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Waning Investment, Limited Government Support Hinder Canada’s Domestic Food Resilience
Created on 5/6/2021 6:11:29 AM

Mississauga, Ontario (May 6, 2021) — Analyzing 24 economic factors, Dalhousie University today released research finding that waning investment, aging facilities, large grocers’ fees, and lack of government support are among the top constraints on domestic food and beverage manufacturing and present risks for resilience and security in Canada’s food supply.

The study released today (Thursday) uses publicly-available data to construct snapshots of the sector’s health in 2010 and 2020 and to model outcomes in 2030 should current trends continue. 

The study finds that weak investment conditions and labour shortages contributed to anemic growth in domestic manufacturing from 2010-2020, when Canada saw just 20 new manufacturing facilities in the sector compared to more than 4000 in the United States during the same period. Limited federal support also impacts the sector, though the pandemic has increased government awareness and interest in the food supply chain.

FHCP CEO, Michael Graydon, commented: 
“Despite making essential food and other goods Canadians rely on every single day and despite supporting more jobs than any other manufacturing sector in Canada, the food and consumer goods sector has typically received little attention or support.

As the pandemic made abundantly clear, Canada cannot afford to continue ignoring the serious constraints on our domestic food supply. The government must urgently improve Canada’s investment environment and legislate to protect suppliers against unfair grocery fees.”

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois commented: 
“Food and beverage manufacturing plays a key role in supporting farmers, and the rest of the supply chain. It needs to be broadly recognized through better, and more supportive policy.

Canada has the potential to be a global force in innovation and food processing. As we have seen through the pandemic, domestic manufacturing is critical to Canadian security – food security included.”

Despite the challenges identified in the study, food and beverage manufacturing is Canada’s second largest manufacturing sector and top manufacturing employer. The sector’s GDP contribution in 2020 was $26.5 billion, about 13.5% of Canada’s overall GDP with only marginal growth from 13.18% in 2010.

Other key findings include: 

  • About 70% of all processed food and beverage products sold in Canada come from domestic manufacturers. More than half of imported products are made in the United States.
  • Canada continues to be a strong net-exporter of food products and is a global leader in food and beverage product exports, but manufacturing relocation away from Canada would have implications for this position.
  • Trade and technological innovation present opportunities for strengthening the food and beverage manufacturing sector, while environmental challenges must be addressed.
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For more information, view the full study, or the two-page Executive Summary in either English or French.

For media inquiries, contact pressinquiries@fhcp.ca or Anthony Fuchs, +1 (416) 648-8808
 
About Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada
Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP) is the voice of Canada’s largest manufacturing employer. The food, health, and consumer products sector employs more than 350,000 Canadians across businesses of all sizes that manufacture and distribute the safe, high-quality products that are at the heart of healthy homes, healthy communities, and a healthy Canada.  Visit OnEveryShelf.ca to learn more.

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