Agri-Business & Food Industries Continued

Alberta’s strategic location, transportation infrastructure, and extensive and diverse agriculture staples base crop industry, are well-positioned to be further leveraged with investment in value-added activity. Alberta's extensive network of research and development facilities help develop and commercialize products and processes. Agricultural research has resulted in better production methods, new crop varieties and a large and varied genetic pool of breeding livestock.

The Calgary Region is a production centre for rural agricultural production, enabled by superior global transportation linkages.

In Canada, agrifood success is enabled by:

  • First in food processing productivity in the food and beverage sector
  • State-of-the-art processing and manufacturing facilities
  • Internationally recognized food inspection system (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
  • NAFTA procedures for border facilitation, production certification and investment and intellectual property protection
  • Environmentally responsible production (source)

Key drivers of growth for the agrifood sector include:

  • Increased access to international markets through liberalization of trade agreements.
  • Growth in demand for consumer-oriented, value-added agrifood products.
  • Changes to the domestic regulatory framework in response to international market demands, such as age verification and traceability changes in the livestock sector, organic certification, etc.
  • Research and investment into the functional properties of foods that can fight or prevent disease.
  • Research and investment in the industrial sector, such as bio-lubricants, composite materials and bio-fuels.

Investment opportunities include organic foods, processing, horticulture (flowers, bulbs, berry crops, nurseries, specialty crops and processing), food processing and food production.

Sector Fast Facts

  • In 2011 Alberta represented 20% of Canadian total agri-food exports of $40.6 billion in 2009, and was the third largest agri-food exporter after Ontario and Saskatchewan.
  • Alberta's manufacturing industries employed 123,100 persons in 2009. The largest segment was comprised of food and beverage manufacturing workers at 21,200 or 17.2% of the total.
  • Alberta's food processing sector is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the province, accounting for 17.1% or $12.2 billion (2011) of total manufactured goods ($70.9 billion).
  • Just over two-thirds of Alberta’s agri-food and beverage manufacturing industry in 2009 was concentrated in two segments: meat products and grain and oilseed milling.
  • Alberta’s food and beverage products have high standards and a global reputation for safety and quality.
  • In 2009, Alberta agri-food exports totaled $7.6 billion



Province of Alberta - Agriculture and Rural Development and Agrifood