Budget 2018 continues the commitment to supporting agri-food, a high potential sector, by further strengthening the policy frames as industry and government strive to realize the ambitious target to grow Canada’s agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025.
One of Canada’s food and beverage industry strongest assets is our employees who reflect the rich diversity of Canada. While we recognize the diversity in our workplaces, the food and beverage sector can do more at the executive level. FBC-ABC is committed to setting an example and will also be challenging our member associations and companies to make an industry-wide commitment to ensure that our senior management and Boards reflect the face of our workforce and the Canadian population.
FBC-ABC sees strong potential in the following Budget 2018 commitments and looks forward to shaping them with the Government of Canada as a shared commitment to creating high-quality jobs, supporting economic sustainability for communities in rural and urban Canada, while nourishing the world.
- $11.5 million over three years, starting in 2018–19, for the Government to pursue a regulatory reform agenda focused on supporting innovation and business investment.
- Developing an e-regulation system to engage Canadians on regulation in order to improve the transparency and efficiency of the overall rule-making process.
- Strengthening Canada’s Food Safety System with funding for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to support activities that help address food safety risks before they reach domestic consumers, including improving risk intelligence and oversight, offshore prevention activities, and improving compliance of international and domestic businesses to food safety regulations.
- Further strengthening the Trade Commissioners Service through transformative enhancements to simplify the client experience, modernize tools and offer innovative services.
- Renewed funding for the Market Access Secretariat as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency leads the government role in negotiations of export conditions for agricultural, fishery and forestry products and certification of Canadian exports against other countries’ import requirements.
- Funding for Fisheries and Oceans Canada to renew the Sustainable Aquaculture Program for two years in support of an improved regulatory system.
- Supporting Canada’s researchers by creating a stronger and more collaborative approach to federal research that enriches Canada’s research environment, while inspiring innovation to drive the knowledge-based economy with Canadian business.
FBC-ABC also looks forward to engaging with the Government of Canada to review Canadian financial, tax, labour and investment frameworks to ensure they are meeting the needs of Canadian food and beverage businesses as we ready for tomorrow’s economy by investing in our diversified workforce, sustainable facilities and healthy food and beverage products. As we collectively strive for Canada to be a globally competitive food and beverage manufacturing leader, Canada’s fiscal, trade and infrastructure policies need to be fully aligned if we are going to achieve the 2025 target.
The food and beverage processing industry is the second largest manufacturing industry in Canada in terms of value of production with shipments worth $112.4 billion in 2016 accounting for 18% of total manufacturing shipments.
The industry’s 6,900 businesses are the largest manufacturing employer providing direct jobs for over 257,000 Canadians, employing more Canadians than the auto and aerospace industries combined.
The industry supplies approximately 70% of all processed food and beverage products in Canada and is the largest buyer of the food Canadian farmers grow. Exports of processed food and beverage products to 192 countries continue to increase and stood at $33.5 billion in 2016, an increase of 7% over 2015; accounting for 29.8% of production value.