Calgary’s food processing prowess creates cutting-edge solutions
Calgary’s agrifood experts share revolutionary intel with domestic and international conference delegates.
Renowned for its historic abundance of agricultural commodities, like grain, pulses and livestock, the city of Calgary, in Canada’s western province of Alberta, has developed a strong reputation for its food processing industry, creating high-demand, top-quality, safe food and beverage products and ingredients.
Feeding the world is big business and one that Calgary’s local agribusiness experts take seriously. They pride themselves on sitting at the leading edge of agrifood technologies that are helping to engineer revolutionary solutions for efficient food processing.
“The Albertan prairies produce an abundance of pulses and are creating a cluster of opportunity for value-added production, including protein fractionation, quality protein isolate development, starch and fibre ingredient production and consumer packaged goods,” says Lindsay Smylie, Business Development Manager, Agribusiness, Calgary Economic Development.
“Calgary has long served as a home base for major food manufacturers like Botaneco and Meatless Farms, who are leading the opportunity growth in alternative protein development.”
Nestled within Canada’s farming heartland, close to Alberta’s iconic turquoise lakes and mountains, Calgary is renowned as the ultimate host destination for meetings and events within the agribusiness sector.
Alberta’s agrifood industries employed 77,200 people in 2019, with innovative companies creating remarkable food products that drive significant industry growth, such as Lovingly Made Ingredients, a subsidiary of Meatless Farms, who’s producing first-of-its-kind texturized plant protein ingredients.
“Calgary already has the equipment, technology, and talent to provide customized wall-to-wall processing from wet to dry end-product, and this sector continues to grow,” says Smylie. “More Than Protein’s proposed wet fractionation plant is set to be operational in 2023, providing the capability to test and scale commercial runs of new products at a rate of 250 kilograms per hour.”
In fact, Alberta holds more than 70 percent of the country’s processing capacity and is the third largest exporter of agrifood products in Canada. The specialists and engineers that make up the industry have created a nexus of talent in Calgary, many of whom are regular speakers at the numerous events and conferences taking place here each year.
Compelling experts and off-site adventures
Agribusinesses in Alberta are supported by more than 30 industry associations and a growing network of financial institutions and investors with a special interest in the sector.
“Business event organisers can select from an impressive brain-trust of speakers from every channel of the agribusiness sector,” says David Woodward, Executive Director of Meetings & Conventions, Tourism Calgary. “Our local experts, engineers, and even farmers are passionate about sharing their knowledge through facility tours, workshops and speaking events, where delegates can gain so much from exchanging ideas and sharing their visions for future growth.”
Calgary’s enticing mix of big-city energy and community spirit, an exciting music and arts scene, alongside outdoor adventures galore, makes for a business event that will be remembered long after the delegates fly home.
Choose from off-site tours and event spaces, from the spectacular views of the Calgary Tower to the western charm of Heritage Park Historical Village, or time your event to coincide with the Calgary Stampede, famed as the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth.
Explore the sounds and stories of Canadian music at Studio Bell, Canada’s National Music Center or participate in a team bonding exercise – how does surfing on Calgary’s downtown Bow River sound?
A little further afield, tee off at the beautiful Kananaskis Country Golf Course, framed by glacier-fed creeks and ponds, or explore Banff National Park, home to turquoise Moraine Lake and iconic Lake Louise.
“Calgary and the surrounding area provide endless adventures for delegate tours before or after your business event, from dogsledding and skiing, to hiking and horseback riding in Banff National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park, and even digging for fossils in Dinosaur Provincial Park,” says Woodward. “Calgary is surrounded by five UNESCO World Heritage sites and endless natural beauty.”
Meetings with purpose
By augmenting speakers’ series with Canadian agribusiness experts, or enriching programming with localized technical tours, and lab visits, business event organizers can attract delegates, increase revenues, and inspire future generations.
“We call that 'meeting with purpose,” says Woodward, pointing out that when the time is right for in-person events to resume, Calgary is poised to show off its agribusiness ecosystems and the industry leaders who are pioneering food processing solutions.