Ontario agribusinesses are innovative, internationally competitive and adaptive to the challenges and opportunities associated with changing consumer demands. The sector includes farm input and service supplier industries, farming, food and beverage processing, distribution, retail, wholesale, and foodservice industries.
Together, these industries employ approximately 1 in 9 Ontarians and contributed $36.4 billion in GDP to the provincial economy in 2015. The province cannot afford to take the continued success of the agri-food sector for granted.
Recent changes in the provincial regulatory environment and other factors, such as rising input costs, are compromising the ability of Ontario agrifood businesses to remain competitive in the global marketplace.
To sustain the competitiveness of the agriculture and food processing sectors in Ontario, it is critical that government adopt an approach to regulatory management that is flexible and responsive to the economic context in which agribusinesses operate.
To attract, retain and grow businesses in the sector, governments should focus the next Agricultural Policy Framework on promoting the efficient and sustainable production of food products, developing the skills of its workforce, improving access to risk management tools and strategic initiatives, and incentivizing innovation in the sector.
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