Alberta and sugar go together like beets and Halloween treats
The 200 farm families growing sugar beets in Alberta supply 8-10% of the total domestic sugar market in Canada
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 31 October 2022 1 min read
When I was a kid, someone told me that sugar in Alberta comes from beets.
I was certain this was a lie, but it’s true. (Well, mostly true, because we also import cane sugar from other places.)
Not only can you extract excellent sugar from beets (the sucrose made from beets and cane is exactly the same), Alberta is home to the majority of Canada’s sugar beet production.
In 2021, Alberta farmers produced a record-breaking one million metric tonnes of sugar beets.
That works out to about 73% of sugar beet production in Canada with Ontario (which has only recently gotten back into the sugar beet game) kicking in the other 27%.
According to the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, the 200 farm families growing sugar beets in Alberta supply 8-10% of the total domestic sugar market in Canada.
Alberta’s sugar beets are processed at the Lantic (formerly Rogers) plant in Taber. The plant has the capacity to produce up to 150,000 tonnes of sugar annually and is the last operating sugar beet refinery in Canada. (Ontario’s sugar beets are processed in the US.)
Fun fact: The parts of the sugar beet not used to make sugar are used to produce high-quality animal feed.
If you are looking for some products that use Alberta sugar, check out this page on the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers’s website.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Jack O’ Lanterns were originally made using turnips.
Today’s trivia question: Which Canadian province produced the largest amount of pumpkin by weight in 2021?