EDMONTON, Alberta – XL Foods, one of Alberta's largest beef processors, will increase its value-added production capacity while reducing the size of its environmental footprint thanks to two Growing Forward grants approved through the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA). Totaling $1.6 million, the grants will be distributed over two years and will allow XL Foods to upgrade its Brooks facility by installing new technology that will enable the plant to double its per-day capacity for ground beef.

"Today's investment in the XL Foods facility will benefit the beef industry and all Canadians by increasing our capacity to meet market demands for Canadian beef products," said LaVar Payne, member of Parliament for Medicine Hat, on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"The improvements made at the XL Foods facility in Brooks will benefit producers by increasing the plant's overall production capacity," said Jack Hayden, minister of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

"XL appreciates the contribution and support ALMA has provided through the Growing Forward program for our plant competitiveness initiatives," said Brian Nilsson, Co-CEO of XL Foods Inc. "This grant will assist us in maintaining our competitiveness as we adapt to the global marketplace."

XL Foods Inc. is the largest Canadian-owned and operated beef processor in Canada. It is part of the Nilsson Bros. Group of companies, which are a diverse agri-business that is involved in all facets of beef and cattle production, marketing and processing. XL Foods Inc. operates facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nebraska and Idaho.

Growing Forward is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that better positions the agriculture industry for success. The national vision is "a profitable and innovative agriculture, agri-food and agri-products industry that seizes opportunities in responding to market demands, and contributes to the health and well-being of Canadians."