Assessing the Competitiveness of the Canadian Food Sector
The Canadian program of studies noted earlier used a number of indicators of profitability and performance as a basis to analyze competitiveness. The value of Canadian output of processed foods and beverages grew quite quickly during the 1970s, but the rate of growth tended to plateau in the last decade. The Canadian food industry, like many other sectors of the economy, is being challenged to compete in the rapidly changing global environment of the 1990s. The Canadian food processing industry was established to serve a limited and protected domestic market. Initially comprised of small- and mediumsized Canadian firms and branch plants of larger foreign corporations, its exports were primarily to the nearby United States (US) market or Commonwealth countries under preferential tariff arrangements. The average size of operations in terms of value-added and employment has increased in both countries, but US companies are significantly larger on average than Canadian companies.