Valuing Food: The Economic Contribution of Canada’s Food Sector

The Conference Board of Canada, 78 pages, June 6, 2011
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Canada’s food sector makes an enormous contribution to our national economy. This report examines Canada’s current food economy footprint and engagement in the global food economy.

Document Highlights

Canada’s food sector makes an enormous contribution to our national economy. We have a well-developed agriculture and agri-food system, and Canadians are better fed than ever before.

The food economy consists of all stages involved in the food value chain, from the production of food through to its preparation and ingestion. In all, the food sector is responsible for more than 9 per cent of GDP and 2.3 million jobs, roughly 13 per cent of all employment in Canada.

This report considers the underlying forces shaping food supply and demand, analyzes Canada’s current food economy footprint, and looks at our engagement in the global food economy. It concludes with a summary of major findings and their implications.

The report is designed to shed light on the food economy from the broadest possible perspective, so as to inform the Centre for Food in Canada’s (CFIC) deliberations toward a Canadian Food Strategy. It is one of two foundational projects that underpin CFIC’s work on the Strategy.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2—Major Trends in Canada’s Food Sector

  • Changing Consumer Demands
  • Supply Innovations
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3—Canada’s Food Economy Footprint

  • What Constitutes the Food Economy?
  • It All Starts With Household Spending
  • From Household Consumption to Jobs and Profits
  • Sub-Industry Breakdowns
  • Canada’s Food Export Footprint
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4—The Global Connections of Canada’s Food Sector

  • The Global Economy of Food
  • The Canadian Food Sector—Increasingly Global
  • Imported foods: An Important Contribution to the Canadian Diet
  • What Foods Does Canada Currently Trade?
  • Trade Restrictions in the Food Sector in Canada
  • Where Will the Future Growth for the Food Sector Come From?
  • How Are Other Countries Preparing Themselves for the Emerging Market for Foods?
  • What Does a Food Sector Scaled to Service Domestic and Global Markets Look Like?
  • How Is Canada Currently Seeking To Be a Key Player in the Global Trade of Food?

Chapter 5—Conclusion

  • Food Awareness Is on the Rise
  • The Food Sector Is a Major Economic Driver in Canada
  • The Food Sector Is Globally Integrated, Globally Competitive
  • There Are Significant Growth Opportunities for Canadian Companies
  • Implications for the Canadian Food Strategy

Appendix A—Bibliography

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