Ontario leads the way as food and beverage processors showing growth in export markets

Food and Beverage Ontario report says exports are up but untapped potential in domestic market continues

GUELPH – A report released today by Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) indicates that Ontario’s 3,000 processors are export-oriented. Exports from Ontario have increased 12% over a two year period now totaling $7.6 billion annually, according to the report.

Reasons for export growth are cited as:
· Ontario’s international reputation for food and drink as wholesome and safe;
· Population growth and widening middle class in developing countries.

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.

However, over the same period, imports to Ontario increased by 20% totaling $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.

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.

As the food and beverage industry becomes a major provincial powerhouse in the province, jobs are also created. Processor businesses provide 132,000 direct jobs with a further 172,000 jobs generated through indirect employment.

“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.

The full report, which was completed by MNP LLP and commissioned by Food and Beverage Ontario can be viewed at http://www.foodandbeverageontario.ca This report was funded in part by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

About Food and Beverage Ontario

Established in 2003 as the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors, Food and Beverage Ontario has evolved into the organization of choice for members of the processing community – a community that contributes over $40 billion annually and is the number one employer in Ontario.

Governed by an industry-led Board of Directors with guidance from a stakeholder Advisory Council and support from a dedicated staff team, Food and Beverage Ontario is a powerful advocate and facilitator of success for all categories of Ontario processor business. In 2015, Food and Beverage Ontario’s Board of Directors completed a strategic plan for the organization that will guide the activities and performance of the organization over the next three years.

Join us for the latest on trade and market updates from leading experts at Food and Beverage Ontario’s Annual Conference on June 16th in Toronto.

For more information, please visit foodandbeverageontario.ca
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