2 northern firms announce plans for brand new meals manufacturing hub in Enterprise, N.W.T.

Two northern firms are becoming a member of forces to show a plot of land close to Enterprise, N.W.T., right into a hub for meals manufacturing.

This week, North Star Agriculture and AWP Industries introduced plans to prepared 400 acres of land — allotted from a portion of the 320-hectares that AWP has been creating for a possible wooden pellet mill — for a wide range of agricultural tasks. 

They are saying the intention is to ultimately create a working farm, full with crops, livestock, and meals processing amenities.

Sonny Grey is the founding father of North Star in Whitehorse, which has kickstarted a number of tasks within the Yukon. Talking to CBC on Wednesday, he stated each firms are excited concerning the new enterprise.

“There’s very totally different parts of the agrifood enterprise that will probably be occurring on the property, however there’s plenty of alternative there, in order that’s why we actually felt that this was a very good match,” Grey stated. 

“We see a much bigger image, and we see the potential this can have when it comes to … social affect, economical affect, and so forth.”

Half industrial park, half farmland

The plot of land in query is situated about 4 kilometres north of Enterprise off of Freeway 1.

Brad Mapes, proprietor of AWP Industries, stated he is put about $30 million into getting ready it for industrial use since buying it in 2016, even constructing a bit of railway that leads on to the location.

Eager to make the most of as a lot of the property as potential, Mapes stated he started speaking with North Star concerning the potential for agriculture over a yr in the past.

“There’s quite a lot of areas that are not going for use for our trade facet of it, so we wished to create a possibility for them to take a look at farming,” he stated. 

“I additionally need to see employment for the area people. I feel the agricultural facet will give quite a lot of entry degree jobs for the encircling space residents. That is key to my enterprise imaginative and prescient of the location.”

Sonny Gray surveys one of the ponds on the plot of land near Enterprise.
Sonny Grey, CEO of North Star Agriculture in Whitehorse, surveys one of many ponds on the plot of land close to Enterprise, N.W.T. (Submitted by Kevin Wallington)

Mapes added: “I am fairly excited to work with them.”

In response to Grey, the situation lends itself effectively to industrial endeavours. 

As an illustration, each the railway and close by freeway provide entry for importing provides. That supplies the choice to ship meals to northern Alberta or northern B.C., if there is not sufficient demand within the N.W.T. market to shore up manufacturing prices.

“Within the North, we have to maximize each alternative that we now have to make it as economically possible as potential to develop meals,” Grey stated. “[This is] a very good place for farming, and it is … form of the gateway to the remainder of the communities and Yellowknife.”

Rising the N.W.T.’s agrifood sector

Kevin Wallington is the proprietor of Polar Egg in Hay River and chair of the N.W.T. agrifood affiliation. He is joined North Star to go up the undertaking in Enterprise, which marks the corporate’s first within the territory.

Wallington detailed quite a lot of visions for these 400 acres, similar to setting up an abattoir for meat manufacturing or putting in a hydroponic greenhouse to develop leafy greens. 

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He stated the primary order of enterprise will doubtless be getting ready about 100 acres of soil to plant vegetable crops, doubtlessly as quickly as subsequent spring. 

“We have already began to put out a few of the plans on what may very well be performed,” Wallington stated. 

“We need to make it possible for we are able to begin to construct confidence with those who we will be working with and the communities we’re working in, that we’re critical about what we’re doing right here and we need to see this transfer.”

Wallington stated North Star will probably be participating with Enterprise council, Indigenous teams, and different producers within the space over the following yr to find out what ought to be prioritized. 

Nonetheless, he stated the last word objective is to develop the N.W.T. agrifood sector.

“We have already seen vital dedication from many individuals of their other ways,” Wallington stated. He listed Riverside Growers in Hay River, Sahtu Gardens in Norman Wells, and the Inuvik Neighborhood Greenhouse as examples. 

“We’re hoping that this can simply be capable to construct on a few of these successes and open some new doorways … possibly even entice individuals to return to the North and be part of constructing this sector.

“On the finish of the day, we need to make it possible for there are alternatives for individuals to have the ability to purchase native, nutritious meals which might be being grown and processed and distributed within the Northwest Territories.”

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