On June 29, Champion Petfoods broke ground on their pet food facility, named NorthStar Kitchens, in Parkland County, Alberta, Canada. The pet food facility will contribute CAD250 million in direct capital investment into the region and create 200 jobs. Canadian federal and provincial governments provided funds for the expansion and development of the pet food facility.
The construction of Champion Petfoods NorthStar kitchens is expected to generate 340 construction jobs, and Champion will tap into regional suppliers for ingredients, services and equipment to produce pet food products for its export markets in more than 80 countries.
“We are currently selling our foods in over 80 countries around the world and, with this new expansion, we will not only create a positive impact with the local economy, but also export an Alberta-made, agricultural, value-added product around the world,” said Frank Burdzy, Champion Petfoods president and CEO, in a press release.
Champion Petfoods’ 400,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to begin operating in the spring of 2019. It will be built by Gray Construction Canada Company and will be able to produce 150,000 tonnes (165,347 US tons) of dry pet food and 500 tonnes (551 US tons) of freeze-dried pet food and treats once fully operational.
The federal and provincial governments are providing more than CAD4 million for the expansion and development of Alberta’s Champion Petfoods production facility.
Champion Petfoods received CAD498,000 through the federal-provincial-territorial Growing Forward 2 initiative for engineering work on the pet food facility. Alberta Transportation is contributing CAD3.5 million to Parkland County to develop an intersection for site access and Alberta’s Economic Development and Trade group is providing site-selection support.
“Champion Petfoods’ expansion means hundreds of new jobs for Albertans and a more resilient, diversified local economy for Parkland County,” said Deron Bilous, Alberta minister of economic development and trade, in a press release.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.