According to a report by Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO), food and beverage exports from Ontario have increased 12% over the past two years for a total of $7.6 billion annually.
The report indicates that Ontario’s international reputation for wholesome and safe food and drink as well as the growing middle class in developing countries has led to this substantial increase for the 3,000 Ontario exporters.
During this same period, however, imports to Ontario have increased 20% for a total of $14.1 billion annually, showing that there is still opportunity for Ontario processors to grow their business within their own borders.
With a greater contribution to the provincial economy than the motor vehicle manufacturing sector, food and beverage manufacturing and agriculture is a provincial powerhouse, contributing more than $40 billion in revenue. The industry is also a major job creator, providing 132,000 jobs through direct employment and 172,000 jobs through indirect employment.
With the potential implementation of trade agreements such as CETA and TPP, it is possible that these numbers expand even more dramatically as new markets open with the removal of market tariffs and non-tariff barriers.