Food development centre gets $10-million boost

Crop commissions welcome funding to expand the Leduc food development facility

A $10-million expansion of the food development facility in Leduc is being welcomed by the provincial wheat and barley commissions.

“We hope this capital injection will be a catalyst for further innovation from the Food Processing Development Centre,” said Alberta Barley chair Mike Ammeter, who farms near Sylvan Lake.

The centre and Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator will gain an additional 2,350 square metres of business incubation and development space. The centre provides equipment and services to help new and established companies develop their products, test their business plans, and grow their business.

“As farmers in this province we are growing high-quality food ingredients for international markets, so it is great to see this type of investment to further advance value here at home,” said wheat commission chair Kevin Auch, who farms near Carmangay.

The centre helped Siwin Foods, a maker of ready-to-eat meals such as potstickers and stir-fry sizzlers, get off the ground, said company president Qiang Lin.

“The food-processing centre in Leduc has supported our company in its development and helped create the climate for our success,” he said. “We have now built a new 3,250-square-metre facility in Edmonton, employ 47 people, and ship our Alberta-grown and -made products across Canada and recently listed with a major retailer in Japan.”

Alberta’s food and beverage sector is No. 2 in manufacturing in the province, employs about 25,500 people, and generates sales of more than $13 billion.

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

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