Where Investment Thrives


Industry Profile


Alberta’s agri-food products are made to meet high standards and have an international reputation for quality.

Alberta's agri-food products are made to meet high standards and have an international reputation for quality. With 50.5 million acres (20.4 million hectares) used for crop and livestock production, Alberta is one of the world’s most productive agricultural economies, producing an abundant supply of agricultural commodities for export and as input for Alberta’s processed products, including canola seed, canola oil, wheat, beef, live cattle and pork.

This abundant and low-priced supply of feedstock, combined with the province’s advanced manufacturing and processing capabilities and a low-cost environment (Agri-food manufacturing costs are 9.5% lower here than in the U.S.) provide extensive value-added opportunities.

Alberta is home to many large food manufacturers, with food and beverage processing industries representing the largest manufacturing sector in the province. 

Alberta’s major products include:

  • beef
  • grain and oilseed milling (including canola oil and malt)
  • dairy products
  • animal feed
  • beverages

Areas of Expertise

The largest food and beverage processing segment is meat product manufacturing, accounting for half ($7.3 billion) of total manufacturing sales in 2016. The province has earned a strong reputation in the beef industry as a result of clean forage and grain, humane methods of raising cattle, sophisticated feedlots, high-volume processing plants, world-class infrastructure, and the most rigorous inspection practices in the world.  With all of these elements, and our uniquely barley-fed beef we have become famous around the world for beef that satisfies the most discriminating of customers.

Alberta also produces high volumes of quality cereal grains and canola. These grains are processed into feed, bakery products, malt, nutraceuticals and industrial products. The oilseed sector also creates many value-added products. This sector consists of crushers, refiners and companies that process oils into products like margarine and salad oils.

Research and Development

Alberta has more than 22 research and innovation facilities specializing in crops and cereals, poultry and swine research, agronomy, biomaterials and food safety. Among these facilities as Alberta’s Food Processing Development Centre and the Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator, which is the largest facility of its kind in the world.


Alberta’s agriculture and food industry is export-oriented, and 48% of food and beverage exports are value-added exports. Alberta is the third largest exporter of processed agricultural and food products in Canada. In 2016, Alberta’s top export markets for food products were the United States, China, Japan, Mexico and Hong Kong.

GDP +3.4% y/y
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REVENUES +3.1% y/y
Total Revenue
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EXPORTS -1.3% y/y
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Related Content

Related Content


Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) - https://www.alberta.ca/capital-investment-tax-credit.aspx
CITC is a tax credit to encourage manufacturing, processing and tourism infrastructure companies to make capital investment in Alberta.


Canadian Agricultural Partnership - https://cap.alberta.ca/CAP/
CAP is a five-year, $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial investment in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector set to begin in April 2018, and is the successor of the 2013-18 Growing Forward 2 partnership.


Value-Added and Agribusinesses Program (VAAP) - https://afsc.ca/Default.aspx?cid=3756
Loans of up to $5 million are available for crop insurance and farm income disaster assistance.


Workforce Development Program - http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/general/progserv.nsf/all/pgmsrv338
These workforce productivity improvement and retention grants cover up to 80% of eligible activities to a maximum of $25,000.


Agri-Innovation Program - http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/programs-and-services/list-of-programs-and-services/agriinnovation-program/?id=1460123349608
This program pushes r&d projects through commercialization with a maximum funding of $10M a year.


Alberta bio-industrial opportunities - http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/All/bt14861
This area of Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provides business development and technical services for businesses involved in bio-based innovation, development and commercialization.


Canada-Alberta Jobs Grant (CAJG) - http://www.albertacanada.com/opportunity/employers/jobgrant.aspx
CAJG is an employer-driven training program where employers and government share the cost of training new and existing employees.


Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit - http://www.finance.alberta.ca/publications/tax_rebates/corporate/sred1.html
SR&ED is a federal tax incentive program designed to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development in Canada.


Agri-Food Export Catalogue - http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/trade14246/$FILE/export_catalogue_july11_2017.pdf
Find agriculture and food products and services from Alberta, Canada. This catalogue was designed for international importers, distributors or buyers located outside of Canada.


Export Profile: Alberta Agri-Food Products and Services - http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/trade14246/$FILE/2017Jul_ab_export_profile_11x17.pdf
There are 40,638 farms and over 50 million acres (20 million hectares) of total farmland area dedicated to crop and livestock production


Alberta Agriculture and Forestry - http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/trade11186
The Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provides information about importing and exporting agriculture and food products.


For Investment Services:

Mario Orellana, Investment Officer
E-mail: mario.orellana@gov.ab.ca
Telephone: 780-422-7887

For Export Services

Annalisa Baer, Director, International Relations and Marketing Section
E-mail: annalisa.baer@gov.ab.ca
Telephone: 780-427-4148

Albert Eringfeld, Manager, East Asia and Oceania
E-mail: albert.eringfeld@gov.ab.ca
Telephone: 780-415-4814

Grant Winton, Manager, Central and South Asia, Middle East and Africa
E-mail: grant.winton@gov.ab.ca
Telephone: 780-644-2403

Paola Zaragoza, Manager, Americas and European Union
E-mail: paola.zaragoza@gov.ab.ca
Telephone: 780-638-3831