Tuesday, 19 June 2012

When it comes to Alberta’s agri-foods sector, is bigger really better?


The following is an excerpt -- for the entire article please refer to the link above

Sizing up the competition - Jun 11, 2012  by Robin Schroffel

If there’s one thing that stands out about Alberta’s agri-foods industry, it’s that nobody stands out. While there are plenty of big companies selling into the Alberta market (Cargill, Olymel, Maple Leaf Foods, Lucerne, Agropur and McCain, to name a few), only one – meat processor XL Foods – is actually headquartered in the province.
What exactly are agri-foods, anyway?
In this industry report, we’ve used the term “agri-foods” to refer to items that have been somehow processed or manufactured, to which value has been added. But Lynn Stegman of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development says the phrase is often used as an umbrella term covering both processed and primary agricultural and food products. It would then include things like basic crops and livestock along with manufactured goods and biofuels.
Primary products (agriculture)
Basic crops and livestock produced from the natural resources of the Earth
Examples: cattle, unprocessed grains such as wheat and barley, legumes such as chickpeas and lentils
Value-added products (food and beverage manufacturing)
Primary agricultural products that have been manufactured to increase their value
Examples: meat, prepared mustard, pet food, beer, spun yarn
Fuels in which energy is derived from a biological carbon source, including vegetable oils, animal fats and crops
Examples: methane from biomass, ethanol, biodiesel