About The Sector

Food and Beverage Processing 

Food and beverage manufacturing is the largest manufacturing sector in Manitoba. Total revenue for the Manitoba food and beverage processing sector in 2015 was $5.8 billion, representing 29.8% of Manitoba's total manufacturing revenue. This sector is the largest manufacturing employer in the province, directly employing over 10,000 Manitobans and accounting for 2.3% of the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The industry is driven by a unique combination of advantages, including central geographic location, leading-edge science, product development expertise and a diverse bounty of livestock and agricultural commodities to supply potential processors.
According to Industry Canada definitions, almost 99% of Manitoba’s food and beverage manufacturing businesses are small and medium size enterprises (SME) in 2015: 20% micro (less than five staff), 72% small (5-100 staff), 7% medium (101-499), and 1% large (greater than 500 employees).
Exports for processed food and beverage products stood at $2.15 billion in 2015. The top three largest sub sectors are meat manufacturing (38.6%), grain and oilseed milling (36.4%), fruit and vegetable preserving - including potatoes (15.6%).  Collectively these three subsectors represent the bulk of Manitoba's food processing exports at 90.6% of total exports.
 The Manitoba's food and beverage processing industry exports to over 77 countries with 96% of the total exports going to five major markets: United States (65%), Japan (19%), Mexico (7%), China (4%) and Philippines (1%).  The rate of growth of Manitoba's food processing sector exports has been higher than the Canadian average over the previous ten-year period with Manitoba having grown at 8.4% versus 6.7% for all of Canada.
Manitoba's food processing industry represents about 4.4% of the total value of food and beverage shipments in Canada.

Manitoba's food and agri-processors produce local-brand products as well as ingredients for internationally known brands. They encompass:

  • more than 20 meat processors
  • three canola crushing facilities
  • two egg processors
  • flax fibre production
  • most of Canada's hemp processing operations
  • a growing ethanol and biodiesel industry
  • a major centre for composites research and manufacturing
  • four potato processing plants
  • vegetable processing
  • functional food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical production
  • organic and conventional flour mills and bakeries
  • dairy and cheese production

Visit the Markets and Statistics section to view reports on Manitoba food production, as well as consumer trends and packaged foods statistics for markets around the world.


Bioproduct Processing

Manitoba is positioned to power Canada's emerging bioproducts economy. We have abundant natural resources, clean air and water - as well as strong research and business partnerships to move innovative products from concept to reality.

Our vision for bioproducts

The Manitoba government is committed to a sustainable bioproducts sector that will fuel the growth of our rural and northern economy. By 2020, Manitoba's bioproducts industry is expected to generate $2 billion in revenue annually. At least 80 % of this production will come from rural and northern Manitoba.

Manitoba's strategy

Our province has developed a bioproducts strategy to ensure that Manitoba is able to fully capture bioeconomy opportunities, while sustaining our needs for food, feed and medicines. The Manitoba Bioproducts Strategy was developed to provide information and strategic direction in developing the bioproduct sector in Manitoba.  The strategy also highlights the opportunities, challenges and strategic advantages that exist in the province. 


The strategy will focus on:

  • sustainable biomass production and supply
  • biofuels and bioenergy
  • biofibres and biomaterials
  • biochemicals

To move this strategy forward, we will:

  • establish innovation and industry champions
  • invest in research, innovation and commercialization
  • create a skilled workforce
  • support market development
  • increase public awareness

Manitoba's bioproduct advantages

  • More than 36.2 million acres of land with agricultural potential.
  • 5.5 million acres sown to cereal crops and 400,000 acres sown to flax, producing about 6 million tonnes of biomass each year.
  • 20 million tonnes of manure production per year by Manitoba livestock operation.
  • Strong research-industry partnerships.

Composites Innovation Centre

The Composites Innovation Centre is a world class non profit research and testing facility dedicated to advancing the bioproduct and biomaterials sector in Manitoba. 
For more information, contact Jeff Kraynyk - Leader, Industry Development.
Phone: 204-250-1906