Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator continues to nurture value added processing ventures… - Oct 13, 2011
In 2005, ground broke to the east of the Leduc Food Processing Development Centre to form what would eventually become the Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator (APBI) - opened in 2007.
In 2005, ground broke to the east of the Leduc Food Processing Development Centre to form what would eventually become the Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator (APBI) - opened in 2007. A $24 million investment from the Government of Alberta and AVAC Ltd. ($5 million) was invested to create an eight-bay, multi-tenant, CFIA-approved facility designed to attract, grow and graduate new food businesses in three different categories:
- Small entrepreneurs new to the food industry
- Existing companies wishing to expand into new areas of further processing; and
- Off-shore companies looking for help to establish a plant and break into the North American market.
Fast-forward 4 years later and the APBI has seen a flurry of activity since, including two companies that have graduated to expand to their own new commercial facilities, Aliya’s Foods and Inter-City Packers. Maple Leaf Prime Pork also utilized the APBI to do a market launch of premium pork products into Western Canada. The APBI proved to be a valuable testing ground, sparing Maple Leaf the added cost of having to build expensive infrastructure to supply an untested product.
As companies coming through the APBI have grown and matured, so too has APBI itself. In trying to accommodate tenants to the best of its ability, changes to the lease arrangements have given tenants a larger window to prove their process and market. “It was realized that for some companies, particularly start-ups, that perhaps three years was not long enough to gain a foothold in their respective markets”, notes Bob Gibson, Senior manager at APBI. “We have since given an option of a fourth year to companies who feel they need extra time to develop”.
APBI has gone through structural modifications as well. Suites have been modified to better suit tenants, and freezer and cooling space has been expanded to better manage the volume of product that the tenants produce. Executive Director of the ARD Food Processing Division, Ken Gossen, states, “As APBI has evolved, it has become a recognized leader in food industry and as an incubation service world-wide. In the past couple years we have had several representatives from around the world visit APBI in hopes to adapt the model in their respective jurisdiction”.
New, qualified tenants continue to enter the APBI program which will help ensure the growth of Alberta’s Agrivalue and food processing industry resulting in increased investment, employment and manufacturing capacity in the province.
For more information regarding APBI please contact:
Robert Gibson, Sr. Manager
Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
Agriculture and Rural Development
The Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator (APBI) is a multi-tenant facility providing the infrastructure and services to support and enhance the establishment and growth of new companies and new business ventures in Alberta. The APBI is a federally registered establishment enabling resident companies to market their products nationally and internationally.
The underlying purpose of this facility is:
To assist with the start-up of new food businesses, providing facilities and programs to help manage the transition from new product development, through commercialization, market launch and growth in sales, resulting in graduation and the establishment of their own facilities.
To provide a centre of excellence for agrivalue venture scale up, which will assist established food manufacturers in new product/process development, refinement, testing and manufacturing of market entry product volumes.
To attract product/process development initiatives of established food industry companies to Alberta.A key component of this initiative is the opportunity to provide a range of services to Incubator clients in a shared environment. It is essential that business planning, cost accounting, legal advice, marketing, distribution, quality assurance and other related services are available. The Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator is much more than the building itself.
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