Agri-food is an inclusive term that refers to all forms of commercial agricultural activity and all stages of food and beverage processing. Agri-food encompasses ornamental horticulture – flowers, shrubs, and trees grown in greenhouses and in nurseries- as well as equine activities and bio-based products derived from agriculture that are used in the manufacture of materials and pharmaceuticals and for energy.
The Niagara Region agri-food sector contributes significantly to the economic prosperity and quality of life of Niagara residents. In 2011, just the primary agricultural activity alone was estimated to have an annual impact on the Regional economy of $2.7 billion dollars with an associated employment impact of 17,227 jobs. When the balance of the sector represented by input suppliers, food and beverage processors, food service, hospitality, and retail businesses is factored in, the combined impact is significantly greater. Niagara is also a major component of the Golden Horseshoe food and farming cluster. This cluster is one of the leading economic sectors in the provincial and national economy and is estimated to be one of the largest agri-food clusters in North America.
The Agri-Food Strategy builds on work of the Agricultural Action Plan (2006), the Local Food Action Plan (2008) and the Golden Horseshoe Agriculture and Agri-food Strategy Food and Farming: An Action Plan 2021 (2012).
Prepared By: Margaret Walton in collaboration with James Farrer & Erik Lockhart
Published By: Niagara Region
Publication Date: January 2016