Acme Welcomes OTI Foods

OTI Ground Breaking Acme

Key stakeholders were introduced to OTI Foods at a gathering in Acme on Wednesday, January 24th. In attendance were Consul General of Ukraine Oleksandr Danyleiko, MLA for Drayton Valley-Devon Andrew Boitchenko (on behalf of MLA Nathan Cooper who was unable to attend), members of Nathan Cooper’s staff, Mayor of the Village of Acme Bruce McLeod, CAO of the Village of Acme Gary Sawatzky, Village of Acme Councillors, local farmers, and OTI Foods CEO and Founder Ibrahim Ibrahimli. Attendees met at the construction site, visited Heritage Estates, and then gathered for speeches and a meal at the Acme Community Centre, catered by Turkish Kebab House in Calgary.

With a new headquarters in Linden, AB, OTI Foods has broken ground in Acme at 2 Wyndham Way, their first Canadian location. OTI is planning the construction of a 15,000-ton grain storage elevator, a wheat flour mill with a daily capacity of 300 tons to be operational by June 2024, a pasta production line with a daily capacity of 100 tons operational by March 2025, and a confectionary plant with a daily capacity of 50 tons operational by December 2025. In the future, OTI also hopes to add a canola-crushing plant to the north of the wheat flour mill. These admittedly aggressive timelines set by CEO and Founder Ibrahim Ibrahimli demonstrate the work ethic he has come to Canada with, a Turk who ran his business in Ukraine for 30 years until Putin’s illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory forced him to relocate. OTI already has facilities in Ukraine, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

Acme Factory Layout

The project is expected to create 350-500 jobs and the Village is responding to this imminent population increase by expanding the north side of Heritage Estates, with 16 new lots to be built on by OTI by the Spring, if possible.

ROHI Engineering is working on the project. Owner of ROHI, Randall Trites, shared that the engineering firm is doing whatever they can to meet Ibrahimli’s timelines. OTA Architecture of Calgary, the same firm working on the new Acme school, has been hired to work on this project with OTI.

Mayor of Acme, Bruce McLeod shared: “On behalf of the Village of Acme Council and the Village residents I would like to take this opportunity to welcome OTI to our family of commercial businesses in Acme and the surrounding area. We look forward to working with OTI on this project and other projects in the future. Commercial projects, such as this, lead to more interest in our Village and the potential growth of our Village. The future in Acme is brighter because of these projects. Congratulations to OTI and for putting your trust in us to work together as partners now and in the future.”

The Consul General of Ukraine in Edmonton, Mr. Oleksandr Danyleiko, shared: “Dear friends, guests, Ibrahim, thank you very much for inviting me, thank you very much to the Village of Acme for hosting us…I am very glad to be here as the official representative of Ukraine because so many Ukrainians are living in this province. Ukrainians came here more than 130 years ago and contributed a lot for the development of this Province and now more and more Ukrainians are coming here, and unfortunately not for a good reason. I would like to thank you, on behalf of the Government of Ukraine, for your hospitality, for your open hearts, because more than 45,000 Ukrainians already came here and more and more are coming. Some of them are coming with nothing in their hands, having nothing to live and survive, and Albertans receive them with open arms and open hearts and they need this support. Ibrahim, though Turkish, also came from Ukraine, he had a business in Ukraine and has Ukrainian spirit I believe. Unfortunately, Russia destroyed his business in occupied territories and he was forced to move here, but as Turkish people and Ukrainians, we are very hardworking and he couldn’t come here and sit doing nothing. He is trying to do business here, to help Alberta prosper, to help local people have workplaces, to help develop local community and we are really grateful for that. He already has some Ukrainian people working for him and he plans to get more of them and this is very important. A new business here brings new money, new taxes and I believe your Village of Acme will be developing in a very positive way. Thank you very much Ibrahim for what you are doing for the Province, and for Ukrainians.”

When asked, “Why Acme?”, Mayor McLeod noted, “When he [Ibrahimli] approached the Village of Acme, our CAO and Council, we had the ability to move forward quickly with his timelines. We had done a lot of work on our Land Use Bylaw and Municipal Development Plan, so we were ready to go. We worked with him; at the end of the day we made it work for him, and we made it work for us…Ibrahim is very good to work with and he is very community-oriented, so I am sure we will be working with him to do a lot of other things in the future.” McLeod is excited that between this project and the new school being built in Acme, an estimated $100M is being invested in Acme in the next several years.

Grain procurement is not expected to be an issue, with Ibrahimli promising to pay above market price. It is estimated that the facility will require a quarter section of wheat per day, 50,000 acres annually, just for the first stage. In other words, it would be a Super B of wheat every two hours during daylight hours. No contracts have been signed at this time. Several local farmers expressed excitement that they would have another place to sell commodities and produce a finished product locally.

Construction is projected to ramp up in March for a Stage 1 wheat flour mill operational goal of June 2024.