Toronto, Ont. – The Alliance of Ontario Food Processors (AOFP) has released a five-year action plan for the province’s food and beverage industry that forecasts strong growth within the next seven years.
“This sector directly employs 125,000 people, generates $39 billion in revenue annually and produces high-quality safe food for Ontarians,” says Norm Beal, AOFP chair and president and CEO of Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery. “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 report, Ontario’s Food and Beverage Processing Industry Strategy – The New Engine of Ontario’s Economy, makes four recommendations necessary to support this kind of innovative business climate:
• Establish a food and beverage innovation centre to help businesses with market development and business resources.
• Raise the profile of the province’s food and beverage products by strengthening the Ontario brand, allowing businesses to expand both domestic markets and new export markets.
• Develop talent and a “future in food” by raising awareness of the food processing industry as an attractive job market.
• Simplify and modernize regulations, and better align the industry and government for this reform.
The AOFP is calling for an industry and government partnership to refine these implementation plans, including making costing, timelines and delivery structures for each of the four points by February 2014.
A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.aofp.ca