Alberta is introducing a new agri-processing tax credit that will create jobs, diversify the economy and ensure producers have a competitive market for their goods.

Nate Horner the minister of agriculture and irrigation made the announcement at Harmony Beef on Wednesday.

"We have heard from Alberta's producers and processors 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 that will create jobs, diversify our economy, and ensure producers have a competitive market for their goods. When we process what we grow in Alberta, the jobs and economic benefits stay in Alberta."

He says the new Alberta agri-processing investment tax credit will launch this spring and will provide a 12% non-refundable tax credit to eligible businesses.

"Those businesses will have to make a minimum capital investment of 10 million in value-added agri-processing in the province. The program will build on our competitive advantages and create a business environment that attracts even more industry to ensure Alberta's agri-processing sector reaches its full potential. It will also bring value for a primary agriculture sector through expanded market opportunities."

Horner says this will provide stability to Alberta's food supply chains by growing processing capacity within our province.

"There's good reason for Alberta to target investment in the value-added agriculture sector. The economic opportunity is huge."

Rich Vesta, CEO of Harmony Beef says this is the right way for Alberta’s agri-food sector to support diversification, create jobs, compete and win.

"With the introduction of the agri-processing investment tax credit, Alberta has positioned itself to attract more large-scale sector investments than ever before from companies like mine."

Stats show that food manufacturing sales reached a record $20.1 billion in 2021 and the sector employed 22,400 Albertans.

The food manufacturing sector was the largest manufacturing industry in the province, accounting for 23.8 per cent of total provincial manufacturing sales in 2021.

Overall, global demand for food is expected to increase by up to 56 per cent by 2050.