Spitz Seeds Closing in Alberta

TORONTO - Feb 19/18 - SNS -- PepsiCo is shutting down the Spitz sunflower seed processing plant that it bought in 2008.

Production will be moved from the Bow Island, Alberta facility to another plant in the United States.

The original business was founded by Tom and Emmy Droog in 1982. It initially targeted the bird food sector before expanding into the consumer confectionary market.

Sunflower production in Alberta is limited. In 2017, there were 4,977 insured acres, compared to 3,974 the previous year. Insured sunflower acres in Saskatchewan totalled 4,912 last year. Manitoba is the major producer, with 59,805 insured acres.

Statistics Canada only reports sunflower seed production for Manitoba, pegging the 2017 harvest at 57,600 metric tons (MT) from 65,000 acres, compared to 50,600 MT from 70,000 acres in 2016.