3 Frequently Asked Questions about Agri-Food
What is the agri-food sector?
Every day, people across Canada and around the world rely on the agri-food sector for food, fibre, and fuel. Agri-food is a term that combines the words agriculture and food to represent a holistic view of the activities involved in food production.
The 4 major segments of the agri-food sector:
- Crop Producers [including production for crops for fuel (e.g. ethanol) and fibre (e.g. hemp)].
- Fishers and animal producers [including livestock raised for fibre (e.g. sheep for wool)].
- Food Manufacturers (e.g. companies that process and package food products)
- Food and Beverage Retailers (e.g. grocery stores, meat markets, fruits and vegetable markets)1
How big is the agri-food sector?
$100 Billion a year, or 8% of all Canadian produced goods.
The agri-food system is very important to the Canadian economy. As a whole sector, it accounts for 8% of the value of all Canadian produced goods comes from the agriculture and agri-food system. That’s a $100 billion contribution every year! Primary agriculture accounts for 1.7 percent of the national GDP.4
Is the agri-food sector only farming?
When people hear “agriculture” or “agri-food”, they may think of farming only, or the two producer segments. However, the agri-food sector is comprised of the whole journey from the farm to the plate (including manufacturing and retail).
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the “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 foodservice industries.”2
Resources that farmers use to produce their product (e.g. seed, feed, equipment)
Activities that occur within farm, nursery, or greenhouse boundaries producing products for market (e.g. flowers, livestock, honey)3
Production of fruit, vegetables, and non-food plants (e.g. flowers and ornamental plants)
The farming of aquatic species (e.g. salmon, trout, mussels).