Agri-Food
Choose Growth: Choose Québec


Québec is an international agri-food giant, building on a rich rural tradition. All sectors of the industry—raw materials, processing, sales and food service—are thriving.

 

Accounting for close to 70,000 jobs, food processing is Québec’s top manufacturing employer.

 

Here are a few industry numbers for 2017:

 

  • 2 400 businesses, of which 90% are SMBs
  • Nearly 70 000 workers
  • 70 % of Québec’s agricultural production is processed
  • $29.1 billion in shipments
  • GDP of $7,7 billion
  • Dairy products and meats are the largest segment, accounting for almost 42 % of total shipments.
  • The industry’s manufacturing shipments totalled more than $29 billion in 2017.
  • Québec’s biofood GDP climbed to $25.5 billion in 2017. The 4.3% estimated rate of growth surpassed that of the Québec economy as a whole.

An abundance of high-quality raw materials

Québec is vast and fertile—a generous land where excellent raw materials can be obtained or produced readily and affordably.

Picture of a hydroelectric dam, cranberries and sugar maples

 

  • 10% of Québec’s surface is covered with fresh water.
  • In addition to being Canada's largest pork producer, Québec also ranks first in the production of veal.
  • Québec is Canada’s top milk producers. It also makes over 70% of Canada's yogurt and nearly 75% of its cheese.
  • Berries, including cranberries, and a wide variety of vegetables are plentiful in Québec. Soybeans are also an important crop. And, of course, so is maple syrup.

 

Photo of a cargo ship anchored at the port of Montréal

 

  • Québec’s agri-food exports totalled $8.8 billion in 2017, with a 6.4% increase over 2016, the highest growth rate in Canada.
  • More than 69% of Québec agri-food products are exported to the United States.

 

 

Canada—and hence Québec—is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which promotes free trade. Moreover, it has signed a number of trade agreements which partially or completely eliminate tariff barriers.

 

  • Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union
  • Free Trade Agreement – CUSMA: Canada, the United States and Mexico
  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
  • Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement
  • Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement
  • Agreements reached with Israel, Peru, Colombia, Jordan, Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica and Ukraine
  • Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)

 

In force since July 1, 2017, the Canadian Free Trade Agreement aims to boost interprovincial trade and establish an open, efficient and stable domestic market.

Focusing on specific areas of expertise and recognized skill sets, Québec’s ACCORD niches and poles of excellence provide every Québec region with specific branding that they can use to gain greater visibility in Canada and around the world.

 

AgroBoréal Open a new window, promoting Québec’s northern riches: The province’s northern resources fall into five categories: northern berries, seed potatoes and northern truck farming, non-wood boreal forest products, large
cool-climate field crops and livestock farming in northern-conditions.

 

Québec Nutri Open a new window, Québec City region (Capitale-Nationale) : The food and nutrition cluster aims to create a pool of contact networks, advanced technologies and applied knowledge designed to help develop new health foods and support growth in local businesses. It supports the creation of new health foods as well as the improvement of existing foods’ nutritional value by using wholesome ingredients and innovative technological solutions.

 

Ressources, sciences et technologies marines : Maritime Québec Open a new window(aquaculture, marine biotechnologies, capture and processing of marine products, and marine technologies).

 

Subject to Canada’s food regulation and inspection system, which is known worldwide for its stringent standards, Québec-produced food is of excellent quality.

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Contact your expert

Jean-François Brochu

Director, Industry and Business Intelligence Department, Montréal

514 873-7297
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