Course:FNH200/Lessons/Lesson 01/Page 01.4

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01.04 The Canadian Food Industry

The Canadian food industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry.  Foods available to us on the grocery store shelves include both domestically produced products and imported foods.

Want to learn more?
  • The next time you are in a large grocery store, take some time to survey the proportion of shelf space devoted to various food commodity groups and note the vast array and variety of products that are in the grocery store.

Although Canada produces large amounts of fruits and vegetables, vast quantities of fruits and vegetables are imported as fresh product and in lesser amounts as frozen, canned and dehydrated products. This is due to the seasonal nature of fruit and vegetable production in Canada, as well as the need for climates warmer than Canada to grow fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and bananas.

Canada exports meat products (raw meat and processed meat products) to other countries but also imports meat products (raw meats of specific cuts that may be in short supply in Canada, as well as processed meat products). Likewise Canada exports raw fish (fresh and frozen salmon, cod, etc.) and processed fish (canned fish, smoked fish, salmon and herring roe) to other countries, while other types of fish (such as prawns, oysters, processed fish products) are imported into Canada.

|Dairy milk production |Across Canada, Ontario, Quebec |- |Cereal grains |Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba |- |Tree fruit; small fruits; cranberries, blueberries, raspberries |British Columbia; Ontario, Nova Scotia; Almost every province; British Columbia |- |Vegetables |All across Canada |- |Seafood |Atlantic Canada and British Columbia |} Many agricultural commodities, finished food products and ingredients are imported into Canada as well. These imported products must meet the same standards and regulatory requirements as foods produced in Canada. This aspect is discussed in more detail in the section of the course dealing with regulatory issues and standards (Lesson 4).

Want to learn more?
How does this image from a trading store (ca. 1910) compare to the typical grocery store (supermarket) of today?

- Food production and marketing have come a long way since the 1900s