LYNDEN, WASH. — Alliance Freeze Dry Group (AFD Group) recently broke ground on its new 200,000-square-foot freeze-dried pet food facility in Lynden. According the AFD Group, the facility will be the largest freeze-dried pet food factory in North America and is expected to be operational in 2024.

Founded in 2010, AFD Group serves as a co-manufacturer of natural, fresh, convenient freeze-dried pet foods and treats. The company manufactures private label and its own pet nutrition brands, which are available throughout the globe. AFD Group also has a subsidiary called Canature Processing Ltd.

The facility, called Canature Kitchen Lynden, is AFD Group’s third freeze-dried pet food factory, representing the company’s largest expansion to date. Canature Kitchen Lynden will feature a freezer, pre-processing area, freeze-drying sector, packaging area, and an automated storage and retrieval warehouse.

Canature Kitchen Lynden will also leverage advanced processing technology and fully automated production lines to ensure efficiency and flexibility for future expansions and intelligent manufacturing. Once operational, it will produce 4,000 metric tons of product annually.

According to AFD Group, it was prompted to construct the new facility after witnessing increasing consumer demand for healthier pet food products, including those that are minimally processed or freeze dried.

“Freeze-dried meals and treats preserve the natural flavor and form, as well as the nutrition, of the raw food, and are easily rehydrated and absorbed,” said Gary Xu, founder and president of AFD Group. “Hence, freeze-dried products have become more and more popular and are increasingly acclaimed as superstars in the natural and healthy pet food sector.

“With our strong technological advantage, AFD Group will continually innovate its products, processes and equipment to satisfy changing market demands,” Xu added. “At the same time, while we are growing rapidly, we emphasize environmental protection and sustainability, for we only have one shared Earth.

AFD Group breaksground on new facilitySource: CNW Group/Alliance Freeze Dry Group AFD Group hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Canature Kitchen Lynden on Oct. 21, which city and state officials, client representatives, local business leaders and engineers attended.

“The city of Lynden is proud to welcome another state-of-the-art industrial facility,” said Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis. “We appreciate the investment that AFD Group is making in our city, knowing that it represents both job opportunities and regional economic benefit. Lynden has found a supportive partner in AFD Group. They have contributed to public infrastructure improvements and designed a striking Canature Kitchen facility that we can all be proud of.

“It's clear that Alliance doesn't simply want to conduct business in the city, but that they are a stakeholder, keen to become an integral part of the Lynden business community,” Korthuis added.

Once operational, Canature Kitchen Lynden will create 74 new jobs for the local area.

Food Facility Engineering (FFE), an architectural/engineering firm, is leading the design of the new facility.

“We are very pleased to work with AFD Group's experienced factory experts who have demonstrated a solid understanding of freeze-drying technologies,” said Dave Franklin, principal of FFE. “Combined with our over 70 years of expertise specializing in food facility building design, we will bring to life a large-scale, highly efficient, flexible and environmentally friendly freeze-dried pet food facility, which is GMP compliant.”

Canature Kitchen Lynden will be constructed by Fisher Construction Group.

“Fisher is proud to be Alliance's construction partner in bringing their vision to life,” said Chris Lang, vice president of Fisher Construction Group, “We will focus on quality, safety, punctuality and environmental protection in completing this iconic factory.”

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