Alberta food centre to expand facility with new funding

The food processing business incubator in Leduc, Alta., received a $10 million funding boost June 14 from the Alberta government.

The capital will be used to add 2,350 sq. metres of space to the Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator and Food Processing Development Centre.

The facility has equipment and services to help people develop and test products and business plans with the goal of starting businesses or launching products.

Touted as part of the Alberta Jobs Plan, the investment is expected to support new business ventures and create jobs, said a government news release.

Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier said in the release that food processing complements the agriculture industry and contributes to diversification through value-added products.

Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous emphasized the jobs angle in the same release.

“Our agri-food entrepreneurs employ tens of thousands of Alberta workers, and every year the Food Processing Development Centre helps as many as 100 new and existing businesses grow and succeed. Expanding this facility means more jobs and a more diversified economy that builds on our strengths,” said Bilous.

Food and beverage ventures account for sales of more than $13 billion in Alberta and provide about 25,500 jobs, the release said.

The Alberta Wheat Commission praised the investment.

“Seeing the crops we grow being used as ingredients to make new and innovative products is exciting to growers,” said AWC chair Kevin Auch.

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