through the Growing Forward 2 program. Our mission at Champion Petfoods is to make Biologically Appropriate™ pet foods, from fresh regional ingredients, and we never outsource. With this focus on using fresh regional ingredients, everything that we are able to partner with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry on has a positive impact on our regional agricultural community.”

Frank Burdzy, president and Chief Executive Officer, Champion Petfoods

In 2016, food and beverage processing generated $14.6 billion in sales in Alberta and was the largest manufacturing employer in the province, accounting for more than 22,400 jobs.

Another northern Alberta agri-food processor benefiting from a Growing Forward 2 grant is GFR Ingredients which purchased equipment for the production of high-protein hemp powder products.

The Growing Forward 2 initiative is a federal-provincial-territorial partnership that provides programs and services to drive an innovative, competitive and profitable Canadian agriculture and agri-foods sector. By the end of the Growing Forward 2 initiative in March 2018, it is expected that more than $406 million will have been invested in strategic programs for Alberta’s agricultural sector.


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