Norfolk County has joined the Ontario Food Cluster, an alliance of 18 economic development organizations across the province that builds international trade and investment opportunities for the 3,000-plus companies in the communities’ agri-food and beverage sector.
Ontario Food Cluster’s membership is made up by regions, municipalities and Federal/Provincial Departments: Agriculture and Agri Food Canada, Durham Region, Elgin County, City of Guelph and University of Guelph, Hamilton, London, Middlesex County, Niagara Region, Norfolk County, Ontario East, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, Sarnia-Lambton, Simcoe County, Southern Ontario Marketing Alliance, Waterloo Region, Wellington County and Windsor Essex.
Food and beverage processing in the province is expected to grow to a $40 billion industry, and the agriculture and agri-food sector is Ontario’s number one employer. Ontario food exports total $9.91 billion, with 130,000 people working directly in agri-food processing/manufacturing and wholesaling, and another 483,000 in related sectors such as food service, retail and specialty stores.
The Ontario Food Cluster’s primary aim is to generate interest from foreign companies with demonstrated capabilities to undertake greenfield or brownfield investments to expand their North American presence.