New Champion Petfoods facility to create hundreds of jobs in Parkland County

FILE: Dog food being prepared at Champion Petfoods facility in Kentucky. Source: Gray Construction

A new pet food facility announced west of Edmonton in Parkland County is expected to create about 340 construction jobs and another 200 jobs at the plant itself.

Alberta-based Champion Petfoods LP is building a new state-of-the-art, custom-fitted “kitchen” to produce Acana and Orijen dog and cat food.

The 400,000 square foot “NorthStar Kitchens” will be in the Acheson industrial area, which is situated between Edmonton and Spruce Grove and near two major roadways: Highway 16 (Yellowhead) and Highway 16A.

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“We are extremely excited to be bringing the world’s best kitchens back to our home, here in Alberta,” Champion Petfoods President and CEO Frank Burdzy said.

Champion said it chose Parkland County because of its business-friendly focus and strong agricultural community.

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“Council is tremendously excited to welcome Champion Petfoods to Parkland County and the Acheson Industrial Park,” Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec said. “The facility is a significant investment that will create hundreds of jobs in our local area.”

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Champion said construction is set to begin in June and the facility will be built by Gray Construction Canada Company. Once open in spring 2019, the facility is expected to employ upwards of 200 full-time workers.

Rendering of the Champion Petfoods NorthStar Kitchens being built in the Acheson industrial park in Parkland County, Alta.

The kitchen will have state-of-the-art advanced technology, “allowing the company to feature fresh meat inclusions previously unheard of in the pet food industry,” according to a news release.

In addition to making kibble and freeze-dry foods and treats, the facility will also have an on-site distribution warehouse and logistics centre.

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The county said Champion Petfoods is the second business to move to region because of its Major Business Attraction Program, which aims to attract high-quality business by having a dedicated team to aid in the process of either building or relocating to Parkland County.

Earlier this month, the county announced a $85-million Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. wood pellet plant would be built in the hamlet of Entwistle.

“Champion Petfoods’ expansion means hundreds of new jobs for Albertans and a more resilient, diversified local economy for Parkland County – that’s why we’re committed to making sure Alberta continues to be the best place in Canada to invest and do business,” said Deron Bilous, Alberta’s minister of Economic Development and Trade.

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Champion Petfoods prides itself on making “biologically appropriate” foods that mirror the evolutionary diets of dogs and cats. The company also has locations in Morinville, Alta. and Oakville, Ont. and last year opened a facility in Auburn, Ky. to serve American customers.

The pet food is sold in over 80 countries.

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