Learn about Ontario's food and beverage industry

Did you know: the overall cost of doing business in Ontario is lower than in the United States?

That's why so many multinational companies have located here. Ontario is one of the largest and most competitive food clusters in North America. Plus:

  • We are close to major U.S. markets. Toronto, our largest city, is within a day's drive of the most prosperous markets in Canada and the United States. The total North American market is valued at US$17 trillion, with 450 million consumers.
  • We offer a highly favourable business environment.  This includes highly efficient transportation systems, streamlined regulations and competitive corporate tax rates
  • We have a highly efficient supply chain system. We have a closely knit network of producers, processors, logistics firms and food distributors.

To learn more, read Ontario - A great place to grow your food business.

Quick facts

  • Ontario has one of North America's top 10 economies and its second largest manufacturing sector.

About our producers

  • There are more than 57,211 farms in Ontario. Sales of products total more than $9 billion each year.
  • Ontario farms grow more than 200 different agricultural commodities. Many of these are processed in the province.

About our processors

  • Ontario's food processing sector is the third largest in North America. Yearly sales total more than $34 billion. The top two sectors: meat product and bakery manufacturing.
  • About 3,000 companies make food and beverage products in Ontario. This includes international giants such as Nestle, Kellogg's, Coca Cola, Kraft, AB InBev and Pepsico. As well as homegrown firms like Maple Leaf Foods, Dare Foods Limited and Weston Foods.
  • Almost 25 per cent of the province's food manufacturing businesses are based in rural Ontario. Advantages include: lower land costs, lower worker turnover and closer access to agricultural inputs.
  • The Business Development Branch reports $1.4 billion in capital investments in the Ontario food and beverage processing industry over the past 5 years.

About our food sales and food service companies

  • Retail grocery sales totaled more than $25 billion in 2009.
  • Food services sales added up to $22.5 billion in 2010 and create 404,200 jobs.

About our food exporters

  • Ontario has an export-oriented culture.
  • In 2010 agri-food exports totalled $9.39 billion. That is up 6 per cent from 2009.

Learn more now about Ontario food exports

Read more Ontario statistics now


For more information:
Local: (519) 826-3486
E-mail: foodinvest@ontario.ca


Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 23 March 2011
Last Reviewed: 31 July 2013