Canadian Manufacturing

Ontario’s food exports on the rise, but much opportunity exists at home: Report

While food exports from Ontario's processors are growing, imports are growing at a faster pace



GUELPH, Ont.—A new report from Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO), the association representing Ontario’s food processors, says exports from Ontario have increased 12 per cent since 2013 to $7.6 billion per year.

The organization says this indicates that Ontario’s 3,000 food processors are export-oriented.

However, over the same period imports to Ontario increased by 20 per cent to $14.1 billion annually.

“We have learned from this report that there is opportunity for Ontario processors to replace imported finished products, commodities and ingredients, especially as the recent softening of the Canadian dollar assists our processors with more competitive pricing,” said Norm Beal, CEO, Food and Beverage Ontario.

It is important to note that trade agreements such as CETA and TPP have the potential to open significant new markets through removal of market tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

The Ontario food and beverage processing industry contributes more than $40 billion in revenue to the provincial economy. Together, food and beverage manufacturing and agriculture generate more revenue annually than the province’s motor vehicle manufacturing sector.

“This industry finds itself at the right time and the right place. We have a trade imbalance that can be nimbly corrected with the addition of new hires to maximize capacity utilization, new product and packaging innovation and marketing support that targets both domestic and export consumers,” says Michael Burrows, Treasurer of FBO and CEO of Maple Lodge Farms.

View the full report, which was completed by MNP LLP for Food and Beverage Ontario and funded in part by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial funding initiative..

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