Cavendish Farms’ newest plant is officially open for business. The announcement was made at a ceremony held Oct. 3 at the new Lethbridge frozen potato processing facility. Cavendish Farms President Robert K. Irving was joined by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman and other dignitaries to celebrate the largest private sector investment in the history of the City of Lethbridge.
“It is a great day for Lethbridge and for our employees, growers, suppliers and customers. Our new state-of-the-art plant is up and running and will allow us to continue to serve key export markets around the world,” highlighted Mr. Irving. “There were many reasons we were able to expand our operation in Lethbridge and grow in Alberta! It starts with the availability of high quality potatoes from local growers, the can-do attitude of our Lethbridge employees and the dedicated effort of the project team and the hundreds of vendors who contributed to this project.”
“This new plant is a vote of confidence in Alberta. This is great news for Lethbridge, and for all those Albertans who will earn a living working at this potato processing plant. I would like to thank Cavendish Farms for making this important $430 million investment in Alberta. Alberta’s food processing industry is growing in size and sophistication, and will be a key part of our government’s strategy to expand Alberta’s economy and create more jobs,” says Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney.
“Today we’re seeing the result of what happens when industry and municipalities work together,” says Lethbridge Mayor, Chris Spearman. “Cavendish Farms has invested in our community and invested in our future and we are thrilled to congratulate them on the opening of their latest state-of-the-art processing facility.”
The new state-of-the-art plant replaces Cavendish Farms previous plant and will almost triple its production capacity in Lethbridge. The $430 million-dollar plant spans the size of 7 football fields and will require 735 million pounds of potatoes annually. That’s an increase of almost 12,000 acres over what Cavendish Farms currently contracts from local growers. With this expansion, the Lethbridge plant will now provide employment to 238 employees.
The project involved 2 million person hours of work for contractors during construction. Over 900 workers were on site at peak. Upwards of 110 Alberta companies were part of the project.