| Anne Sado, President, George Brown College, Norm Beal, President, Food and Beverage
Ontario, Nancy Croitoru, former President & CEO, Food & Consumer Products of Canada, Dan
Magliocco, President, Mondelez Canada International, Janet De Silva, President & CEO,
Toronto Region Board of Trade, Norm Kelly, Toronto City Councillor and Winnie Chiu and Chef
John Higgins at a cooking demonstration at George Brown College’s Food and Innovation
Research Studio (FIRSt)
In December, 2015 Michelle Saunders, Vice President of Provincial & Territorial Affairs for the Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), met with Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, to promote the GTA Food & Beverage Cluster and provide an overview of the Food & Beverage Cluster priorities and activities to date, as well as the impact of the cluster on the local economy. This meeting was one of a series of high level meetings FCPC has been holding with key ministers and officials over the last 24 months.
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is home to the largest concentration of food and beverage manufacturers in Canada. Publicly launched in April 2015 by FCPC, the GTA Food & Beverage Cluster brings together business, government, academia, key stakeholders and community leaders with a vision to promote and grow our sector over the long term. The Cluster is a key component of FCPC’s strategic work to advance food and beverage manufacturing, raise the profile of our industry and collaborate with key stakeholders.
GTA Food & Beverage Cluster partners include:
The Cluster’s steering committee of manufacturers and an advisory committee of external partners have identified skills, labour development and innovation as key priorities. FCPC is working with members and partners to implement key tactics to support industry, including an extensive Ontario food and beverage labour market study to be released in 2016.
FCPC works closely with various Ontario government ministries promoting and supporting the GTA Food & Beverage Cluster and its significant contribution in growing our economy. The Ontario government has formally recognized the value of sector clusters, supportive of the GTA Food & Beverage Cluster initiative. In September, 2013, FCPC and the Toronto Region Board of Trade held a roundtable discussion with the Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, and executives representing more than 25 food and beverage companies from the Greater Toronto Area.
FCPC continues to promote collaboration and coordination between industry, government and the research community to support innovation and the growth of the food and beverage sector as well as the overall economy. While the goal of the Cluster initiative is to develop a strategy to assist and expand food and beverage manufacturing in the GTA, such a strategy could then be replicated in other existing and developing food and beverage clusters across Ontario and throughout Canada.
For a full list of the Cluster’s commitments, click here.
To read the Toronto Star story click here.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at the FCPC/Toronto Region
Board of Trade Food and Beverage CEO roundtable
“I know that this sector is a rising star.” – Kathleen Wynne
For more information about the GTA Food & Beverage Cluster, please visit www.gtafoodcluster.ca
- The GTA’s food and beverage manufacturing sector employs approximately 60,000 people, making it the second largest manufacturing sector in the region
- More than half of Ontario’s food and beverage manufacturing jobs are in the region
- This sector is the number one purchaser of agriculture produced in southern Ontario
What is a Cluster?
Clusters are geographically close groups of inter-connected companies and associated institutions in a particular sector. Cluster- focused approaches to regional economic development are internationally proven to be one of the strongest avenues to increased business growth and productivity and new job creation. Cluster-based economic development initiatives are about collaboration among the private sector and groups including governments, universities, think tanks, vocational training providers and industry associations. Collaboration can collectively increase particular sector's competitiveness.
Why a Cluster strategy for the GTA?
The Toronto region possesses all the qualities to support a globally competitive food and beverage cluster. It has a strong urban core, diverse labour pool, connections to nearby rural agricultural lands and an existing base of innovation. The GTA is already home to the largest concentration of food and beverage manufacturers in Canada, and is the second largest food and beverage Cluster in North America.
What about food and beverage manufactures outside the GTA?
The Cluster model can be replicated in regions across the country. As Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says, Canada should and can be a food superpower. With more than 6,000 food and beverage manufacturing facilities in communities from coast-to-coast, Clusters will help our country leverage our strength to not just compete, but succeed on the global stage. To listen to Premier Brad Wall’s speech, click here.