by Morinville News Staff
Champion Petfoods LP held a groundbreaking ceremony commemorating the building of its new state-of-the-art, custom-fitted NorthStar Kitchens in Parkland County Thursday. The company says the new kitchens will be cooking by the spring of 2019, advancing the company’s mandate to make biologically appropriate pet foods for a growing global demand.
Champion and construction partner Gray will engineer, design and build a $250-million 400,000 square foot new NorthStar Kitchens on 75 acres of farmland in Parkland County. Once built, the new kitchens will continue to serving Champion’s Canada and more than 80 countries internationally. The site will also house a full on-site distribution warehouse and logistics center. The company expects 340 construction jobs and 200 employees when operational.
The new kitchens will be able to produce 150,000 tonnes of dry pet food and 500 tonnes of freeze-dried pet food and treats once fully operational.
Champion said it chose Parkland County as the location for the new kitchens because of their business-friendly focus and strong agricultural community.
“We are thrilled to officially break ground and begin the process of bringing the world’s best kitchens home,” said Frank Burdzy, president and CEO of Champion Petfoods in a release Thursday night. “We are excited as these new kitchens will not only allow us to innovate and advance our Biologically Appropriate mandate but also allow us to satisfy pet lovers everywhere who trust us by feeding their pets ACANA and ORIJEN.”
Champions new project comes with federal and provincial assistance. Both orders of government are providing more than $4 million in combined funding for the expansion and development of Alberta’s Champion Petfoods production facility.
The company received $498,000 through the federal-provincial-territorial Growing Forward 2 initiative for engineering work on the new expansion. Additionally, Alberta Transportation is contributing $3.5 million to Parkland County to develop an intersection for site access, and Economic Development and Trade is providing site-selection support.
“The agri-business sector is a key driver of growth in the Canadian economy and a source of good, well-paying jobs for the middle class,: said Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, in a release Thursday. “Our government understands that innovation is key to ensuring the success of the sector and is pleased to support this important project that will increase the need for new and more end products from Canadian farmers and the broader supply chain.”
The actual 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.
Champion has recently built a $6 million research and development facility in Morinvillie; however, the company has not announced what they may do with the exisiting kitchen facility in the community.