When you hear the term agri-food you might immediately think of farming. And you’d be right! The agri-food sector does include farming, but it also includes the entire journey your food takes from farms, like those in our Northumberland County community, to your table. Agri-food combines the words agriculture and food representing a holistic view of the activities involved in quality-controlled food production.According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the “Agri-food system encompasses several industries, including the farm input and service supplier industries, primary agriculture, food and beverage processing, food distribution, retail, wholesale and foodservice industries.” Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agri-food includes all Canadian produce grown in our farmers’ fields. Once the food is harvested, it is then readied for human consumption in various ways often referred to as the agri-food chain. Some produce stays in its original form for the consumer, while other food is made into different foods and beverages, such as sauces, jams, specialty teas and so on, through food processing. The produce is then safely stored, packaged and distributed to wholesalers, grocery stores and markets so that you can buy it.
As a whole sector, the agri-food industry:
- Accounts for 8% of the value of all Canadian-produced goods coming from the agri-food system,
- Contributes $100 billion dollars to the Canadian economy every year, and
- Primary agriculture (specifically farming) accounts for 1.7% of our national gross domestic product (GDP). (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
What Is Agri-Food Doing In Your Food Production Business?
Food processing centres, such as Ontario Agri-food Venture Centre (OAFVC), are a stop along the agri-food distribution chain.
OAFVC is a non-profit food processing facility that provides you with:
- Affordable commercial kitchen space tailored to your needs
- Input on creating new products in bulk, with professional advice from knowledgeable staff
- Safe, volume food production following Canadian food safety standards
- Networking opportunities through local contacts and information, and
- Consumer base expansion within the Northumberland County agri-food distribution chain.
OAFVC is located close to the 401 in Northumberland County making it easy for you to get your products to retail and wholesale foodservice providers throughout Ontario.
The Benefits of an Agri-Food Commercial Kitchen
An agri-food commercial kitchen allows your business to grow affordably. You can test new products, and get them ready for a larger market while adhering to Canadian local food safety standards. Expanding your local network is easier when partnering with a company like OAFVC because they have local contacts who can help you expand your consumer base throughout the Northumberland County chain.
Find Out Exactly What’s In a Commercial Kitchen
Interested in what quality controlled food production looks like? Download this map to find out.