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'Capitalizing' on Alberta agriculture

L-R: Rich Vesta, Minister Toews, Minister Horner, Parliamentary Secretary van Dijken, MLA Pitt and Paul McLauchlin at Harmony Beef for the Alberta Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit announcement.

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Feb 15, 2023

Agri-processing tax credit seeks to help Albertans.

The Alberta government announced on February 7 they are introducing a new agri-processing tax credit that looks to attract large-scale investment, diversify the economy and create jobs for Albertans.

As provinces look to capitalize on the potential of the agri-processing industry, the provincial government said they will build on Alberta’s “competitive advantages” by launching a new tax credit program this spring.

The program was developed to help Alberta maintain a competitive edge over other jurisdictions and maximize the number of opportunities that help grow the economy and create jobs.

“Agriculture has been a key part of Alberta’s economy for more than 100 years and I’m excited to see this tax credit program roll out so that it continues to be a key part of our economy in the future. Alberta’s agricultural producers play an important role in feeding the world and I look forward to seeing further innovation and growth in this sector,” said Premier Danielle Smith.

The official name is Alberta Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit and will be introduced in Budget 2023. It will provide a 12 per cent non-refundable tax credit to support growth and attract investment. To be eligible, corporations must make a minimum capital investment of $10 million in value-added agri-processing in Alberta.

“Alberta has the fundamentals to take our value-added agriculture industry to new heights and meet the increasing global demand for food. The new agri-processing tax credit will allow us to attract large-scale agri-food projects that will help grow our industry, increase opportunities for primary producers, create jobs and feed the world,” said Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Nate Horner.

The Alberta Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit will position Alberta as an attractive place to do business according to Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.

“By supporting this quickly evolving and increasingly competitive sector, this government is further encouraging investment that will create jobs and grow Alberta’s economy,” added Toews.

Members of industry also weighed in, with the CEO of Harmony Beef, Rich Vesta, explaining how this will bring in more investment to the province.

“Alberta has positioned itself to attract more large-scale sector investments than ever before from companies like mine. This is the right way for Alberta’s agri-food sector to support diversification, create jobs, compete and win,” said Vesta.

Population growth, a changing climate and increased costs of food are indicators that food security will be a growing challenge. This tax credit could help boost rural Alberta’s role in food production.

“The new agri-processing tax credit program is a great incentive that will continue to highlight rural Alberta as the home of an innovative agriculture industry that plays a vital role in supporting food production,” said Paul McLauchlin, president of Rural Municipalities of Alberta.

In 2021, the food manufacturing sector was the largest manufacturing industry in the province, accounting for 23.8 per cent of total provincial manufacturing sales. Global demand for food is expected to increase by up to 56 per cent by 2050.

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