Growing Ontario’s Agriculture and Food Export Markets

Canada and Ontario doubling investment to help the sector develop new markets

Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, led a delegation of agri-food businesses and organizations to meet with Mexican government, trade representatives and leading food companies (image source: X / @LisaThompsonPC)

TORONTO —The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing an additional $6 million in the Grow Ontario Market Initiative to help agri-food businesses and industry organizations expand their sales and grow their markets. The increase brings the total funding for the Initiative through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to $12 million.

The Grow Ontario Market Initiative was launched in 2023 to provide primary producers, food processors and industry organizations with cost-share funding to help them increase sales in domestic and foreign markets through market analysis and planning, new product development and marketing.

“I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to partner with the Government of Ontario to invest an additional $6 million for the Grow Ontario Market Initiative,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Ensuring our farmers, producers, and agri-food businesses are able to reach new markets, at home and abroad, is vitally important, and our governments are here to support them.”

In addition to the new funding for the Grow Ontario Market Initiative, the Ontario government has been promoting the province’s agriculture and food products outside our borders, most recently during a successful trade mission to Mexico to promote grain and bakery products.

Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, led a delegation of agri-food businesses and organizations to meet with Mexican government, trade representatives and leading food companies. The meetings provided opportunities to promote the range and quality of Ontario bakery and grain products available to Mexican buyers, and to learn more about companies’ operations and needs.

“We are committed to our Grow Ontario Strategy goal of increasing agri-food trade by eight per cent each year, and we’re doing so by promoting the incredible quality and diversity of products made and processed right here in Ontario,” said Minister Thompson. “Through initiatives like the Grow Ontario Market Initiative, our trade missions and participation in international trade shows, we’re ensuring Ontario agriculture and food businesses can grow and expand to new markets.”

Sustainable CAP is a five-year (2023-2028), $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri‐food and agri‐based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5 billion commitment cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by the provinces and territories.

Quick Facts

  • The Grow Ontario Market Initiative is delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Application information can be obtained by calling 1-877-424-1300 or visiting our website.
  • Sustainable CAP will help enable the goals outlined in Ontario’s Grow Ontario Strategy, which include increasing the production of food by 30 per cent over the next 10 years and growing agriculture and food exports by eight per cent annually.
  • Ontario’s agri-food industry contributes $48.8 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the provincial economy (6.4 per cent of total Ontario GDP).
  • The Ontario delegation to Mexico included Grain Farmers of Ontario, which represents 28,000 grain farmers; Baxter’s Bakery Inc., DG Global Inc., Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority, King’s Pastry, London Agricultural Commodities (LAC), and Parrish & Heimbecker.
  • In 2022, Ontario-Mexico agri-food two-way trade was $2.8 billion Canadian dollars. Mexico was Ontario’s sixth-largest agri-food export market in 2022.

SOURCE Province of Ontario

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