'It keeps money in your community': Alberta creates made in province food labels

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Dreeshen introduces the new Made in Alberta, by Albertans label at the Millarville Farmers’ Market (Source: Government of Alberta).

The provincial government unveiled a new initiative to help support local farmers and food producers.

Devin Dreeshen, agriculture and forestry minister, showcased new product labels developed by the government that farmers, food producers and processors can place on their products to help consumers quickly notice and choose items made in Alberta at farmers markets and grocery stores.

“Alberta is known as a place that produces safe, high-quality food,” Dreeshen said in statement. “These days, people want to know where their food comes from, and this will make it a lot easier for them to choose food from Alberta.

“When you buy Alberta food, you are supporting another Alberta family,” he added. “It keeps money in your community and in our province.”

The new “Made in Alberta, by Albertans” labels were announced at the Millarville Farmers’ Market on Saturday by Dreeshen.

According to the province, local food sales in direct-to-consumer channels, like farmers’ markets or farm retail, have more than doubled since 2008 and exceeded $1.2 billion last year.

Food and beverage processing is a growing sector in Alberta, with approximately 28,000 workers.

Last year food manufacturing sales set a record of $15.5 billion, the province said in a statement.

According to a press release sent by the province, consultations with farmers and food producers will be held this summer to finalize the labels and prepare regulations around what types of products qualify.