Author: Stuart Duncan

Agri-business has traditionally played a major role in Western Canada’s economy. Food processing is a key component of Western Canada’s agri-business cluster, and is increasingly important to the efforts of all Prairie Provinces to diversify and add-value in agriculture.

The three Prairie Provinces in particular have experienced resurgence in food processing, and there is significant investment and further interest in agri-food operations. The sustained growth of food processing activity in Western Canada over the remainder of the 1990s will continue to be affected by a number of central factors:

Macro-economic conditions;
Increasing merger and acquisition activity as well as alliances and vertical integration in the sector;
Fluctuations in commodity prices
Changing demographics and consumer and retail demands for very specified products;
Attracting investment from locally-based entrepreneurs, major domestic food processors and foreign multinational corporations;
Efficient infrastructure development of trade, transportation and distribution links and facilities.
Advances in technology
Partnerships among producers, processors, suppliers, distributors, marketers, researchers, educators, financiers, agri-service specialists and governments;
Domestic policies, marketing strategies, programs, systems, institutions and regulations; and
International trade developments and effective preparation and positioning for the next round of world trade negotiations.
This report focuses on providing an overview of the structure and recent trends of food and beverage processing in Western Canada, and looks at the need for seriously effecting changes to support long-term sustained growth of value-added agri-food activity.