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Agriculture, Food & Beverage Sector

City of St. Catharines is investing in Agriculture, Food & Beverage sectors taking into account that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in food manufacturing doubled in Canada between 2010 and 2015.


30% of St. Catharines' Designated Agricultural Area

The food and beverage segment offers substantial promise for St. Catharines, especially if well equipped incubation and acceleration spaces are available and if the linkages with tourism, culinary, cultural and the creative industries can be fostered.

Specialty and artisanal foods, craft brewing, micro-distilling and hard cider production are taking hold. College and university programs and facilities are vital assets in growing these niche markets.

Sector Info & Statistics

Case Studies

Trade Agreements
Trade & Economic Agreements


The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could position Canadian locations as preferred North American sites for European, Asian and U.S. firms doing business across the Atlantic.

Provided that the U.S. market remains open given changes to NAFTA, Canada may become a more attractive location for investment as a result of the country’s openness to new Asian agreements and immigration policies.

Support the retention & growth of the agricultural sector

Grow and attract beverage and food processing facilities.

Action 1

Retain & strengthen

Retain and strengthen the presence of existing firms via the city’s corporate calling program.

Action 2

Promote & encourage

Promote and encourage new ventures, expansions and new investment in food processing, bakeries and beverage production, including access to purpose-equipped incubation and acceleration spaces.

Action 3

Retain & grow

Support retention and growth of agricultural enterprises, notably the greenhouse horticulture sector, vineyards and fruit growers.

Action 4

Support partnerships

Support profile-building partnerships and opportunities for wineries located in St. Catharines, and further leverage the Downtown position on the Wine Route.

Action 5

Attract businesses

Attract businesses that manufacture and supply systems for greenhouses, horticulture & vineyards, seizing local research and partnership opportunities.

Action 6

Cooperate with government

Work in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAFRA) where sources of funding may be available for specific initiatives.

Action 7

Cooperate with scientists

Work in cooperation with relevant Brock University and Niagara College institutes, as well as Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to identify opportunities in market and provide linkages.

Performance Metrics
Retention & Growth of the Agricultural, Food & Beverage Sector

BR&E calls & meetings
Food incubator outcomes & activities
Businesses retained
Expansion projects
New investments
Investment-related events
Contacts & leads generated

Case Studies

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  • Agriculture, Food & Beverage Key Subsectors
    • Farms
    • Greenhouses
    • Wineries
    • Craft Beer
    • Specialty Food
    • Food Processors
  • Factoids


    • 83 farms in 2016
    • Farm receipts over $77 million
      • 252 full-time jobs
      • 78 part-time
      • 466 seasonal


    • 22 greenhouses in 2016
    • 17 employed greenhouse automation:
      • seeding
      • transplanting
      • irrigation, etc.


    • 5 wineries within City boundaries
    • Wine Route passes through Downtown, the hub to Niagara's three wine regions


    • 3 craft breweries within city boundaries
    • 35% annual revenue growth in 2015-2016 (Ontario)
    • Synergies with Niagara College Teaching Brewery and Brock University research institutes


    • Fast growing niche market for natural, organic, nutrient dense foods
    • “100 mile” status a growing trend favouring artisan food production


    • Opportunity to target Toronto food processors facing facility constraints and high cost barriers to growth
    • NAFTA/CETA/FTZ location advantages
    • Food Incubator concept

Discover Why St. Catharines Is Your Business Advantage

Contact our team of experts for a consultation today.

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(905) 688-5601