Ontario Food and Beverage Processing Industry Driving Provincial Economy

Alliance of Ontario Food Processors report makes the case for Ontario's new job and prosperity engine

TORONTO, Oct. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Norm Beal, Chair, Alliance of Ontario Food Processors releases five-year action plan for the Ontario food and beverage processing industry.

"For too long, the food and beverage processing industry has been Ontario's best kept secret," said Norm Beal, Alliance Chair and President & CEO of Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery.

"This sector directly employs 125,000 people, generates $39 billion in revenue annually and produces high quality, safe food for Ontarians. Unlike other manufacturing sectors which are forecasting declines, we are making a commitment to add another 60,000 plus jobs to the economy and generate $70 billion by 2020."

The Alliance of Ontario Food Processors worked directly with small to large processors across the province in developing the report, Ontario's Food and Beverage Processing Industry Strategy - The New Engine of Ontario's Economy. This report identifies four major recommendations necessary to supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate:

  1. Establish a Food and Beverage Innovation Centre - connect capacity and infrastructure already available in the province and add new infrastructure where needed to provide processor businesses with market development and business resources.
  2. Raise the Profile of Ontario Food and Drink - strengthen Ontario's "brand" to further expand domestic markets and better leverage opportunities in emerging and developed export markets.
  3. Develop Talent and a Future in Food - raise awareness of the processing sector as an attractive job destination and support the places and people necessary to develop talent.
  4. Simplify and Modernize Regulations - better align industry and government for regulation development and reform.

The Alliance is calling for a government - industry partnership to refine implementation plans including costing, timelines and delivery structures for each of the four recommendations by February 2014.

"This industry has the people, the history and the infrastructure to become Ontario's leading manufacturing sector," added Steve Peters, Alliance Executive Director. "We heard the challenge from this government on growing the sector and have responded with four areas for strategic investment. We now look forward to making it happen."

A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.aofp.ca

Funding for this project has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council. Funding was also generously provided by Grain Farmers of Ontario.

The Alliance of Ontario Food Processors is a not-for-profit organization that speaks on issues and concerns common to Ontario's 3,000 plus food and beverage processing industry. Our focus is on the success, prosperity and growth of the food and beverage processing sector. We work collaboratively with our colleagues and partners across the agriculture and food sector.

SOURCE: Alliance of Ontario Food Processors

For further information:

Isabel Dopta, Director, Communications and Industry Relations
Alliance of Ontario Food Processors
p: 519.993.1192 l e: idopta@aofp.ca

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Alliance of Ontario Food Processors

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