Canada’s agriculture and food sector can safely be labeled “Old Faithful” for its contribution to Canada’s export-based economy. While not a flashy industry, it remains among the most dependable and consistent in terms of foreign sales year after year.
Export Development Canada’s latest forecast called for foreign shipments, which totaled more than $50 billion in 2013 and represented 9.5 per cent of all Canadian exports, to increase 10 per cent in 2014 and another five per cent in 2015, both all-time highs.
Daniel Benatuil, an economist at EDC specializing in agri-food exports, notes that the sector outperformed many others during the recession and has bounced back strongly since. “We are at the mercy of global trends in terms of exports because Canada is a significant agri-food producer that consumes less than it produces, but fortunately most of those trends are positive for Canada,” he said. The outlook going forward remains positive for most agri-foods Canada exports including oilseeds, pulses, wheat, manufactured food and beverages, meats, live animals, and seafood.