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Food & Agriculture 


The Edmonton Metropolitan Region’s food and agriculture sector has deep roots and is home to both highly-developed and blossoming industries. The region hosts the entire sector value chain including high-quality primary production, a cluster of processing plants, globally-connected logistics, and a supplementary manufacturing sector.

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is located on the Canadian Prairies, among the most productive agricultural lands on the planet. And 35% of Alberta’s best agricultural land is right here in our region. It’s one of the reasons we’re part of Canada’s plant protein supercluster. 

Food & Agriculture Fact Sheet

Check out our fact sheet for more information about food and agriculture in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. 

Primary production

Agriculture represents the largest use of land in the region, with roughly 1.7 million acres of farms covering 80% of the land. Conditions in the region are well-suited for grains, oilseeds, pulses, cannabis, hemp, and livestock production. The region has been making strides in diversifying its agriculture industry, turning to cannabis and hemp as new areas of focus. The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is one of the few locations in the world that has never experienced a region-wide crop failure.


A well-integrated transportation system connects local farms and businesses on a regional, national, and international scale. Because of Canada’s commitment to trade, free trade agreements help ease global exporting. In 2016, Alberta exported approximately $10 billion in agri-food products. Almost all Canadian agricultural air traffic to Asia routes through the Edmonton International Airport due to its 24-hour freight services and shortest-in-Canada flight times.

Food processing

The region is prime for milling operations as well as further processing food and feed ingredients given its direct access to feedstocks.

Cluster Development

To support booming primary production, a network of opportunities has developed around agriculture.

Equipment manufacturing

Farming requires a lot of specialized equipment, generating a need for local manufacturing. In 2016, the value of machinery owned and leased by Canadian farms was more than $31 billion.

Edmonton Tomorrow

A robust research and development network plays a pivotal role in the growth of this industry.

In this growing business climate, industries are looking for ways to enhance the sector and make activities more profitable, efficient, and eco-friendly. 

Agri-Value Processing Business Incubator (APBI)

APBI is a multi-tenant facility located in Leduc that provides the infrastructure and services to support agricultural-based businesses.

DuPont Pioneer

DuPont Pioneer is a facility with an automated greenhouse and 2 research labs with a primary focus on the development of new crop hybrids.  

Food Processing Development Centre (FPDC)

The FPDC is an agri-food product development facility designed to strengthen and expand the capability of Alberta’s food processors to meet market challenges through new technology and the development of new or improved products and processes.

Innotech Alberta

Innotech conducts crop research, working with alternative crops and developing resilient strains.

Protein Supercluster

The Protein Supercluster is a $4.5 billion federally-funded supercluster created to promote and grow the plant-based protein industry.

UAlberta Faculty of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences

UAlberta is home to an entire graduate department dedicated to the advancement of food and nutritional science. The department is the first of its kind in North America, reflecting the integration of many disciplines.

Emergent Opportunities


Our strength in food and agriculture has lead to growth and innovation in the machinery manufacturing sector and more revolutionary farming approaches. Local experts are creating world-class air seeders, advanced spraying systems, precision GPS seeding technologies, and harvesting machinery, to name a few.  

Cannabis & Hemp

With an established strength in primary production, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is diversifying its crop yield and focusing on the new international demand for cannabis and hemp products. We are sowing the seeds of opportunity with forward-thinking laws, ample farmland, and dedicated research and development. Cannabis and hemp have huge potential given widespread demand and the range of possible byproducts.


New cannabis laws allow the industry to harvest cannabis for cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) extraction and other medicinal and recreational uses. The region is now home to 4 licensed producers.


Alberta is the 2nd largest producer of hemp in North America. In 2017, there were 45,000 acres of hemp grown in the province, benefiting from the region’s advantageous growing conditions.

Hemp can be used for textiles, fuel, personal care, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage. It is not only a profitable, exportable commodity –  it can also serve as an input for other sectors within the regional economy, bringing prosperity in more ways than one.

Business Spotlight

The Little Potato Company

In 1996, Angela Santiago and her father, Jacob van der Schaaf, decided it was time to test out a big idea for little potatoes. The family business got to work cultivating little, nutritious, flavourful spuds that cook in no time.

Since humble beginnings of testing the market and washing batches of potatoes in a bathtub, the growth of The Little Potato Company has been anything but little. By 2000, Angela and Jacob bought their first plant with modified equipment to handle the specialized needs of Creamer potatoes. Within 4 years they had expanded production in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. 

Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis is a medical cannabis company based in the region. Aurora Sky, the company’s 800,000-square-foot high-tech greenhouse, is the largest cannabis production facility in the world. The facility is strategically located next to the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) for easy international transportation. Aurora also takes advantage of prime office space in downtown Edmonton.


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