On February 7, 2023, the Government of Alberta announced a tax incentive aimed at the tremendous economic opportunity presented by value-added agriculture in Alberta. The new agri-processing tax credit will launch in spring 2023, providing eligible businesses a non-refundable tax credit of 12 per cent. To qualify for the tax credit, companies must make a minimum capital investment of $10 million in value-added agri-processing in Alberta. The program will maintain Alberta’s competitive edge on the global market. Criteria for eligibility is still being developed.
“We’re here to send a clear message to potential investors across North America and the world,” said Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation. “We have heard from Alberta’s producers and processers that we need to do more to help grow our province’s agri-processing industry. Alberta has all the fundamentals to support a robust value-added industry.”
“Global demand and security of food sources is expected to be a continued concern over the next several decades,” says Edmonton Global CEO, Malcolm Bruce. The Edmonton Metropolitan Region produces more food than it consumes and will be a critical part of fulfilling the growing global demand. We have a well-developed value-chain, from primary farm production to food and beverage processing. We are confident that this tax incentive will encourage large capital investments within our region’s thriving agriculture sector.”
In early 2022, Edmonton Global released Growing Opportunity: A Policy Strategy for Value- Added Investment in Alberta and the Edmonton Metropolitan Region by Dr. Kerri Holland. She identified that tax credit programs in Saskatchewan and Manitoba proved to be majorly beneficial for attracting new investment. Her expert knowledge in the agriculture sector and research was instrumental in the work Edmonton Global did in advocating for such a tax credit in Alberta. Dr. Holland also shared her insights on Edmonton Global’s podcast.
Beyond the new tax credit, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is an attractive jurisdiction to invest in food and agriculture for a number of reasons.
The new tax credit will benefit the Edmonton region’s growers and processers, supporting the region’s strategic trade infrastructure, and skilled talent pipeline in the sector. Agriculture is Alberta’s oldest industry and there is a ton of opportunity to double or even triple the GDP related to this sector.