Alberta’s plant-based food sector receives federal support

Parliamentary Secretary Terry Duguid announces more than $2.6 million to help Alberta businesses grow and create jobs

EDMONTON, AB, Aug. 12, 2020 /CNW/ – Canada’s farmers and agri-food producers have been hit hard by COVID-19. The Government of Canada has taken significant action to help them through this difficult period, and is committed to giving them the tools they need to be part of our economic recovery and emerge stronger and more competitive than before. Innovation is essential to making this a reality, which is why the government is working closely with producers and organizations to help them create jobs and increase production.

WD’s investment of more than $2.6 million for the Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc, Alberta, will help companies develop new plant-based foods and products (CNW Group/Western Economic Diversification Canada)

Federal support to help agri-food companies develop new products, create jobs

Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced more than $2.6 million in federal funding for the Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc, Alberta.

This investment will support the installation of equipment specifically focused on supporting companies to develop new plant-based foods and products. Plant-based foods represent a significant economic opportunity for western Canadian firms seeking to meet growing global and consumer demands for protein-rich foods that are healthy and environmentally sustainable. With Western Canada already producing high-protein pulse crops such as peas, lentils, and chickpeas, the goal of this initiative is to enable agri-food producers to turn these crops into higher value ingredients or finished products before exporting them to markets around the globe.

Operated by the Government of Alberta, the Food ProcessingDevelopment Centre is a fully equipped pilot plant and product development facility. It is staffed with experienced food scientists, engineers, and technologists who work with businesses to develop and fine-tune their products. Over the next four years, Government of Canada support will enable the Centre to assist approximately 100 small- and medium-sized companies, and potentially bring up to 30 new products to market.                                                                                                                                        


“The wellbeing of all Canadians—physically, socially, and economically—begins with a safe food supply. Western Canada’s farmers and agri-food businesses are essential to this, and we’re here for them. This investment will help ensure Alberta’s agri-food companies can access critical resources needed to develop new products and capitalize on new market opportunities for plant-based foods. Initiatives such as this are vital to enabling our agri-food companies to scale up, support good jobs, and ultimately ensure the security of the safe, nutritious food supply we all rely on.”
–   The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“This funding will help Alberta’s agri-food producers innovate, expand, and create value-added products for market. With this investment, Western Economic Diversification Canada is helping to create a reliable and secure food supply chain in Western Canada that is providing employment for residents across the region.”
–  Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada) and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency)

“Agriculture is a critical piece in Alberta’s Recovery Plan which aims to attract more than $1.4 billion in value-added processing. This investment will enhance the Food Processing Development Centre, which is staffed with experienced food scientists, engineers and technologists who work with entrepreneurs to develop and fine-tune their products, ultimately strengthening and expanding the capability of Alberta’s food processors to meet the challenges of the marketplace. Alberta fully recognizes the value of the Centre and has invested nearly $100 million in it since 1984. We welcome this funding from the federal government which will support Alberta’s plan to attract investment by focusing on sustainable growth and diversity in our crop and food production sectors, while creating stable jobs for Albertans at a time when they need it most.”
–  Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Quick Facts

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is investing $2,682,249 towards the Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc, Alberta.
  • The funding provided by WD will be used to purchase, install and operate fractionation equipment to complement and complete processes currently available to the private sector at the Food Processing Development Centre.
  • The additional equipment and technical expertise will provide plant protein product innovation and value add to commodity and semi-processed agricultural and food products. The Centre will help western Canadian small- and medium-sized firms to enter the plant protein market by providing access to the needed equipment and technical support services to develop their products, prior to investing the large amount of capital required for a full-scale processing facility.
  • In addition to WD funding, the Government of Alberta is also investing more than $919,000 towards this project, with industry partners providing more than $700,000.

Associated Links

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SOURCE Western Economic Diversification Canada

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