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.