Agriculture & Food

Agriculture & Food

Grow your business in Canada

The agriculture and food industry plays a large and important role in the Canadian economy, and Canada is a major player in the global agriculture market.

Canada’s leading agriculture and food companies are responsible for farming as well as food and beverage production and packaging. Canada’s top agriculture and food companies include Viterra Inc., Kraft Canada, and McCain Foods Ltd. 

The Brains

The food and beverage industry is the largest employer in the Canadian manufacturing sector and grew 7 percent between 2007 and 2011.

Canada has a global reputation of producing clean, safe and healthy foods. Government bodies, such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, enforce strict standards that provide Canadian food and agriculture with a competitive advantage in the global market.

The Bottom Line

The food and beverage industry contributed $26 billion to Canada's GDP in 2012.

In 2012, total Canadian agricultural exports amounted to $22.7 billion, a 10.2 percent increase over 2011.

Crops & Livestock

Our farmers and ranchers benefit from a favourable climate and a vast land base. In 2011, Canadian farmland totalled 160.2 million acres. New and efficient farming methods mean Canadian farms are becoming more productive while protecting the environment.

Food & Beverage Manufacturing

Canada attracts some of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers, such as Kraft and Viterra Inc. Homegrown companies include giants such as McCain Foods and Saputo. In Canada, the food and beverage processing industry is one of the largest manufacturing industries with annual sales worth $98.8 billion. It accounts for 16% of total manufacturing shipments and for 2% of the national GDP.

Non-Food Agricultural Products

Not only does Canada manufacture equipment for the farming, conveyance and storage of agricultural products, there’s a growing segment for non-edible agricultural products. Canada attracts industries as diverse as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and packaging to create products as diverse as airbags containing cornstarch, diabetic test strips containing a horseradish enzyme and skin care products made from oats.

Success Stories

The Canadian agriculture and food industry benefits from government support of the industry and access to public and private funding.
Researchers in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, have helped develop milk and juice drinks with added probiotics. The encapsulated bacteria in these beverages have demonstrated physiological benefits that help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Canadian Bio-Potato Network, funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, researchers in New Brunswick were able to identify several varieties of potatoes that are just as rich in antioxidants as blueberries.
Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. is researching and developing a chlorine-free and sulphur-free paper made entirely from Manitoba wheat and flax straw – a step toward tree-free paper and to the eventual construction of North America’s first mill for wheat and straw-based paper production.
Les Shipp is one of several Canadian researchers working on “Bee Vectoring,” which uses bees to deliver natural pesticides (microbial control agents) to plants while pollenating. This method helps to control pest insects, as compared with spray techniques, which target only a single point in time.
One of Canada’s most important crops is Canola, which was bred naturally from rapeseed at the University of Manitoba in the early 1970s. Canola is used for cooking oil, lubricants, biodiesel fuel and a variety of other products. In 2013, Canada contributed 33% to global canola exports.

Host Your Next Meeting in Canada

Edmonton, Alberta

While agriculture production occurs across Canada, the prairie provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba have the most farmland and the greatest concentration of farms.

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