Agri-Business & Food Industries
The agriculture and agri-food system encompasses several industries including the farm input and service supplier industries, primary agriculture, food and beverage processing, food distribution, retail, wholesale and food service industries.
In 2010, Canada was the fifth-largest exporter and sixth-largest importer of agriculture and agri-food products in the world [if the EU is treated as a bloc], with exports and imports valued at $35.5 billion and $28 billion, respectively. High tech, knowledge based and cost advantageous, the Canadian agriculture and agri-food system is a complex integrated and globally competitive supply chain providing food, beverages and tobacco products to consumers in Canada and 180 other countries. The food and beverage processing industry is the largest manufacturing industry in Canada; it accounts for 17 percent of the total value of manufacturing shipments and two percent of national GDP.
In terms of agricultural trade, Alberta is the third largest exporter of primary and processed agricultural and food products in Canada. In 2009, Alberta’s agri-food exports totaled $7.6 billion. Of the total, nearly 36% was exported to the United States ($2.7 billion), followed by 14% to China (1 billion), 13% to Japan ($954 million) and 6% to Mexico ($455 million).
60.8% of Alberta’s food and beverage manufacturing industries in 2011 was concentrated in two segments: meat products and grain and oilseed milling.
(Source: Government of Alberta).