Grants to Support New Food-processing Jobs

The federal and provincial governments are providing more than $4 million for the expansion and development of Alberta’s Champion Petfoods production facility.

Champion Petfoods LP received $498,000 through the federal-provincial-territorial Growing Forward 2 initiative for engineering work on the new expansion. Alberta Transportation is contributing $3.5 million to Parkland County to develop an intersection for site access and Economic Development and Trade is providing site-selection support.

Champion Petfoods broke ground on the new facility in Parkland County last week – a high-tech kitchen that will inject $250 million in direct capital investment into the region and create 200 jobs.

“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. Our government understands that innovation is key to ensuring the success of the sector and is pleased to support this important project that will increase the need for new and more end products from Canadian farmers and the broader supply chain.”

Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“One of the strengths of Alberta’s agriculture sector is its diversity. Alberta offers a wide range of high-quality products and we are helping get those goods to consumers by supporting the growth and development of Alberta’s food processors, including world-class pet food makers, like Champion, who are building a stronger, more diversified economy and creating long-term jobs for Albertans.”

Oneil Carlier, Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

“Projects such as this are at the heart of Transportation’s mandate to enhance Albertans’ quality of life with a safe, efficient and effective transportation system that supports ongoing development and diversification of Alberta’s economy.”

Brian Mason, Alberta Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure

“Champion Petfoods’ expansion means hundreds of new jobs for Albertans and a more resilient, diversified local economy for Parkland County — that’s why we’re committed to making sure Alberta continues to be the best place in Canada to invest and do business. Together with homegrown industry leaders like Champion, we are building on our strengths and making life better for Alberta families.”

Deron Bilous, Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade

“We are thrilled to be able to expand our business and are excited to bring the world’s best kitchens home to our agricultural roots of Alberta. We are currently selling our foods in over 80 countries around the world and, with this new expansion, we will not only create a positive impact with the local economy, but also export an Alberta-made, agricultural, value-added product around the world.”

Frank Burdzy, Champion Petfoods president and CEO

“Strategic investments in innovation help agri-businesses, like Champion Petfoods, to better compete and capitalize on new opportunities. This support demonstrates our Government’s commitment to create the conditions that allow the agri-food sector to grow the economy, create new well-paying jobs and grow the middle class.”

MP Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre)

In 2016, Alberta’s value-added sector, including food and processing manufacturing sales, was worth $14.6 billion and was the largest manufacturing employer in the province, representing more than 22,400 jobs.

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.

The construction of Champion Petfoods NorthStar kitchens is expected to generate 340 construction jobs, and Champion will tap into regional suppliers for ingredients, services and equipment to produce pet food products for its export markets in more than 80 countries.

The new 400,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to begin operating in the spring of 2019. It will be built by Gray Construction Canada Company and will be able to produce 150,000 tonnes of dry pet food and 500 tonnes of freeze-dried pet food and treats once fully operational.