Alberta Supports Growth in Agri-food Sector

The provincial and federal governments are supporting the largest ever private investment in Lethbridge’s history.

Premier Notley and Minister Bilous join Robert Irving and Lethbridge Mayor Spearman to break ground on the new Cavendish potato-processing facility in Lethbridge

Premier Rachel Notley was in Lethbridge to participate in the sod-turning for Cavendish Farms’ new $360-million, state-of-the-art frozen potato-processing facility that will see up to 400 construction workers on site at its peak.

This project will create greater opportunities for local producers and increase the province’s value-added food-processing capabilities. The new Cavendish facility is expected to create demand for an additional 9,000 acres of potatoes, which at $3,500-$4,000 an acre is one of the highest-value agricultural crops grown in the province.

“The record investment Cavendish Farms is making in Lethbridge is good for our farmers and producers, good for the entire community, and good for our growing economy. Together with the City of Lethbridge, the federal government and the good folks at Cavendish, we are creating more opportunities for our agricultural workers, more jobs for people in the area, and even more reasons to be proud of an industry central to who we are as Albertans.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

“Agri-business is a key driver of growth in the Canadian economy and the single largest job-generator in the country. Our government is pleased to support projects that increase returns for Canadian farmers and strengthen Canada’s middle class.”

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

“Alberta’s agricultural products have a worldwide reputation for their quality, value and safety. Supporting the expansion of Alberta’s agri-food sector creates new markets for our farmers to sell their products and expands the capacity of our processors to create products that meet global demand.”

Oneil Carlier, Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

“Today marks another step towards our new, state-of-the-art Cavendish Farms plant in Lethbridge. This significant investment in this community reinforces our commitment to the region and our employees, growers and customers. The Alberta and federal governments and the City of Lethbridge have established the general infrastructure necessary to allow us to build our new plant here.”

Robert K. Irving, president of Cavendish Farms

The value-added agri-food sector is recognized as a significant economic engine and job creator in Alberta. In 2016, this sector was worth a record $14.6 billion – the third consecutive year-over-year increase – and was the largest manufacturing employer in the province, representing more than 22,400 jobs.

The Alberta and federal governments are contributing $20 million to the City of Lethbridge for municipal infrastructure developments through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and Alberta’s Capital Plan. As well, through the federal-provincial-territorial Growing Forward 2 initiative, both governments are providing $1.88 million for pre-engineering studies and other purposes.

Economic Development and Trade is also providing more than $1 million through the Community and Regional Economic Support program to support the Lethbridge Agri-food Processing Capacity Development project and the Lethbridge Airport Master Plan.

Growing Forward 2 is a federal-provincial-territorial partnership with a mandate to drive an innovative, competitive and profitable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. In the past five years, Growing Forward 2 has invested more than $406 million in Alberta’s agricultural sector.