Alberta’s agriculture industry is important to the province’s economy, accounting for more than $16.2 billion in exports in 2022. The province’s agri-food processing industry is growing, with food manufacturing sales reaching a record $22.7 billion in 2022, more than 20 per cent of total provincial manufacturing sales.
The government is ensuring the industry continues to grow by expanding the Leduc food centre’s Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator (APBI) by 2,300 square metres. This expansion will allow more food processing companies to take the next steps to grow their business and put more food on tables around the world.
“Alberta’s food industry is known for its affordable, high-quality products that are helping to feed the world. This expansion is a great step in helping Alberta’s agri-food sector continue to grow. When our agri-food industry thrives, it drives innovation and boosts Alberta’s economy.”
One of two facilities in the Leduc food centre, the APBI helps small businesses prepare products for sale within Canada and around the world by providing them with the tools they need to meet federal food regulation requirements. Since the APBI was established by Alberta’s government in 2007, it has helped small businesses produce a wide variety of value-added food products for retail, wholesale, hospitality and food service markets. These products range from dumplings to baked goods and even fully cooked meat items.
“This expansion shows our government’s commitment to supporting economic growth. Investing in agricultural infrastructure diversifies our economy, creates high-quality jobs and helps Alberta’s food companies and farmers expand and pursue new business opportunities.”
Pre-renovation, the area was able to support seven businesses. With renovations completed, up to nine companies can now lease a food processing suite and access product development support, business services and shared staff amenities. Businesses typically lease the suites for three to five years, after which they graduate to their own processing facility. Food processing companies can get more information about the suites and lease application online.
“We’ve taken Groundswell from zero to fully operational with the support we’ve received from the business development and food science and safety teams at the business incubator. Leasing a suite and reconfiguring it for new product lines helps us manage capital costs as we prepare to move into our own facility. Working here has enabled Groundswell to evolve and develop innovative new products that we sell to consumers across North America.”
- With more than 8,500 square metres of food processing space, the Leduc food centre has the largest food manufacturing business incubator in North America.
- The Leduc food centre’s second facility, the Food Processing Development Centre, opened in 1984 and today it:
- has a culinary lab, product development laboratories and commercial pilot plant
- works with processed food companies of all sizes to develop and commercialize products
- has research partnerships with food companies and post-secondaries that inspires innovation and growth in the food industry