Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is launching a new manufacturing facility to help emerging Canadian food innovators access new national and global markets by filling a regional gap in food manufacturing.
With a federal investment of $550,000 through Western Economic Diversification Canada, EIA will partner with the Edmonton-based Uproot Food Collective and convert a former flight kitchen space into a new federally certified food production and contract packaging facility.
Uproot Food Collective will be the first long-term tenant of the new Ag-celerator at EIA and will co-lead the construction of the facility with a design focused on advanced food production that offers scalable services for small business food manufacturers.
The location gives members of the facility close access to EIA’s Fresh Cargo Centre. Edmonton International Airport is one of Canada’s premier cargo airports, particularly in the movement of goods between Asia and North America.
Since 2013, over $150M has been invested in cargo infrastructure, including temperature-controlled facilities to support Alberta agri-food exports.
Over the next two years, EIA will significantly expand the Fresh Cargo Centre as part of an ambitious $36M air cargo expansion project.
“The world needs what we grow in Alberta and across the Prairies,” The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies.
“By investing in this new food processing facility, we are ensuring that our producers have access to key services, including certification, packaging, food safety, and retail order tracking that will allow them to reach national and global markets.”
“Canada is one of the world’s top agricultural producers,” Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport.
“Now’s the time to build on that competitive advantage and truly grow agri-food processing and manufacturing.
“We’re passionate about working with innovators such as the Uproot Food Collective.
“We’re focused on helping these small and medium-sized businesses scale and ramp up production to access global markets.”
“Our collaboration with EIA provides a great opportunity to grow the value-added food sector throughout Western Canada, EIA’s goal of fostering regional economic development is a great fit with our mission to get great emerging brands onto more consumer’s dining tables.” Chris Lerohl, CEO Uproot Food Collective.
“EIA is Canada’s innovation airport. This is one more example of their creative approach to the economic impact an airport can have on a community.
“This collaboration with Uproot Foot Collective will provide opportunities to add value to Alberta’s and Western Canada’s agri-food and agri-tech sectors and help local producers access the world.” Malcolm Bruce, CEO Edmonton Global.