Canada’s agriculture sector is a major part of the lives of many Canadians and their communities across the country. Not only does the sector feed us, but it adds massive value to the economy through billions of dollars worth of sales, exports and employment each year.
You’ll find many kinds of agricultural goods across Canada’s vast expanse. For example, highbush blueberries from British Columbia aren’t uncommon in grocery stores in Toronto. At the same time, you always see apples from Ontario on the shelves in Alberta. You’ll also find these products around the world as a result of trade with other nations.
When you take a look at the numbers, the importance of the agricultural industry becomes clear. For example, $110 billion is contributed by the sector to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) annually. That’s more than the entire national GDP of over 2/3rd’s of the world’s countries!
Here’s several other statistical facts on Canada’s agriculture sector that should give you an even better idea of just how important this industry is to our country.
Major Agricultural Commodity by Province (NRC):
Fruits & Vegetables in Canada: By the Numbers
> Horticulture, including vegetable and fruit production, generates about $6.7 billion worth of Canada’s farm cash receipts annually
> In the 1600s, the first apple tree in Canada was planted in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
> Over 17,000 hectares of land across Canada produce apples
> In total, more than 50 varieties of apples are grown across the country
> More than $37 million worth of apples are exported every year
> Canada produces so many apples, each Canadian could eat 10 kilograms of apples per year – or 100 apples per person
> Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of lowbush berries (wild blueberries mostly in Atlantic provinces and Quebec)
> Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of fresh and frozen wild blueberries
> Canada is the 3rd largest producer and exporter of highbush blueberries (95% of which are in British Columbia)
> Over 75,000 hectares of land across the country produce blueberries – that’s larger than the land mass of Toronto
> More than $477 million worth of blueberries were exported in 2018
> Canada is the 4th largest exporter of fresh mushrooms
> Canada produces about 4.5 million tonnes of potatoes annually
> In 2017, about $1.7 billion worth of potatoes and potato products were exported from Canada – a 50% increase over the past 5 years
> More than $350 million worth of tomatoes are exported by Canada each year, most of which go to the USA
> Over 5.9 million square metres of tomatoes are harvested annually – about the size of 900 Canadian Football League fields
> The average Canadian consumes more than 80 tomatoes a year – about 8.2 kilograms worth
Grains & Seeds in Canada: By the Numbers
> Canada is the top producer and exporter of canola in the world
> On average, about 8 million hectares of canola is harvested by producers annually
> Canadian-grown canola contributed more than $26 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2017 (canola council of Canada)
> In the 1960s, Canadian plant scientists developed canola
> About 90% of Canada’s produced canola is exported to over 50 markets world-wide
> In 2016, Canada accounted for 67% of the world's canola exports
> Farmed crops of corn have been growing on the North American continent for over 800 years
> About 1.3 million hectares of corn crops are harvested annually – almost enough to cover the surface of Lake Ontario
> Over 10% of Canada’s total corn production is exported – around 1.4 billion kilograms each year
> About 65% of the flaxseed produced in Canada is exported to 53 different countries
> Canada’s largest crop export is wheat and is the single biggest export earner of all agricultural products
> Canada produced on average about 30 million tonnes of wheat each year
> Canada exports an average of $7 billion worth of wheat annually, much of which goes to the USA
> Canada is the world’s 2nd largest producer and exporter of mustard seed in 2017
> Over 153,000 hectares of mustard crops are harvested annually – over 8 times the size of Regina
> Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of lentils and peas
Dairy Products in Canada: By the Numbers
> Canada’s dairy sector generates over $22 billion in economic activity each year
> Over 11,280 dairy farms exist across Canada
> The average Canadian consumes 13 kilograms of cheese, 11 litres of yogurt, 5 litres of ice cream and 72 litres of milk annually
> Each year, the average dairy cow produces 8,000 litres of milk, enough to provide 110 Canadians with their average annual consumption
> About 1 million dairy cows are found throughout Canada
Livestock & Seafood in Canada: By the Numbers
> Canada produced 1.3 million tonnes of veal and beef in 2018
> Canada is the world's 6th largest global exporter of beef in 2018, accounting for 4.58% of all world beef exports
> In 2011, 1 kilogram of Canadian beef created 15% less greenhouse gas emissions than it did in 1981
> In 2011, It took 24% less land and 29% fewer cattle in the herd to produce the same amount of beef than it did in 1981
> In 2016, fish and seafood exports set a record at $6.6 billion
> Canada was the world’s 5th largest exporter of pork in 2018, valued at over CAD $3.2 billion
> Over 10 million cattle of all types (bulls, beef cows, heifers, steers and calves) are found throughout Canada
Other Agricultural Products in Canada: By the Numbers
> About 80% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Canada
> Over 11,000 maple farms exist in Canada, about 70% of which are found in Quebec
*Sourced from Natural Resources Canada, worldstopexports.com, worldatlas.com, beef2live.com - Note: some statistics above may not be current
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