2 northern companies announce designs for new food items production hub in Company, N.W.T.

Two northern firms are joining forces to convert a plot of land near Enterprise, N.W.T., into a hub for food stuff generation.

This week, North Star Agriculture and AWP Industries announced plans to completely ready 400 acres of land — allocated from a part of the 320-hectares that AWP has been establishing for a prospective wooden pellet mill — for a selection of agricultural initiatives. 

They say the aim is to eventually make a doing work farm, comprehensive with crops, livestock, and foods processing services.

Sonny Grey is the founder of North Star in Whitehorse, which has kickstarted several jobs in the Yukon. Speaking to CBC on Wednesday, he said both companies are energized about the new venture.

“There is certainly incredibly different factors of the agrifood business enterprise that will be taking place on the house, but there’s plenty of possibility there, so that is why we really felt that this was a fantastic in shape,” Grey claimed. 

“We see a greater photo, and we see the opportunity this will have in conditions of … social affect, affordable impression, and so on.”

Part industrial park, component farmland

The plot of land in problem is situated about four kilometres north of Enterprise off of Freeway 1.

Brad Mapes, owner of AWP Industries, claimed he’s put about $30 million into making ready it for industrial use since buying it in 2016, even developing a segment of railway that leads directly to the website.

Wanting to use as significantly of the assets as feasible, Mapes said he commenced speaking with North Star about the possible for agriculture around a 12 months back.

“There is a large amount of parts that aren’t likely to be made use of for our marketplace aspect of it, so we wanted to create an possibility for them to seem at farming,” he claimed. 

“I also want to see employment for the local neighborhood. I assume the agricultural facet will give a lot of entry amount careers for the bordering spot residents. That’s critical to my enterprise eyesight of the site.”

Sonny Gray, CEO of North Star Agriculture in Whitehorse, surveys 1 of the ponds on the plot of land around Business, N.W.T. (Submitted by Kevin Wallington)

Mapes added: “I’m very fired up to function with them.”

According to Gray, the locale lends itself effectively to business endeavours. 

For occasion, both the railway and close by highway offer you accessibility for importing provides. That provides the selection to ship food to northern Alberta or northern B.C., if there isn’t adequate demand from customers in the N.W.T. sector to shore up manufacturing prices.

“In the North, we have to have to improve every possibility that we have to make it as economically feasible as feasible to develop foods,” Gray stated. “[This is] a fantastic area for farming, and it really is … form of the gateway to the rest of the communities and Yellowknife.”

Growing the N.W.T.’s agrifood sector

Kevin Wallington is the owner of Polar Egg in Hay River and chair of the N.W.T. agrifood association. He is joined North Star to head up the job in Enterprise, which marks the firm’s initially in the territory.

Wallington in depth a range of visions for people 400 acres, this kind of as setting up an abattoir for meat output or setting up a hydroponic greenhouse to increase leafy greens. 


He explained the initial purchase of business will likely be making ready about 100 acres of soil to plant vegetable crops, likely as shortly as up coming spring. 

“We’ve now began to lay out some of the programs on what could be done,” Wallington reported. 

“We want to make sure that we can start to develop assurance with individuals that we are going to be operating with and the communities we’re doing the job in, that we are significant about what we are doing below and we want to see this shift.”

Wallington said North Star will be engaging with Business council, Indigenous teams, and other producers in the place over the following year to identify what really should be prioritized. 

Nevertheless, he reported the greatest goal is to grow the N.W.T. agrifood sector.

“We’ve presently noticed significant commitment from several people today in their unique means,” Wallington claimed. He outlined Riverside Growers in Hay River, Sahtu Gardens in Norman Wells, and the Inuvik Community Greenhouse as examples. 

“We’re hoping that this will just be in a position to make on some of those successes and open some new doors … maybe even attract folks to appear to the North and be a section of constructing this sector.

“At the end of the day, we want to make certain that there are alternatives for folks to be equipped to get local, nutritious foodstuff that are becoming developed and processed and dispersed in the Northwest Territories.”

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