The Greater Regina Area (GRA)’s rise to prominence as a leader in the agri-value sector has benefited from a parallel rise in the quality and accessibility of global trade infrastructure within the region. With Saskatchewan product in high demand around the world, both the public and private sector have stepped up to make the GRA an ideal location to source, process, produce, and export. With agri-value processing & production moving closer to inputs & trade infrastructure, the GRA is truly the first stop of the plant-protein highway.
INLAND PORT AUTHORITY
Established in 2009, the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) was designed to be Saskatchewan’s commitment to developing a supply chain, logistics, and transportation infrastructure that supports global trade.
Based just east of Regina, it is currently Canada’s only self-governing, autonomous inland port authority. The GTH provides access to affordable land, purpose-built infrastructure, and transportation and logistics partners that make it possible to move goods by truck or rail to markets across North America and ports that service the world.
Currently, there are more than 4,800 weekly truck movements in and out of the GTH, and it has 860 full-time employees on site. The entire GTH footprint covers 1800 acres, with more than half of the land now sold or being leased by businesses.
Another new addition to the GRA’s global trade infrastructure, The Chuka Creek Business Park (CCBP), is home to AGT Food and Ingredients’ pulse processing facility and boasts a state-of-the-art container and intermodal terminal facility for the Canadian National (CN) Railway. The CCBP brings the strengths of a fully functional and connected CN intermodal ramp to the GRA, and allows for access to domestic intermodal and international marine containers from many of the world’s largest carriers.
The facility is a project of Long Lake Investments, a collective of GRA-based business leaders including AGT Food and Ingredients CEO and 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Murad Al-Katib. According to Al-Katib, Regina is well-positioned to become a global export powerhouse, particularly in the agri-food sector.
“I think the opportunity for Canada is that we’re going to be the first stop on the protein highway,” remarked Al-Katib. “The whole game now is about feeding the world, and as we move toward 10 billion people by 2050 I think Regina is going to be the place to be, to make sure that we actually seize that opportunity and we feed the world.”
CREATING A SUPERCLUSTER
Trade hubs like the GTH and CCBP continue to explore the opportunities that the Greater Regina Area’s (GRA) agri-food processing industry has to offer. Perhaps the most exciting of these opportunities is the emerging plant-based protein supply chain, and Protein Industries Canada (PIC)’s successful bid to receive funding from the federal government's Innovation Superclusters Initiative for agriculture innovation.
Being led by a consortium of private sector companies, and headquartered in Regina, PIC is estimated to generate over $700 million in new commercial activity and billions in incremental GDP over the next decade with approximately 4,700 new jobs. Logistics are an important part of the PIC strategy, with many processing and export leaders vying for the chance to help build a thriving, self-sustaining protein supply chain in the GRA.
Looking forward to future growth, Pulse Canada has noted they’re seeking to diversify their markets within North America.
The GRA’s new trade infrastructure will aid in this strategy. “If they want to open up markets and get pulses more into the mainstream of the United States marketplace as opposed to those that already use them (ie. India, South East Asia), then, we’re well-positioned to be able to get that support to them.”
“We’re close to source,” adds Jordan Gaw, Senior Business Development Specialist at the GTH, “where production is actually happening, and we can tap into those markets very quickly with our infrastructure. When new companies are looking to invest in a place to actually be doing this high-value production, they don’t want an infrastructure gap.”
SUPPORTING FOOD PROCESSING
Regina’s trade hubs are looking to work with growers and producers to ease the process of entering the food-processing industry and continue to grow a thriving agri-value sector.
While an element of competition exists among the GRA’s intermodal offerings, the parks are complementary and collaborative and build upon each other to create a series of supply chains. All hubs are a part of the entire Western Canada supply chain and, with more hubs, more flexibility is offered.
A strong direction, and the will to develop the GRA agri-value sector through the infrastructure strengths of the region is set. Between Chuka Creek and the GTH, Regina has the ideal location for businesses in the warehousing and logistics, trucking, manufacturing and value-added agriculture processing sector to locate and cluster.
Learn how Regina is seizing the opportunity to be the center of plant-based food processing in Canada. We’re eager to support every part of the supply chain to help meet growing global needs, and help feed the world.