Agribusiness

Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector benefits from an abundant supply of natural resources including diverse plant, animal and marine life. From farm to store shelf, food producers and manufacturers operating in Canada enjoy low business costs, accessible export markets, and advancements in Canadian agri-tech.

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We zoomed in on Portage because we found great access to raw materials, a very well-educated workforce, access to renewable energy, it’s easy to ship from and the really great relationship and business-friendly environment.

Jean-Marc Gilson, CEO, Roquette

Top commodities by region in Canada 

Region Top Commodities
British Columbia Aquaculture, horticulture, dairy
Alberta Cattle, grains and oilseeds
Saskatchewan Cattle, grains and oilseeds
Manitoba Hogs, grains and oilseeds
Ontario Dairy, grains and oilseeds
Quebec Dairy, hogs
New Brunswick Aquaculture, horticulture, dairy
Nova Scotia Aquaculture, horticulture, dairy
Prince Edward Island Aquaculture, horticulture, dairy
Newfoundland and Labrador Dairy, poultry
Yukon Greenhouse crops, forage
Northwest Territories Horticulture, eggs
Nunavut Wild berries, caribou, musk, ox

Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 

Crop and animal production in Canada

Canada’s agribusiness industry has a strong history of adapting to economic and environmental changes. In recent years, the share of farm market receipts has shifted from livestock to crops. Now, technological advances are transforming the way agriculture companies do business. Canadian digitization projects* include AI-backed facial recognition technology for cows, camera and AI-powered herbicide distribution systems, and autonomous tractors. 

* Projects submitted under Stream 4 of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)

Food and beverage processing in Canada

Food and beverage processing generates most of the manufacturing activity in Canada and benefits from continuous supply from Canadian farms. KPMG ranks Canada as the second best country in the agri-food processing sector, based on utilities, transportation, labour, and other manufacturing costs.

Investing in Agriculture and Agri-food in Canada

Incentives

As part of the Accelerated Investment Incentive, Canada introduced federal tax credits which include an immediate 100% write-off for newly acquired manufacturing and processing equipment. Canada is also the first country in the G20 to offer a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers, allowing investors to import advanced machinery and equipment from their parent companies with no import duties.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a five-year, $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial investment in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sectors.

The Protein Industries Supercluster focuses on evolving agricultural production with plant genomics and novel processing to satisfy growing markets for plant-based meat alternatives. It is expected to contribute over $4.5B to Canada’s GDP over 10 years.

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program provides tax credits and refunds for expenditures on eligible R&D activity in Canada. Examples include:

  • Operations research
  • Experimentation on environmentally friendly pest control regimes
  • Investments in bio-digesters to reduce methane production
  • Testing

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) bolsters business investments in Canada's most dynamic and innovative sectors. SIF Stream 4 will give up to $50 million to networks or consortia to advance digital technologies in agriculture and agri-food value chains.

Other agribusiness programs include:

Advance Payments Program
Cash advance on the value of the agricultural products.
AgriInnovate Program
Repayable contributions that aim to accelerate the demonstration, commercialization and/or adoption of innovative technologies, products, processes or services.
AgriInsurance
Cost-shared insurance for natural hazards in order to minimize the financial implications of production and/or asset losses.
AgriScience Program - Projects
Funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research.
Dairy Processing Investment Fund
Up to $10 million to support investments in equipment and infrastructure.
Living Laboratories Initiative: Collaborative Program
Nation-wide network of sites where groups can collaborate to co-develop, assess and implement innovative solutions to address persistent agri-environmental issues.
Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre’s Industrial Program
Direct access to sophisticated equipment and a versatile research and development environment to agri-food companies.
Technology transfer and licensing
A variety of technologies and intellectual property available for commercialization.

Leading research institutes

You’re in good company

Recent Investment Announcements

Feb2020

dnata

dnata, one of the world’s largest air services providers, continues to expand its global catering network. The company commenced operations in Canada by opening a new, 48,000 ft2 (4,460 m²) facility at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). dnata’s latest expansion represents a multi-million dollar investment and is expected to create 80 new, direct jobs with the company over the next 18 months.

Oct2019

Mondelez

US-based Mondelez International is investing $40 million to expand its existent manufacturing facility in Hamilton, Ontario. The expansion has encompassed the implementation of a new $40 million candy production line and 1395 sq m of additional site area. The new line will serve the Canadian market and is expected to create 50 new jobs.

Aug2019

Ingredion

US-based Ingredion, a speciality ingredients company, plans to expand its existing facility in Vanscoy, Saskatchewan in order to produce pea protein isolates. Investments are being made to make pulse-based protein concentrates and flours from peas, lentils and fava beans for food applications. The investment forms part of the company’s $185 million plan to broaden its range of plant-based protein solutions by the end of 2019

Feb2019

J.M. Smucker

US-based J. M. Smucker has announced a $12 million investment in its manufacturing facility in Sherbrooke, Québec. The investment will be used to upgrade equipment that will allow the facility to increase its flexibility and the variety of products produced.

Sep2018

Barry Callebaut

Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut, a cocoa and chocolate company, announced the completion of its expansion investments in its facilities located in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec and Chatham, Ontario. Recent investments in the St. Hyacinthe facility include both an additional liquid chocolate line as well as enhanced capabilities for the production of dairy-free chocolates. In the Chatham factory, Barry Callebaut has introduced additional liquid storage capacity to expand the variety of products available to customers.

Jul2018

Bel

Bel, a cheese manufacturer and a subsidiary of France-based Unibel, will invest $87 million in the construction of its first production facility in Canada, in the city of Sorel-Tracy, Québec. The facility will create 170 jobs and will commence operations in early 2020.

Jun2018

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola Canada, a subsidiary of US-based Coca-Cola, has announced an $85 million investment to build a new production facility in Peterborough, Canada. The facility is scheduled to begin operations in 2020. It will provide new production capabilities starting with Fairlife ultra-filtered milk, firstly serving markets in Canada.

May2018

Bonduelle

Bonduelle Canada, a subsidiary of France-based Bonduelle, a provider of vegetables and associated products, is expanding its plants in Ontario that will see 87 new jobs created in a $79.8 million investment across Tecumseh, Ingersoll and Strathroy. 

Mar2018

Nestle

Nestle Canada, a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Nestle, is expanding its ice cream manufacturing facility in London, Canada. The $51.5 million expansion will create more capacity and future growth of Haagen-Dazs and other ice cream products.