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
Trade & Economic Agreements
CETA & USMCA
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.
Retain & strengthen
Retain and strengthen the presence of existing firms via the city’s corporate calling program.
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.
Retain & grow
Support retention and growth of agricultural enterprises, notably the greenhouse horticulture sector, vineyards and fruit growers.
Support profile-building partnerships and opportunities for wineries located in St. Catharines, and further leverage the Downtown position on the Wine Route.
Attract businesses that manufacture and supply systems for greenhouses, horticulture & vineyards, seizing local research and partnership opportunities.
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.
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.
Retention & Growth of the Agricultural, Food & Beverage Sector
BR&E calls & meetings
Food incubator outcomes & activities
Contacts & leads generated
- Agriculture, Food & Beverage Key Subsectors
- Craft Beer
- Specialty Food
- Food Processors
- 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:
- irrigation, etc.
- 7 wineries within City boundaries
- Wine Route passes through Downtown, the hub to Niagara's 3 wine regions
- 7 craft breweries within city boundaries
- Domestic beer sales were up by 2.5% in 2020
- 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