Alberta’s provincial government is introducing a “Made in Alberta” label to help grocery shoppers quickly identify food that has been produced within the province’s borders.
The labels, which will read “Made in Alberta, by Albertans”, will be introduced by the government’s Agriculture and Forestry department. The key motivations are to help support local farmers and food producers and to assure Albertans that they are eating locally sourced produce.
“Alberta is known as a place that produces safe, high-quality food. People want to know where their food comes from, and this will make it a lot easier for them to choose food from Alberta,” said Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Devin Dreeshen. “When you buy Alberta food, you are supporting another Alberta family. It keeps money in your community and in our province.”
Dreeshen announced the new label at a farmers’ market in Millarville, Alta. over the weekend. He said the label would only be finalized following consultations with farmers, processors, grocers, and consumers this summer to prepare rules for its use.
“It is a really good campaign we are launching here today, there is going to be lots of consultation to make sure we get it right,” Dreeshen said. “And we can have the right amount of regulation so that it doesn’t get abused.”
According to the government, food and beverage processing is one of the largest employers in Alberta’s manufacturing sector, employing about 28,000 workers with record food manufacturing sales of $15.5 billion last year.
Albertans are also showing an increased interest in buying local food, with sales in direct-to-consumer channels (farmers’ markets and farm retail) more than doubling since 2008 and exceeding $1.2 billion in 2020.
Asked about supply chains during the pandemic, Dreeshan said it was extremely stressed and another good reason for Alberta to boost its own food system. “And we saw lots of Albertans want to know we can be self-reliant as Albertans. The big takeaway is that the ‘Made in Alberta” logo is something we’ll be able to see on Alberta-made products for years to come.”