Southern Alberta’s value-added business enterprises are continuing to grow. As much as 30% of all regional employment is directly related to irrigated agriculture. The proportion of southern Albertans engaged in value-added agricultural processing is twice the provincial average.
Some of the players in value-added agri-business include: Canbra Foods Ltd., Empress Foods, Lamb Weston, McCain Foods, Rogers Sugar, Spitz, etc.
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Major investment in value-added agricultural processing continues to take place. In the past few years, both Lamb-Weston and McCain Foods have invested more than $200 million in new plants that get their crops from irrigated agricultural producers. Farm and irrigation equipment and the host of service industries working in agriculture benefit from the increased density of irrigated agriculture. Irrigation is seen as having a direct positive impact on assisting Alberta in reaching its long-term targets of $10 billion in primary production and $20 billion of value-added production.