Central Alberta Food Processors Expand and Grow

Tiras Dairies is one of five central Alberta food processors growing their businesses with the help of government investment.

Minister Carlier checking out the production facility with Olga Payne from Tiras Dairies

The federal and provincial governments are providing $2 million in grants through Growing Forward 2 to help central Alberta food processors upgrade equipment, expand capacity and improve efficiency to meet a growing demand for high-quality, value-added products.

“The agri-business sector is a key driver of growth in the Canadian economy and a source of good, well-paying jobs for the middle class. These projects will also help to increase the demand for products from Canadian farmers and the broader supply chain.”

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

“Alberta’s food processing sector is a significant pillar of our agriculture industry and a major employer across the province. Supporting companies as they improve their operations helps contribute to their long-term success, strengthens the agriculture sector as a whole and further diversifies Alberta’s economy.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

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

Camrose-based Tiras Dairies Inc., which produces Mediterranean-style cheeses, received approximately $250,000 through Growing Forward 2 to upgrade its production facility and improve production processes.

“We know how important it is to adapt to change and increase our productivity through automation to stay ahead in this competitive sector. With the government’s support, we have been able to increase production of our award-winning cheeses, reduce product waste and increase our purchases from local milk producers in Alberta.”

Emmanouil Georgantelis, Tiras Dairies

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

Additional agri-food processors benefiting from Growing Forward 2 grants include:

  • New Leaf Essentials – to buy equipment for its new pulse milling and fractioning facility and enhance its dry and wet processing capacity.
  • Sungold Specialty Meats Ltd. – toward a portion of the costs to purchase new cooling equipment and increase operations to meet consumer demands for lamb, goat and mutton products.
  • OlymelSEC/LP – to buy and install an Advanced Meat Recovery System to improve production process.
  • Trochu Meat Processors Ltd. (Sunterra Meats) – to purchase processing equipment.

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.