News > 2015 > The agri-food industry: powerful development leverage for Quebec

The agri-food industry: powerful development leverage for Quebec

November 6, 2015

Quebec’s agri-food industry does much more than feed Quebeckers. It has an economic impact on almost all industrial sectors, according to a new study by the Institut du Québec (IdQ) released today.

“This economic impact on the whole value chain makes the agri-food industry a powerful economic development lever for Quebec,” emphasized IdQ Director Mia Homsy. “And its productivity is constantly increasing: annual productivity in Canada between 2004 and 2013 rose more in food manufacturing (+2.2%) than in manufacturing in general (+1.1%).”

According to the IdQ, what with our slow population growth and our ageing population, it is international markets that now show the most growth potential, in particular for processed products. The spread of free-trade agreements will increase the pressure to eliminate barriers to trade, but will also open up significant new markets in the agri-food sector.

In fact, the opportunities represented by the strong economic growth of emerging countries offer Quebec’s agri-food industry some highly promising new markets, which could generate major economic spin-off for the whole province. “Economic simulations have shown that a permanent increase of $100 million in Quebec’s agri-food exports would lead to an equivalent growth in its GDP and create more than 1,000 jobs,” said IdQ President Raymond Bachand. “This is possible because over the past ten years, exports related to food manufacturing have outperformed all manufacturing-related exports in Quebec.”


  • The agri-food industry represents $34.3 billion, or 9.4% of Quebec's GDP.
  • It supports over 500,000 jobs throughout Quebec.
  • The industry generates $19.5 billion in income for individuals and $13.1 billion in profits for business.
  • The federal and provincial governments collect $13.2 billion in tax revenue from the industry.