Champion Petfoods to build new plant in Parkland County

by Morinville News Staff

Three years after breaking ground in Auburn, Kentucky for their new state-of-the-art, custom-fitted DogStar Kitchens, Champion Petfoods is set to break ground on another new facility in Parkland County.

Called NorthStar Kitchens, the purpose-built project will be developed by Gray Construction Canada Company, and will continue to position Champion as a global leader in pet food innovation exporting to more than 80 countries, the company says.

Situated on on 75 acres of farmland, the approximately 400,000 square foot project will house kitchens that will prepare both kibble and freeze-dry foods and treats. The Parkland County development will also include a full on-site distribution warehouse and logistics center.

“We are extremely excited to be bringing the world’s best kitchens back to our home, here in Alberta,” said Champion Petfoods President and CEO Frank Burdzy in a news release Tuesday morning. “We are once again thrilled to welcome Gray as our trusted partner as they truly are experts in delivering custom-fitted state-of-the-art kitchens that will advance our Biologically Appropriate, Fresh Regional Ingredients and Never Outsourced mandate. Additionally, these new kitchens will expand our cooking capacity which will allow us to build more trusted partnerships in the place we have called home for over 30 years.”

The company is planning to break ground in late June on the new kitchens, which are scheduled to begin preparing ACANA and ORIJEN foods in the spring of 2019.

Once operational, the company expansion is anticipated to create 200 new jobs. Additionally, more than 95 percent of the project workforce will be staffed locally from Alberta.

Champion says it chose Parkland County as the location for the new kitchens because of their business-friendly focus and strong agricultural community.

“The council is tremendously excited to welcome Champion Petfoods to Parkland County and our community,” said Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec. “The facility is a significant investment that will create hundreds of jobs in our local area.”

Champion says it is weighing all options to determine the best use for the current kitchens in Morinville. Recently, Champion opened the $5.9 million BAFRINO Research & Innovation Centre. The company says the centre will not be moving.

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7 Comments

  1. Hopefully all the whiners haven’t forced Champion to consider moving from Morinville! This would be devastating to our already high taxes! Suck it up people, nobody complained when the town begged Champion to move here long ago because they assisted greatly with our tax base! Perhaps you should go after the old councils who approved the rezoning of Cardiff Corners area from commercial to residential AFTER Champion was built! That area was supposed to all be industrial area until the town got greedy!!!!

  2. Of all the comments here a good percentage site the odor issue and how Champion has dragged their feet on mitigating the odor and what appears to be a town council, for the most part (some exceptions), have turned a blind eye to resolving this problem for the citizens of Morinville. If someone questions what I just wrote tell me what provisions are in place to complain about the odor and what would be the Town’s resolve.
    Let’s talk about taxes….does anyone out there actually know what they pay in taxes. Somebody come up with a supported accurate figure. Champion Foods are not being forced to move from Morinville. And no one should have to “suck it up”. What is needed here is for Champion Foods to pay their fair share of taxes and mitigate their odor problem. Putting the fear of higher taxes, should Champion decide to move, is simply fear mongering. The increase in taxes can be controlled by smart planning and good business sense…..just saying.

    • “Smelly”, the town does receive inquiries from people when odour is a problem. We forward concerns to Champion and do have a process in place in terms of communicating with them to ensure they are keeping up to the standards that have been set in our bylaws. Further, Champion does have a call in line dedicated to addressing concerns from residents.

      Of course, there can be no smell for weeks, and once there is a smell, we get emails. That’s fine but we all need to realize that odour is the reality of that type of business. The CEO of Champion himself has presented to Council multiple times about the work Champion is doing/has done to mitigate odour. I, personally, am pleased with their efforts generally, but there is always room for improvement.

      You may feel that Council has not done enough to address the problem, but from my perspective as not only a resident of this community, but also as a Councillor, having a major employer in our community, and a internationally known and respected business here in our community is worth a few days of smell.

      In terms of taxes, I assure you they pay the rate that is required by our bylaws, etc.

      If you’d like to chat more about the process to voice complaints regarding smell, feel free to email me at bfitzgerald@morinville.ca.

  3. Brennan; Questions on your comments…
    1. You would have a record of all of the concerns forwarded to Champion Foods, I’m sure. Maybe you can produce them in this paper and also what the resolve was?
    2. You write about standards set in the Morinville bylaws…what are those standards and what was the barometer used (define in detail) to set those standards? Example: is there any hazardous product coming from their emissions and if not what are the checks and balances put in place by the council?
    3. You write that everything is fine and that we should accept an odor from this business….what else should we “just accept”? and does that go for all taxpayers?
    4. You write you the council are fine with Champion’s efforts to mitigate the odor problems and that the council has done enough to address the problem. Is this just not washing your hands of the problem and capitulating to big business that is a major employer. Champion can be a better corporate Citizen by stopping the Smell.
    5. You write “in terms of taxes I assure you that they pay a rate that is required by our bylaws”…so what is that exact rate in dollars compared to other business in this town and is there any subsidies given to Champion from the council??? ” Putting the fear of higher taxes, should Champion decide to move, is simply fear mongering. The Council needs to react to the ALL TAX PAYERS, that, also the people of Morinville!!

    Re you wishing us to chat more about the process to voice complaints would just be futile, unless you can produce the facts and details addressed in these questions.

    In closing, We (the people of Mornville) need a valid answer to this question
    “Should we decide to sell our house and a valid buyer showed up to purchase our house on the day that the odor is prevalent, do you think that person would buy our house?” Also relate this question to Businesses in this town.

    • I respect that this is something that you have a number of questions and concerns on and I’d be happy to help get some answers. That’s my job.

      However, before I put in the time and effort to assist you in this regard, I would prefer you email or call me so I can know who it is I’m addressing, and can provide you with the information you’re looking for in an effective and efficient manner.

      Again, email is bfitzgerald@morinville.ca and phone is 780-293-5054.

      I don’t think it would be appropriate or helpful (or even possible) to simply publish every complaint we’ve ever received in the paper. And it’s not possible to have a thorough conversation on a comment section of a website, in my opinion.

      Hope to hear from you.

      ~Brennan

  4. Brennan; This comment section in this paper is open to the public. Not only do we have an interest in getting replies to our questions listed above in this public comment section but we feel confident that the other taxpayers of Morinville who have read this article and the comment section do have an interest in the answers to these questions. You opened the door and you need to answer in public the questions put forth and not hide or be selective with what information you choose to share.

    And now for something completely different

    When you write that you “don’t think it would be appropriate or helpful” again you’ve left the door open as the public’s perception to your answer would indicate that there have been multitudes of complaints. Okay…so let’s not publish them in full but give the Morinville taxpayers the numbers of how many complaints there have been over the past five years and what was the end resolve.

    If you are still insistent on hiding, at least answer this question:
    In your position as a Councillor, what is your response or opinion to this question….“Should we decide to sell our house and a valid buyer showed up to purchase our house on the day that the odor is prevalent, do you think that person would buy our house?” Also relate this question to Businesses in this town.

    The taxpayers of Morinville await your open reply.

  5. Brennan when you wrote in your reply “I respect that this is something that you have a number of questions and concerns on and I’d be happy to help get some answers. That’s my job.” The Mornivile Tax payers thought you would respond to the questions asked on May 18,2017.. all we are hearing is cricket’s.. It’s looks like nothing is going to happen and by that the questions and your lack of response will fade into political history.. THE END..

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