Regina / SK. (gov) Economic Development Regina Inc. (EDR) launched the Agriculture and Food Innovation Strategy for Regina, with a vision of becoming the agriculture and food hub for Canada and the world (Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan, a prairie and boreal province in Western Canada).
With this strategy, the Greater Regina Area will be known as a place of opportunity to start, grow, attract and scale agribusiness; will have a skilled and educated labour force and access to expertise to help the sector reach its full potential; will have the critical infrastructure in place and is supporting sector growth; and the GRA will become an agricultural powerhouse where the sector is sustainable, innovative, competitive, and resilient.
«Regina’s agriculture and food opportunity is incredible – and it’s outstanding to see this group of leaders come together to create a strategy that will stake our claim as a global leader,» says Mayor Sandra Masters, City of Regina. «This is enormously impactful for our city and residents, and I am looking forward to the future growth of our agri-food and agribusiness community here in Regina.»
Led by an Ag and Food Steering Committee of leaders from across Regina’s agriculture and food sector who were appointed by EDR’s board, the strategy sets short-, mid- and long-term objectives that will have a positive impact on the GRA for generations to come.
«Ag and food represent an important multi-sectoral opportunity for the GRA economy,» said Kyle Jeworski, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee. «The strategy is founded on our region’s traditional strength and highly respected global reputation in primary agriculture and envisions an economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture and food cluster for the GRA.»
Co-Chair Dr. Gina Grandy agrees, adding «We are building on our natural strengths to create new opportunities and a new path forward for businesses and residents alike; a win-win for everyone in the GRA.»
With CAD 1.7B in investment announcements in recent months, Regina’s agriculture and food sector is on a roll. With the launch of Canada’s first venture-backed Agtech Accelerator in 2021, Viterra and Cargill both announced that they will be building canola crushing plants and Red Leaf Pulp announced they will be building Canada’s first non-wood pulp facility. In addition, Emmertech launched a CAD 45M Agtech VC Fund that is expected to close around CAD 60M by the end of 2021 and Regina-based start-up, precision.ai, closed a CAD 20M seed round to advance their work in sustainable farming practices through precision spraying.
Regina is surrounded by more than 80 percent of Canada’s farmland and is already home to the best agricultural producers in the world. The GRA possesses a strong trade infrastructure, numerous anchor firms, a diverse talent pool, and a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem that together, creates a strong foundation for continuing growth and success. The real opportunity for the GRA is building on this already robust agricultural economy by driving innovation and sustainability, resulting in new end uses for crops and expanding the value-added processing chain.
«Our vision to be an agriculture and food hub for the world is ambitious – and achievable,» said John Lee, President and CEO of Economic Development Regina. «We already have the ingredients to make it happen and now it’s time to bring the vision to life.»
EDR’s Agriculture and Food Steering Committee
- Dr. Gina Grandy (Co-Chair and EDR board member), Dean, Hill and Levene Schools of Business at University of Regina
- Kyle Jeworski (Co-Chair and EDR board member), CEO, Viterra North America
- Murad Al-Katib, President and CEO, AGT Food and Ingredients and EDR board member
- Elan Ange, CEO, O&T Farms
- Eric Dillon, President and CEO, Conexus Credit Union and EDR board member
- Michael Hoffort, President and CEO, Farm Credit Canada
- Shaun Semple, President and CEO, Brandt Group of Companies
About Economic Development Regina
Economic Development Regina Inc. (EDR) is the lead agency for economic development and tourism marketing for the Greater Regina Area. EDR is a not-for-profit public-private partnership and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with the City of Regina as its sole shareholder. EDR has a special role as a strategist and activator in our community. EDR connects people with opportunity – enhancing quality of life and prosperity for citizens.