Ottawa, April 17, 2018 – A Senate committee is examining how Canadian food processors can take advantage of a golden opportunity to keep exporting quality foods and strengthen a homegrown economic sector at the same time.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry has launched its study of Canada’s value-added food sector. Senators are looking for ways to make it more competitive around the world. The committee will hear from industry stakeholders including farming associations, experts in technology, environmental certification and intellectual property.

The value-added sector is made up of businesses that take farmers’ bulk produce and process it into a ready-to-eat product, like making bread from wheat. Ketchup made from Canadian-grown tomatoes and processed in Canadian factories is an example of the homegrown value-added food sector. This sector represents an opportunity to create jobs and stimulate investment and innovation.

However, the sector is experiencing challenges, including access to foreign markets, the tendency of Canadian farmers to export their raw products instead of selling to domestic food-processing plants and a labour shortage in Canadian food-processing plants that prevents work from being done in Canada.

In February, the Senate authorized the committee to conduct this study into steps the government and industry can take to bolster the value-added food sector in Canada. The report will examine how the sector can continue to meet global consumer demand while remaining competitive in the Canadian market. The committee is expected to present its findings later this year.

Quick Facts

  • Canada has a strong agriculture and agri-food sector. It generated $111.9 billion in 2016, accounting for 6.7% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product. The sector employs approximately 2.3 million people, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).
  • In 2016, more than 1,200 food and beverage processing companies exported their products, according to AAFC.
  • In 2016, 77.5%, or approximately 961 of the food and beverage processing companies that exported their products were small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.


“In a world where too many people live with food insecurity, Canada is blessed with an abundance of farm products. Canadians owe it to the world and to themselves to make the most of this bounty by making food products that meet the global demand and that create meaningful employment in an economic sector that has great potential.”

- Senator Diane Griffin, Chair of the committee

“Canada exports approximately half of its farm produce. There is a tremendous opportunity to add further value to Canada’s farm output by turning it into finished, ready-to-eat products that people in other countries are eager to buy. It makes great business sense to do that work right here in Canada.”

- Senator Ghislain Maltais, Deputy Chair of the committee

Associated Links

  • The Senate of Canada is on Twitter and Facebook – Follow the committee using the hashtag #AGFO.
  • Learn more about the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.
  • Watch the latest meeting on the value-added food sector.
  • Sign up for the Senate’s eNewsletter.

For more information or to request an inter, please contact:

Sonia Noreau

Public Relations Officer

Senate of Canada

613-614-1180 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


April 16, 2018 - The BC Food Processors Association is very pleased to announce the Finalists for our 2018 BC Food and Beverage Awards.  The winners for each award will be announced at our annual Awards Gala & Dinner, which will be held at the beautiful Westin Bayshore on June 21, 2018. 

 “Congratulations to all of our nominees,” says James Donaldson, BCFPA Executive Director and CEO.  “The Awards recognize accomplishments of the food, beverage and natural health products industries, which is the largest manufacturing sector in BC, in both employment and economic inputs; $10.3 billion annually, surpassing forestry,” Donaldson adds.

“The FoodProWest Gala Awards Dinner is BC’s Food and Beverage Oscars,” says Donaldson, “It celebrates the achievements of food and beverage companies, big and small, and their staff who work hard to strengthen the industry as whole.” Gala Tickets can be purchased at : 

Finalists were selected in eight award categories by an independent judging panel.  This year’s finalists are;

Award Finalists 2018

Innovation Award    

Icicle Technologies Inc.

Blue Heron Creamery

Vitalus Nutrition Inc.


Leadership Award    

Mike Nunn, VP Operations                 Ideon Packaging

Yvonne Anderson, President,             Santevia Water Systems

Phil Vanderpol, President and CEO,   Vitalus Nutrition Inc.


Member of the Year Award 


Ideon Packaging

Fresh Direct Produce


Rising Star Award     

Garett Senez, VP Marketing,              Pac Rim Distributors

Roch Fortin, Owner                            Maple Roch

Jasmine Byrne, Vice President            Big Mountain Foods


Sustainability Award

Farafena Foods

Earnest Ice Cream

Wize Monkey Coffee Leaf Tea


Workplace Safety Award     

Aryzta Limited

Nestle Canada Inc.


Export Award

Ethical Bean Coffee

Organika Health Products Inc

Sun-Rype Products Ltd.

Our hallmark award is the Product of the Year.  This year we had 26 nominees representing an amazing assortment of unique BC products pitch to our panel of judges in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style format.  The Finalists for Product of the Year  (Gold, Silver, Bronze) will be announced at our annual BCFPA Awards Gala & Dinner on June 21st. 

Product of the Year Nominees:

Amai Vegan Treats

Barrelhouse Brine

Blue Heron Creamery

Bumble Bloom

Canterbury Coffee

Ernest Ice Cream

Fatso Hybrid Peanut Butter

Frozen Coconut

Hippie Snacks

Holy Napoli Pizza Inc.

Jiva Organics



Liquids+Solids Culinary Innovations Inc


Pranin Organic

Protein by Bent

She Devil Delights


The Granola Girl

The Very Good Butchers

Top Tier Foods

True Nosh


Wild Coast Fruit Company

Wise Bites

Also during the Gala, we will be excited to announce this year’s inductee into our Hall of Fame, having made exemplary contributions to BC’s food industry over more than 25 years.

If you have not yet registered to attend the Awards Gala and Dinner, it’s an event not to be missed!  Tickets are selling quickly and space is limited, so don’t miss your chance to enjoy a great night, where the industry comes together to celebrate and connect. You can order your Gala Tickets right here;

For more information,


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“PROCESS THIS” news from the BC Food Processors Association