Alberta potato sector's economic contribution approaching $3 billion: new report


The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) has released what it’s calling a landmark study on the economic impact the potato industry in the province.

The report outlines the significant growth of Alberta’s potato industry in recent years, and documents its economic impact.

The study — completed by Serecon Inc. and Nichols Applied Management — estimated the total economic contribution of the potato sector in Alberta at $2.78 billion.

In terms of jobs, the potato sector in the province creates 9,290 full-time equivalent positions, with $662 million in employment income, according to the report. The contribution to GDP was pegged at $1.33 billion, with $87 million in tax revenue for the federal and provincial governments.

The authors also found that every additional irrigated quarter section of processing potatoes adds $5 million of total annual output to the Canadian economy. Provincially, this marginal expansion results in $1.9 million in additional GDP, of which about $900,000 can be attributed to wages across 13 full-time jobs.

James Bareman, chair of the PGA, says they knew the industry has seen accelerated growth in recent years, but prior to this, they had no way of measuring its overall impact on the economy.

“We are pleased that we now have an accurate assessment of our industry’s contribution and delighted with the result. The industry could not have grown to this scale without the goodwill and collaboration of all parties — growers, processors, packers, the service sector, the scientific community, and governments,” he says. “PGA warmly thanks all involved for their excellent contribution to growing our industry into the largest potato sector in Canada.”

Read the entire report here.

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