by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent
Champion Petfoods, one of Morinville’s largest employers, is assuring the public that they have no plans to leave their home facility in Morinville anytime soon after concerns about a massive new manufacturing site being constructed in Parkland County. The response came following public concerns to Council following the company’s announcement of a new $200 million 420,000 square foot facility, in addition to an already existing site in Auburn, Kentucky.
The company sent their CEO, Frank Budzy, to present to Council on their continuing growth and commitment to continue to operate the Morinville facility. Burdzy said the Morinville facility is “a tremendous asset, and has a great heritage for us, and financed our capability to do what we do, whether it is in the US or elsewhere.”
Burdzy shared the company’s plan for the Morinville centre, saying they would either change or rebuild the Morinville facility to support the development of new products with even higher food grade standards to meet strict regulations of some new markets the company has not yet broken into.
Burdzy also noted that he expects the parkland site will have some effects on the Morinville plant, saying “my expectation is, when the Parkland site opens in 2019, we will initiate a fairly substantial construction and renewal process here so that we can essentially take down most of the location… to redesign the kitchen in a way that can deliver to new markets that are currently not accessible.”
Staff at the Morinville kitchen facility may face some transition with the opening of the new Parkland facility, but Burdzy claimed it is a priority for the company to keep families in Morinville. He also said the company aims to “attract new families” to work for the company in Morinville in the future.
Also citing the company’s 20-person-strong BAFRINO research centre in Morinville, Burdzy claimed this shows “a pretty strong commitment to Morinville.”
The company is an international exporter, with the goal of exporting to 84 countries by 2020.
Council thanked Burdzy for his presentation and the reassurance to them and the community. They swiftly accepted the presentation for information after a brief comment from Mayor Holmes on how impressed the provincial government has been with the advanced facility in Morinville.