Discover why food companies invest in
Ontario’s food processing industry is thriving - and the Eastern Ontario Food Competitiveness Study has confirmed what many already knew: Ontario East is a high-value and low-cost place to do business. A strong economic partnership among food manufacturers, educational institutions and local economic development offices helps to keep the area’s food processing industry strong and highly productive.
With a strategic location in the heart of the eastern North American market, in close proximity to three of Canada's largest markets, Ontario East offers a stable supply of educated, skilled and motivated workers.
The region boasts a strong supply chain, access to raw materials along with warehousing and logistics providers. Add the low cost of doing business and the ongoing support from our Eastern Ontario municipalities and it’s no wonder that Ontario East is a prime choice for processing companies.
Eastern Ontario is host to one of the Province's largest food clusters
As home to more than 1,500 food processing firms, Eastern Ontario is host to one of the Province’s largest food clusters. From Port HOpe to Cornwall, Ontario East has a vibrant representation of companies from an array of small specialty producers to multinational firms such as PepsiCo, Weetabix, Quaker Oats, Kellogg's and Parmalat. The full range of support related services includs reserach and development, training programs and equipment fabrication. Ontario East also boasts artisan and organic producers and award winning wineries. High quality, primary producers include a comprehensive meat manufacturing production base with 12 federally certified meat plants and a further 35 provincially inspected plants. The food processing industry in Eastern Ontario is supported by specialist logistics and cold storage providers as well as sustainable and specialist packaging services.
Invest in Ontario East's Growing Food Sector
Exceptional Market Access- Ontario East is connected to suppliers and markets via road, rail and seaway, with intermodal and refrigerator transport capacity. Airports and three international bridges link us to the entire Northeast and Midwest US markets. The St. Lawrence Seaway brings the world to our door. Eastern Ontario provides optimal market access for major distribution centres.
Dependable Workforce- Ontario East boasts a highly motivated, loyal workforce with lower than average employee turnover rates (2.5 percent). Ontario East offers an educated, trained and highly-skilled workforce with more than 9,000 food processing sector workers.
Leading-edge research and technology - Eastern Ontario is a centre for research and development with world-class educational institutions specializing in food and agriculture with related science and technology clusters focused around Trent University, Loyalist College, St. Lawrence College, Queen’s University, University of Guelph(Kemptville Campus), University of Ottawa and GreenCentre Canada – a national green chemistry centre.
Leading-edge education and training -Ontario East has training rebates for innovative programs including a Food Processing Operator Apprenticeship - one of the only offerings of its kind in North America. More than 6,000 students are enrolled in food specific, agriculture and science disciplines in Ontario East educational institutions.
Lower operating costs - Ontario East is one of the lowest cost food processing jurisdictions in the G7, according to the Competitive Alternatives report from KPMG. We offer low costs, low taxes and high research and development (R&D) tax credits. Our Ontario East municipalities provide ongoing business support to ensure access to available funding programs, training and employment assistance.
Exceptional Quality of Place – Whether you chose an urban or rural lifestyle, Ontario East has all you need – a varied landscape with four seasons. Eastern Ontario’s food processing sector benefits from locally produced fresh foods, farmers’ markets, organic foods and wineries. They are all part of Ontario East’s Quality of Place.
Ontario East Economic Development Commission promotes Eastern Ontario as a centre for investment – representing over200 communities, with more than two million residents, connecting three of Canada’s economic drivers – Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.