October 02, 1998

The recently expanded Rogers Sugar plant in Taber, Alberta started processing this year's sugar beet crop which should be the biggest on record in Alberta. The plant expansion, announced earlier this year, will increase the plant's capacity by 50% over 3 years. This has already increased plantings from 33,000 to 41,000 acres this year and will reach 50,000 in 1999. This will be an important boost to producer and processing jobs in the Alberta sugar beet industry. This latest modernization is part of Rogers' continuing effort to rationalize and reduce costs of its operations, improving the long term domestic and international competitiveness of the prairie beet sugar industry.

Sugar beets have been grown in Alberta since 1903 and Rogers Sugar has been producing beet sugar in Alberta since 1931. Sugar and sugar byproducts are an important ingredient in Alberta's food, feed and beverage industries. According to Going Global, a newsletter of the Alberta Agri-Industry Trade Group, "In 1996, these industries accounted for more than 22 percent of total manufacturing shipments in Alberta, employed over 20,200 people, and exported 1.44 billion of products to international markets."