| ||Agriculture Research | Food Processing | Rural Extension and Industry Development | Food Chain Traceability| Bio-Industrial Technologies
As a critical link in numerous value chains, the Agriculture Research Division enables Alberta's primary agricultural industry to meet the needs of its customers and their markets. The Division applies its research expertise to develop new information in a multi-disciplinary project team approach focused on opportunities and challenges facing the livestock, livestock feed, food and bio-industrial crops industries. Research activities are directed at enhancing industry competitiveness through improvement in production efficiency and/or increased value of products. The administration of crop pest and apiculture.related legislation and regulations as well as the development and extension of effective crop pest management and control strategies also contribute to industry success.
The Food Processing Division focuses on the value-added processing of agriculture commodities through laboratory development, applied research and pilot plant scale-up to develop new products, introducing new technologies and improving existing processes. The Division also has a strong focus on the development of new companies and the attraction of new food processors to Alberta. Programming is delivered through four units: the Food Processing Development Centre, the Food Science and Technology Centre, the Consumer Products Testing Centre and the Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator.
Rural Extension and Industry Development
The Rural Extension and Industry Development Division delivers business development services to agriculture businesses, food processors and organizations. Business development activities focus on improving the competitiveness and profitability of industry clients. The Division assures the effective delivery of agriculture educational training, leadership and grant programs, as well as front-line client contact services for industry clients through the Ag-Info Centre and Field Offices. The Division also manages the 4-H, Farm Safety, Green Certificate, Farmers Market and Agriculture Service Board programs.
The Traceability Division provides policy advice on matters relating to Alberta and national traceability initiatives and issues. The Division advises the Minister on matters that relate to building and implementing Alberta's initiatives for traceability, and fostering industry acceptance and implementation of traceability systems within their respective sectors. Responsibilities include undertaking the necessary projects to understand and demonstrate the value of traceability to Alberta's agriculture and agri-food industry, linking traceability systems to the national and provincial emergency response systems, and partnering to create infrastructure to enhance business and market opportunities (i.e., reduce costs, increase value-added opportunities, improve logistics/transportation, encourage adoption of new technologies and simplify processes).
The Division also assists Alberta's agriculture and agri-food sectors to implement traceability systems to meet their needs while ensuring they are fully integrated within the national system; identifies and employs legislation, regulation and policy frameworks to mitigate risk and support traceability systems; and builds the capacity, resources and communication plans that support the implementation of an integrated and coordinated change management program to ensure the short and long-term success of the traceability strategic plan.
The Bio-Industrial Technologies Division is unique in the Ministry as it provides both business and technical expertise. The Division supports primary producers, industry associations and companies through the provision of specialized information, knowledge and expertise, which supports the commercialization of bio-based industries in Alberta.
The Division assists with business development and investment opportunities for new and existing companies, evaluates new technologies, provides engineering consultation, conducts product and process development activities through scale-up and supports technology transfer and extension.