Why Ontario?

An extensive transportation network of five international airports, 80 regional airports, and 15 road, rail and marine border crossings to the U.S. connect the province with markets in North America and around the globe. Ontario Food Cluster communities are located within two hours of the U.S and economic development officers across the province work with the Ontario Food Cluster to research locations that offer the most strategic fit. Their job is to help you make the best decisions for the growth and prosperity of your agri-food business.

 

Ontario’s 3,000 agri-food companies tap into a renewable resource of annual graduates from more than 55 university and college programs from 25 institutions concentrating on agriculture, food science, nutritional science and culinary arts.

Did you know Ontario…

  • Is Canada’s largest province by population
  • Agri-food and beverage sector is a top employer with 740,000 jobs
  • Manufacturing revenues from the agri-food industry currently total more than $36.9 billion
  • Food exports total $12.5 billion
  • Retail grocery sales total $106 billion from grocery stores ($86 billion), non-traditional food stores ($15 billion) and ethnic food stories ($5 billion)
  • Researchers, industry employees and agricultural innovators have built a stellar reputation for reliable, sustainable sources of raw materials, state of-the- art automated food processing methods and food safety standards
  • Has 52,000 farms, it’s rich agricultural lands produces more than 230 agricultural commodities

Global reputation for food quality and access to 460 million consumers

Canada’s largest province by population, Ontario has a global reputation for food quality and access to over 460 million North American consumers through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has nearly tripled trade between Canada and the U.S. The agriculture, agri-food and beverage sector is one of Ontario’s top employers with 740,000 jobs. More than 110,000 people in Ontario work directly in agri-food processing.

In 2014, Canada signed its biggest trade agreement ever with the European Union, the world’s largest economy. When CETA comes into force in 2016, almost 94 percent of EU agricultural tariff lines will be duty-free, and seven years later, that number will rise to over 95 percent, creating massive opportunity for European investors wishing to export manufactured food from Ontario back to Europe.

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Researchers, innovators and employees have built Ontario’s stellar reputation for sustainable sources of agricultural raw materials, state-of-the-art automated food processing methods and world-class food safety standards. Ontario agri-food companies tap into a renewable resource of annual graduates from more than 55 university and college programs from 25 institutions concentrating on agriculture, food science, nutritional science and culinary arts.

The Ontario Food Cluster benefits from Canada’s high R&D and economic profile. Canada is the first G20 member to have made itself a tariff-free zone for manufacturers by eliminating tariffs on inputs, machinery and equipment.

Canadian R&D tax incentives among most generous in the world

Canada’s R&D tax incentive program is one of the most generous in the world. When tax credits are factored in, the after-tax cost of $100 in R&D spending can be reduced to less than $41. Canada supports private-sector innovation through the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program and related provincial tax incentives. The result is that businesses in Canada enjoy the lowest R&D costs in the G-7—10.7 percent lower than those in the U.S.

Ontario has 52,000 farms including 669 certified organic farms. The province’s food exports total $12.5 billion. The province’s retail grocery sales total $106 billion from grocery stores ($86 billion), non-traditional food stores ($15 billion) and ethnic food stories ($5 billion).

Ontario’s rich agricultural lands produce more than 230 agricultural commodities – a diversity unmatched in most parts of the world. An extensive transportation network of five international airports, 80 regional airports, and 15 road, rail and marine border crossings to the U.S. connects the province with markets in North America and around the globe. Ontario Food Cluster communities are located within two-hours of the U.S.

Ontario's globally cost-competitive economy 

The list of reasons to invest in the Ontario Food Cluster start with Canada’s exceptional economic fundamentals.

Canada has continued to outperform its G-7 peers in terms of job creation, economic growth, income growth and debt-to-GDP ratio. Forbes Magazine has rated Canada as the best country in the G-20 for business and the World Economic Forum has rated the country’s banking system as the world’s soundest for the past seven years. 

Canada has world's soundest banking system seven years running

Source: World Economic Forum

Source: World Economic Forum

Canada is also among just a handful of nations in the world with a triple-A credit rating. This provides assurance to business investors about the security of their direct investments in the Ontario Food Cluster.

Canada’s business operating costs are the second lowest in the G-7 and five percent lower than those in the U.S., according to the most recent KPMG analysis.

A key factor in Canada’s superior economic performance is a decade-long plan to lower corporate income taxes. In January 2012, Canada further reduced its federal corporate income-tax rate to 15 percent, bringing the combined provincial and federal rate to an average of 26 percent, well below the comparable rates in most other G-7 countries and almost 13 percentage points below those in the United States. In fact, a 2013 KPMG study indicates that Canada’s corporate income-tax rate has decreased more rapidly than that of any other country.

Another key competitive differentiator for the Ontario Food Cluster is that Canada has traditionally been able to attract the best and brightest minds to staff the most demanding projects. A recent example is a new immigration program, known as Start-Up Visa introduced in April 2013. The program aims to recruit immigrant entrepreneurs, selected by venture-capital investors, as candidates to launch innovative startups in Canada. In support of the program, the Government will allot 2,750 visas per year until 2018 for entrepreneurs and their families.